Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Further comments on new blackboard

It took me a while but now I understand the logic of this product.  So a virtue is that the look and feel of most courses will be similar/identicial varying only by what tools are enabled and what modules the instructor chooses to include on the homepage.  The visual editor appears robust.  When you turn it off you can do html and thus embed.  Here are some vices. 

a.        There seems to be some redundancy of tools.  What they call journals looks like blogs (except maybe private, though it can be made public).   
b.      There is no digest form of the email update for  discussion.  So you either get everything, pos by post, or you get nothing. 
c.       It really doesn’t want you to use external tools for communicating, though you can do it as a url. 
d.      While the instructor can create contacts (presumably for himself and the TAs) students don’t have an analogous capability.  So they don’t seem to be able to upload a picture of themselves or provide a bio sketch.  
e.      Instructors have to empower everything.  Students can’t do it themselves.  Say a class has students working in group.  The instructor has to create those groups and then enable tools for the groups.  The students can’t do that on their own. 

So still some typical LMS issues. 


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