Blackboard LMS for Business Review
My overall experience with Blackboard LMS Business is always amazing! It has helped and improved my grade so much because it lets me know ahead of time when assignments are due, which has helped be more organized as well. I love this software so much and I suggest everyone to use this!
A feature that I love the most about this software is it allows teachers to upload assignments online to eliminate the use of paper. This software is such an easy to use software and really simple to change any settings for the liking of your choice. What I also love about this is that it is a good platform to take tests and quizzes, which is super amazing because it is not confusing at all. I absolutely love this and it has helped be more organized!
A feature that I would like to see in the future is the mobile app, it could use a little improvement and it is a bit slow, but the desktop version is amazing so it does not really bother me because I usually check and do everything through my desktop. I still absolutely love this software.
A decent LMS, but there are better ones out there that have less workability issues
I have used both Blackboard and Moodle in the past, and I found them very similar for what they offered. I would have been fine using Blackboard indefinitely had I not found out about Canvas, which is what we are using now and I am absolutely it's biggest fan!
I used Blackboard for almost 10 years, and it was a decent LMS for my needs. When Blackboard Collaborate came out, it was even better because it added a new layer of possibilities (I could have several webinar/conversations going, merge conversations, and/or present to different groups at one time). However, there were always bugs in the system, even though we updated constantly. The Blackboard app was also very limited.
Too many bugs and freezes; many of my students had issues with accessing links when they used different internet browsers. Good for a small school or business, but not larger ones.
How a big platform loose the ranking
The mobolebapp is not functional, there is no gamification nor maestries.
I like the advertisements they did in the past, everyone knew how expensive and famous it was.
They did not innovate, they both a lot of little competitors and lately they are selling them because that strategy has lost again more innovative platforms and cheaper.
a Long Term User's Honest Experience
Quick background, was in high tech sales and marketing for many years prior to teaching and heavily involved with custom Computer Graphics systems since Time Arts Lumena was around (predecessor to Photoshop). Check out my LinkedIn profile for more details.
On to the product review -- I've been using Blackboard for *many* years, and have been teaching (and doing) Web Design and Development since 1993. I'm retiring shortly, so I can be absolutely frank and honest about my experience with this app without fear of upsetting IT folks or admins that I would have to work with in the future.
Truthfully, the ONLY reason I use this app is because I have no alternative at the College where I teach and it gives the students easy access to information, but so would any LMS (Learning Management System).
The UIX (User Interface Experience) is incredibly archaic and counter-intuitive. It's also painfully slow to use, as it does constant server requests (just paste the URL for a Blackboard connection into http://www.webpagetest.org/ for testing).
Sometimes one single click every 15 seconds is all the system will react to when I'm using the grade book, etc. -- in the "real" world, without captive users, no one would ever return to a site with those response times. To be fair to Blackboard, part of that may (or may not) be our schools network or Blackboard interface setup.
As far as usability, Blackboard needs to let the User Interface and UIX designers (if they even had any) direct the techs and coders. It's *very* obvious that it's been the reverse, . They should 'steal' some Apple UIX people and give them some *real* power to direct how the app works and what it looks like.
I've just finished using Blackboard for 3 hours+ doing things that should have taken 1 hour or less had the interface been optimized and more thought out. For example, under the 'Assignments' and 'Course Documents' sections there is no easy way to reorder or batch select using something basic like check boxes or a multi-select hot keys.
Also, any NEW assignment or document post goes to the BOTTOM (the absolute reverse of a Blog post) So I need to drag it back to the top (where it logically should go). However, even that is awkward, since when I drag to the top of the browser the window does not auto-scroll. I have to hold the left mouse button at the same time as I use my middle finger to roll the mouse wheel -- duh!!.
There IS a small text window pop-up accessed via an archaic icon to reorder posts, however, that shows only 5 assignment titles at a time (no window resize function to show more than 5). I can reorder them there, but need to do a single mouse click each time it moves up one position, but again, with no way to see more than 5 and no way to multi-select. So, if I have 50 course documents and want to shift 5 new documents to the top (where they belong) that's almost 250 mouse clicks to re-position 5 documents to where they should be in the first place - duh!!
In Gradebook it only shows 10 students listed by default. I can change the setting up to 50 but the next time I go back it's back or need to refresh something -- it's back to 10. It doesn't save defaults or give me a choice. This may seem to be nit-picking, but over the period of a 14 week semester that's a lot of wasted time time and clicks.
I'm going to end my review here as I have more work to do, but when I saw a 4 star review for this LMS being the solo review I had to balance it out. Bottom line is, the concept is good -- many, many modules/tools in a LMS bundled package but the execution is absolutely awful.
