The above is an excerpt from a university-wide report on Blackboard use here at CSU-Pueblo for the Fall 2011 semester that was distributed by e-mail a couple of days ago. As I’ve been working on cultivating a reputation for principled reasonableness around campus, I think all I want to do here is point out that all the things professors use Blackboard for here most (as well as a few of the things that not many people use Blackboard for) can be done for a lot less money than whatever our Blackboard license costs. Sometimes they can be done for no money at all.
That is all.
Update: I got the following e-mail from a technologically savvy friend on campus:
Hmm, you were actually *very* subtle.
For example, the ITC [Instructional Technology Center] counsels faculty to *avoid* using Blackboard for just about all of the things one might want out of a learning management system — blogging, wikis, on-line videos. They suggest instead that one use WordPress or YouTube or suchlike and simply link to that from Blackboard.
So: faculty use Bb *mostly* for things which would be better done on the vanilla WWW, and for the others, we are *told not to use Bb* (because it sucks) (in fact, we are told instead to use free on-line substitutes), by our own ITC.
Pretty much the only thing that people use that is not easier on the vanilla web or from some other provider is the on-line gradebook. And
there are several free, open-source equivalents available….
Did I just kill my reputation for principled reasonableness by posting that?