Blackboard Learn Reviews

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Score 7.8 out of 101

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Anissa Harris profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is used as a classroom portal for the courses that I teach. It is how I share information, course content, messages, announcements, and threaded discussions with my students. It additionally includes a submission/extraction component for submitting assignments and a direct way to privately or group email any enrollee in the course.
  • Provides HTML quality course content that is easily retrievable and viewable.
  • Provides multiple methods of communication: email, threaded discussions, real-time "live" online discussions, as well as grade portal.
  • Allows facilitators multiple methods of grading or providing feedback: threaded discussions, rubric scoring, personal comments, inline viewer, or download/upload attachments.
  • Mobile access to Blackboard Learn is rudimentary and inconsistent. I can open the website in any browser but I cannot always click on the right control column--it sometimes moves around or buttons jump so that I cannot actually complete basic functions like posting a DQ. With asynchronous teaching, it is imperative that I have function-able mobile access to Blackboard in order to be successful.
  • The existing Blackboard Learn app for instructors is completely BASIC and needs much improvement. There is no ability to enhance text or use bold or italics. I can provide inline grading comments but cannot use a bank of grading comments--no copy/paste works in the inline grading of the app. I cannot grade discussion questions AT ALL in the app--only papers.
  • The Blackboard Learn instructor app needs to be compatible with voice commands so that I can use voice-to-text rather than typing everything on a mobile device. There is a lot of room for improvement but the app is crucial to my ability to teach effectively with Blackboard.
Blackboard Learn does a great job of integrating collaborative technology for teaching or community discussion. It encourages me to use other tools to innovate my instruction and to engage students differently--aspects that always improve learning as well as satisfaction with the learning and achieving process.

The most negative or inappropriate experience I have with Blackboard is when I use mobile access--using my iPad or iPhone or other device is a sketchy way to access Blackboard. I can easily get on it with my computer/laptop, but using mobile devices is quite frustrating b/c the typing blocks and buttons bounce around and do not properly populate on the device. In HTML language, the iFrames are not set up to function well on mobile devices.
Read Anissa Harris's full review
Rick Lupton profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is our primary Learning Management System and is used both by our distance education program and for supplemental materials to in class instruction. It is used by faculty across campus in various colleges and departments as well as for staff training. The software has a portal which allows students to access their classes, each with its own web page, to view lessons, download files, access external links, take tests, and submit assignments.
  • Lesson Managment
  • Discussion Board
  • Quizes
  • File Submission
  • Class interaction
  • Comments on assignments
  • Grade-book automation
Blackboard does a great job allowing an instructor to submit lessons, assignment, videos, links, and other materials. It also allows students to complete quizzes and exams all in the same web portal. Assignments can be submitted for grading by the professor and with add-in modules can also be automatically graded. The biggest fault with the application is the need for online access; if your connection is not stable, you cannot complete a test.
Read Rick Lupton's full review
Lori Riegel profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is used by multiple users, to access information, share information and access features across multiple devices and platforms. Users can access modules and other necessary information sources from any device, from anywhere, at their own convenience. It is perfect for organizations that have users who are global or not necessarily meeting at the same time in the same place, and need access to massive amounts of information that is stored in an organized format. It is quite useful for academic settings, but I can also see applicable uses for nonprofit or other environments.
  • Organized modules
  • Easy to use on various devices
  • Easy to customize
  • Chat feature could be improved
  • Doesn't load quite as well on a mobile (phone) device consistently
  • Better integration to a mobile app
Blackboard Learn is an excellent application for academic (college or university) settings. It would also work well in large school districts. I have used it in a university setting, and like that I can access current and past course materials. I did not receive an orientation to use it, or other sort of training, but it was intuitive and easy to jump right in and start using it.
Read Lori Riegel's full review
Timothy Sawah profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Blackboard is the course management system used by both recent employers. I have used it for several years as a student too. The system is very reliable, easy to navigate and customize. It includes several modules, one of which is blackboard collaborate which enable live remote sessions.