Just Google search 'Blackboard sucks' or 'I hate Blackboard' if you want real faculty and user opinions sans any marketing spin. Other telltale signs are when a company start to lose long-term clients. Ryerson University in Toronto just did a switch from Blackboard after "a multi-year consultation process". More on that process is here http://lms.blog.ryerson.ca/
Hopefully that last paragraph doesn't get censored, because that's the source of raw truth.
1. it's an LMS and something is better than nothing.
2. It's full of examples I can show my students on how not to do UI and UIX
3. Well established company is behind it
4. Modular front-end
5. Many bells and whistles
1. Counter intuitive, clunky, awkard UI (User Interface) - improve it by hiring UI/UIX experts and giving them actual control over the app interface and functions.
2. Slow (even when on the same network node or high speed cable connection) - needs a code rewrite/optimization.
3. Ancient aesthetics (although some design elements are now "flat design-ish") - hire UI and UIX designers and actually allow them to direct the final interface.
4. Many glitches (I've a folder full of screen-shots, if you want proof) - again a code rewrite needed, or ideally a complete start-over with newer code philosophies and methods.
It's a good product
We use this for submitting time sheets and various student interactions.
If you have the support from your school's IT department, this software can be great. I've used it when working for different schools and used it as a student user. The options to personalize could be better. Some things I didn't find useful and couldn't remove from my viewing space.
Not being able to personalize options to my needs. If I don't want to see a feature on my home page I should be able to remove it completely, not just move it over.
BlackBoard as a student
It's super easy to navigate and find all your resources on. It's well organized and I love it.
I really like using blackboard. It is a lot better than other programs I've had to learn for school. It is super easy to navigate. You can find all your assignments there. There's a calendar to make when assignments are due. My favorite part I think, is the fact that you can email another student through blackboard. So if you are doing a project and you've never met your partner, or don't have their information, you can email them through blackboard.
There really isn't anything that I don't like about it.
I have used Blackboard for over two years and I love everything about it, I really like the reminders for my work.
I love how easy it is to use blackboard in my everyday life. This software has helped my stay on top of my assignments and work.
I don't like when blackboard goes under maintenance, because sometimes it can be difficult to get any assignments done or my work done with the website is down.
Learning on BB
Overall, Blackboard Learn is a pretty good experience. Students are able to access many things.
I liked how this software is very easy for students. Instructors can give assignments, show grades, and upload attachments. Changes are instantaneously.
I don't like how Blackboard constant go through changes and is often down or having technical issues that'll need to be passed onto customer service.
Good educational software with some great features but the server crashes are annoying.
Blackboard is easy to use,exams are easy to deploy,announcements are very good and even the bullet-in board is a very handy feature.
The server crashes very often and this can be very annoying because if we are in the middle of something,the progress doesn't get saved automatically.
my overall experience with blackboard learning was very positive allowed for affective communication and learning among students and professors all around the country.
what I liked most about the software was that it was user-friendly and allowed me to correspond with students and professors efficiently to address issues/concerns.
what I like least about blackboard was that it did at sometimes have IT issues in which they did incorporate their own that would be able to handle any problems that we encountered.
Great way to manage several classes with great flexibility to match personal style
Overall it’s an improvement over just 20 years ago when a syllabus and careful listening were the only way to connect with students. Also, I’ve had great success sharing ideas with colleagues. Of course, faculty can be just irritating as the abovementioned students. I’d say an “ignore” buttons would make this score go from a 7 to a 9.
I love the ability to reach all of my students or any subgroup in multiple ways. For example, personalized announcement, group emails, meeting and grading in realtime, scheduling office hours, and getting notifications are just a few of the native services, and each can be customized l.
The law of unintended consequences applies directly to blackboard. The same convenient and varied options that make the product great also give students more access (and wildly unrealistic expectations) to their professors. This is great for the 5% of students who have helpful and legitimate questions, but obnoxious for those who expect instant responses, midnight submissions, and A grades for D papers because “they clearly are trying. Just look at their blackboard logs and see!”
Needs some work for organization
Not great. If I were to choose, I would go with canvas, which my university will be switching to in the next four years.
Probably my favorite thing about this software is how you can link videos, external links, and also professors can create quizzes, assignments, and tests on the platform and select various settings for their individual assignment/assessment. I LOVE taking tests on here because they are straight forward.
They really need to add a "flag" feature to the tests that are made and administered through the program. There have been many times when I am taking a long multiple-choice test and am not sure of the answer but then remember it 20 questions later, but by that time I can't find the original question that I remembered the answer for. The organization of this information system is, however, trash. Navigating around the site between classes and tabs within each class is annoying and not very intuitive. The way the site is made reminds me of someone trying to make a sign with a lot of diverse information, but everything on the sign is 12pt time new roman font - there's little differentiation between different ideas and concepts.
