Blackboard is the Devil.

23 12 2010

This is from an article about teaching history with technology in the AHA Perspectives (subscription only for you non-members):

Course management software was reportedly used by 62 percent of the history faculty in the survey, but these programs were singled out for particular scorn by a number of faculty, both for their clunky interfaces, and frequent upgrades that impose additional burdens in time, effort, and expense. As one respondent observed, “When institutions subscribe to software for teaching such as Blackboard, the software updates often force premature obsolescence on the hardware. The institution and the individual faculty members must either replace costly equipment more often than necessary (with additional costs to the environment), or struggle along with slow hardware. The software “updates” are usually unwieldy, with few real improvements (and often setbacks). They waste valuable faculty time. Such trends should be examined and monitored carefully by the profession.”

I’ve explained elsewhere precisely why I hate Blackboard. However, since I’ve become a devoted ProHacker reader since writing that, I’ll add one thing though: WordPress can serve as a perfectly fine course management system for a lot less money and a lot less hassle.

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6 responses

23 12 2010
C Vogel

I think calling a company like blackboard the devil is a little harsh. Blackboard has helped countless schools both in higher education and K12 enhance the very fabric of technology integration and the education process. You might disagree with them, or not like their product, but to compare them to the prince of darkness and the apitome of evil just shows your misguided attempt at making a dramatic point.

12 01 2011
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[...] replace everyone with adjuncts or with poorly designed software programs (which may or may not be the Devil), but I think I have an idea that makes more [...]

21 03 2011
I used to think that line about “herding cats” was funny. « More or Less Bunk

[...] is a very nice post from Worst Professor Ever about the evil that is Blackboard. Yet where I want to start is this aside: I’d noticed something about way admin talks about [...]

23 02 2012
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[...] opinion of Blackboard is extremely low. In fact, it might be lower than my opinion of online education in general since Blackboard [...]

10 07 2012
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[...] (which is still the Devil) gives you all its bells and whistles whether you want them or not. Like textbooks of all kinds, [...]

6 09 2012
My classroom is my platform: A manifesto. « More or Less Bunk

[...] So do you see where I’m going with this yet? Who owns your online class? I know I sold a syllabus to the online arm of my university once, but that’s no skin off my teeth since I literally change my syllabus every time I teach that course. The guy who was pitching Moodle to us about a year ago claimed that Blackboard owns everything that gets uploaded onto their platform, presumably including all the content the professor generates to eke out some kind of personalized presence in their course. If that’s true, that may explain why so few history professors actually use what course management systems like Blackboard have to offer …. [...]

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