Well established platform
I am consulting for two institutions - the one a large higher education institution - 45 000+ Blackboard users - self hosted and the other - smaller business school - 1000+ Blackboard users - hosted.
I present training and support to the faculty on how to use the LMS. Although one can discover a lot for yourself using the Blackboard help site, there are a few tips and tricks that make life a lot easier which is not always that intuitive.
Problems that we are trying to solve: changing the faculty's teaching philosophy from traditional lecture based teaching to a more active learning environment. Blackboard certainly address that well - as long as you plan your activities properly, you can get excellent feedback for example let the students read or view a video on a specific concept and then let them write a pre-test before they come to the lecture. This will help you to identify where the gaps still exist which you can address then in class. Also using a flipped class room approach - Blackboard can be used to assist you in flipping your class room where you can also monitor and track which of your students engaged beforehand.
I have been using WebCT and then Blackboard.
Everything is in one space - lots of tools - the sky is really the limit.
I also like the Best Practice parts of the help site - it helps you to get ideas of how you can use the tools.
In terms of support from Blackboard, sometimes the person who receives the inquiry do not read properly or English is a second language because we often have to explain again and again before they understand - that is the only frustration I currently have with the support.
It is unfortunately a very expensive product since the institutions are not based in the USA and therefore we are subjected to the exchange rate.
As both a teacher and a student - Blackboard works for me
Make sure you explore the user guides and options, blackboard can be a powerful tool but some of it's features are less than obvious!
As a instructor blackboard lets me integrate a lot of different types of media through Kaltura, structure time released content ,vary assessments, and deliver individualized learning opportunities. All of these elements are crucial to my instruction. As a student, I get mobile access and notifications about grades, announcements, and course changes that help me manage my learning.
While the features are wonderful, they are somewhat convoluted to properly utilize, requiring more steps than I would like, and can sometimes be "hidden" in such ways that I have to refer back to user guides because it's not a very intuitive integration. Therefore, as a student, I find many of my professors do not fully take advantage of the learning management system because they have limited knowledge.
Great and Powerful LMS - Blackboard.
The way we can review the documents; The better way to report plans localized to the group. I can gauge what matters more simple and directely. I like all the information, the trend is in one space, graphed automatically and an easy way of collaboration and track deliverables.
We don't have any major issues using Blackboard. It is a really good service for us!
Classrooms disorganized?! Not with Blackboard! This will make classroom administration a breeze, saving your instructors and administrators a lot of time and make your classroom management 1000% more efficient!
The greatest feature of this product is the ease of use with regards to its navigation. When we started using Blackboard LMS, I literally trained a large portion of our staff on the ins and outs of the software in less than 2 hours. This has made classroom organization the easiest it has been in decade. Our instructors can distribute class materials, assignments, and grades with a few clicks. It is absolutely amazing!
Installation can be both lengthy and problematic if you are moving from an incompatible LMS. While we were lucky, we still ran into bugs while making our transition. This was frustrating, but was luckily done during the summer, when attendance was at its lowest.
Makes my Online classes SO Much easier
Overall I love it. It helps me to focus on my school work and know when I have assignments due. It notifies me when new material is uploaded. ANYTHING that makes my life easier is a A++ in my book!
Blackboard has been AMAZING for organizing my online classes. I take 4 online classes a semester and I would be a mess if I didn't have blackboard reminding me of what needs done and making it super easy. Its very easy to upload my assignments and see whats due when it's due. Everything about it is SUPER easy and organized so I can focus all my energy on my school work.
I still can't figure out how to export my due dates to my calendar. I'm not sure if you even can, but I can't find any support on it. I don't like how I can't change the names of my courses and Ive had 3 courses that I dont take anymore still showing up and can't get them to disappear.
Hammer To Swat a Fly
Blackboard is a classic case of good product upgrading too much until you lose what made it great. It has a lot of value added features, so much so that you can no longer find the simple things. They should also focus on getting the bugs out of what is really needed and not focus so much on adding more. Keep it simple, stupid KISS. over all a pretty decent LMS but there are better for less.
Feature Rich - lots of value added functionality
Love that there are break out rooms for each session
Clickable rubrics - awesome
Cons 345/100 characters minimum
Grading system is too granular. if you use this it makes it too easy for a few bad assignments to tank students grades and gives the instructor more work.
What do you have against independent content. I create videos using Camtasia and Movavi, but its often a fight get them placed where I'd like or even to get them to run in the first place.
Undergraduate Learning with Blackboard Learn
My overall experience with Blackboard Learn was optimal as a student in college.
I found this advantageous when I was in college as an undergraduate. It was great to track my course work and online assignments through this LMS. For its time it was adequate with the UI layout but to modern look and feel of websites and web application software in 2020 it would be outdated unless they revamped the display of everything.
It was just a bit clunky at times and occasionally a pain in the @$$ but it still got the job done. It might have been that my student user rights weren't fully configured and there was a lack of training from the university for students to use the tool and not on the fault of Blackboard Learn.
Gets better every year
I like that I can add content, links, video's that can be played right from Blackboard. Each year this system gets better and more versatile to use. It also does not require much training to lean how to use it which make it user friendly on both sides. I also like that I can pull it up on my my phone even if the fromat is not always right.
It can be hard to find certain things and often tabs are hidden withing other tabs. This an also be frustrating to students when trying to locate content. The mobile app does also have some kinks, it does not format well. It is nice to check things like grades but not alot of work can be done from the mobile app.
Blackboard Analytics for Learn
Analytics has been a game-changer that is helping our institution create an overall better student experience.
Blackboard Analytics is an amazingly powerful data platform. Working in conjunction with Pyramid, Analytics lets you view Blackboard data from a "global" institution view, all the way down to a single mouse click, by one student in one course. In this ever increasing data-driven industry, Analytics is a powerful tool to help you make informed decisions based on real time data. Information is presented in easy to navigate dashboards, allowing users to interact with the data. Admins can create specific reports tailored to the institution needs. Customer support and training have been invaluable.
Going in, it helps if you have a working knowledge of databases. The dashboards are easy enough for the general user, but the report creation is not always intuitive. All that said, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
A Gold Standard
I utilized this software on a user-end point while in college in the mid 2010s. My wife is using it now as a student in the late 2010s. Blackboard Learn opens a doorway into the world of academia like no other platform I have ever experienced. With it, you can enter a virtual learning center with as robust a set of resources as any prestigious university in the country. Blackboard Learn is an essential tool for creating an online environment where students can really learn akin to the classroom. I highly recommend it - both for professionals looking to impart their knowledge to a wider, more varied audience, and for scholars looking to broaden their horizons with academic leaders across all fields.
Very few cons about this platform except that, akin to Microsoft Excel, a lot of the features seem both difficult to find or too complex to effectively utilize. The user manual will likely be your closest ally with this software.
Blackboard - Really clunky!
At our institution Bb Learn instructions sometimes don't match the local implementation.
What I like most about the software is what is is *supposed* to do: serve as a total course management system.
Everything about Blackboard is clunky — at least as it is set up in our university. Operations that should be drag and drop require multiple clicks. Nearly every function in Blackboard is present in other generic software and works more efficiently. In addition, Blackboard (as set up in our school) forces templates onto teachers, Redoing the templates into usable form takes lots of clicks.
Here are two examples of the most egregious design errors.
1. The Bb gradebook. It vaguely resembles like Excel or Google sheets in how functions. But unlike spreadsheets where one can easily duplicate columns and reassign formulas, the Gradebook requires separate multiple-menu-click operations for every column creation, every grade entry and every grade change. We find little flexibility in creating grading formulas, compared to off-the-shelf spreadsheet programs. And the import-export functions of Bb gradesheets to generic spreadsheets is so clunky that it is unusable.
2. Course duplication. Bb allows the teacher to duplicate a course. Except it doesn't really work. If you try and duplicate the course you taught in the year 2020 for use in 2021, you find that Blackboard will duplicate the general template for all university courses without importing all of the eaacher's innovations.
This was the only LMS choice offered by my institution. Appreciated what it offered.
Blackboard makes organizing course content easy with standard options and the ability to add content with ease. Students enjoyed the standardized ability to track lecture notes, videos and access course readings. For me, it managed the basics of course content delivery really well.
Student management was challenging. I spent many hours working out how to grade material online and how to hide or show results for students. I found the help files not particularly useful for these challenges, and as these were things that I only performed once or twice per year, I tended to forget how to resolve these issues.
Blackboard LMS is perfect for online courses
I love Blackboard. I am a user and an administrator and I haven't found much that Blackboard can't do.
Blackboard has all the necessary tools to create a great and effective online learning environment. There are so many LTI tools you can integrate into Blackboard to be successful. Also it is user-friendly and you don't have to be a tech genius to manage the tools.
We have had issues in the past with customer support for Blackboard. There is only so much we have control over and we often have to reach out to support with minimal responses.