Having online students is so common these days and having all course collaboration and live sessions in one secure centralized location is a necessity for both students and universities.
  • Instructors can easily customize the course page.
  • It has the capability to do online exams, class discussions, automatic grading, and live sessions.
  • Integrates with local LDAP and single sign-on services.
  • Although the current graphic user interface is easy to use, it can be improved with larger fonts, dynamic menus, and attractive graphics.
  • The system does not include a module to pay the school fee.
  • The roster tab lacks detailed information about students.
Blackboard learn is suitable to universities with 1K+ students enrolled. The system is very reliable and facilitates distance learning and remote classrooms. Although the subscription cost per student might be high compared to other course management system, Blackboard offers a wide range of features and customization capabilities that students and professors use nowadays.
Read Timothy Sawah's full review
Katherine Moore profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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All of Stony Brook University uses Blackboard Learn to maintain communication between students and educators in and out of the classroom. Assignments are posted and submitted, announcements are made to students, and discussion threads are used. Using Blackboard eliminates communication issues and encourages students to be involved outside of the classroom.
  • Easy to use tabs to get to different sections of the courses
  • Easy to communicate directly with the educator and other students through messaging.
  • Easy to submit assignments directly by uploading.
  • The mobile Blackboard app is not easy to use on my Android phone as the sizing is off and some functions do not work.
  • The discussion threads are a little more difficult to navigate, between replying to the current thread or needing to start a new one.
  • The grades section is not always correctly updated on my end even though the educator has posted them.
It is very well suited for a school setting and is appropriate for my graduate level classes where there are constant discussions outside of class. I'm not sure how it would work for an employment setting.
Read Katherine Moore's full review
Matthew Deakyne profile photo
Score 6 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is the supported Learning Management system at the University of Kansas. It is used across the organization, with a focus on academic courses. All courses in our PeopleSoft Student Information System automatically receive a corresponding Blackboard class. It allows students and instructors to coordinate assignments and grades for academic classes, and is sometimes used as a communication tool for non-academic use.
  • Number of Integrations. Up until fairly recently, Blackboard Learn was the only option that scaled well for an institution of our size. They purchased competitors, and dominated marketshare. Due to this, most integrations from publishers or other educational technologies had to create a Blackboard integration.
  • Adapting to Web Standards. Blackboard is currently releasing REST APIs and LTI integrations, and encouraging these as the standards moving forward. This is an excellent direction, and will allow Blackboard to be more competitive in the future.
  • Customization. Each Blackboard course can be fully customized by the Instructor, using as much or as little as each individual instructor would like. For those that enjoy complete control - this is really useful.
  • Self-Hosted Option. I anticipate this to eventually be depreciated, but currently we can host our Blackboard instance - which grants full flexibility and data analysis capabilities that are not available in the managed or cloud hosted options.
  • Lack of APIs. Blackboard is catching up, but other competitors are much further along since those competitors started as a web-based company. The other factor holding these back is the different hosting options. All APIs are available for cloud-hosted, but not for managed-hosted or self-hosted.
  • Lack of defaults. While highly configurable, Blackboard is really intimidating for instructors used to default course structures. You can lock this down, but our users enjoy the customizability - which causes issues providing for both values. Instructors have multiple ways to do tasks - and often there isn't a clear pathway.
  • Lack of focus on core. Blackboard keeps releasing new products : Analytics (usage), Transact (purchase / card system), Ally (accessibility), Predict (early warning)... while the core experience lags behind. Blackboard is trying to sell the idea that their stuff works well with their stuff... while competitors keep improving the core system and make integrations easier. Personally, I believe Blackboard needs to refocus on the core competencies.
  • Lack of communication / proactivity. Blackboard relied on an integration with Crocodoc for assignment markup. Crocodoc was purchased and shuttered by Box, who had a general press release a year out. Blackboard worked with Box to replace this functionality - but DID NOT DO A GOOD JOB. Communication on progress was non-existant, it required an unplanned restart, and there was a massive feature loss. We still experience some performance issues, and it's been over a year since the switch.
  • Lack of migration pathway. There are distinct differences between self-hosted and cloud-hosted. The migration path from self hosted to cloud hosted is just as complex as migrating to another LMS. Blackboard has been really pushing cloud-hosted as a better experience, but many institutions of our size have had extreme difficulty migrating and some have ultimately switched to a competitor and had an easier time migrating. If you are considering going to the cloud, Blackboard SaaS will probably be as big of a change as a competitor.
  • Poor Branding. Ultra is a ubiquitous term that Blackboard has settled on, but there are too many Ultras. Ultra was originally the branding for SaaS, a technology that was Vaporware for two years and then ultimately came out half-completed. Then they started offering Collaborate Ultra, Ultra Course View and Ultra Experience. I think there is even now an Ultra theme that is available for Learn Original. They need to find another word, because it's extremely confusing for administrators - let alone instructors.
Blackboard Learn does the basics really well - but it's not pretty. It has a lot of options, and may be customized to meet specific needs better than the default options available with competing software. It's getting better, slowly, and adapting to a web-first / mobile-first strategy. It's a great option if you are already investing in the Blackboard ecosystem and have been impressed by any of Blackboard other products.
Read Matthew Deakyne's full review
Mounika Chirasani profile photo
February 09, 2019

Great Tool for Learning

Score 8 out of 10
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I've used Blackboard both as a teaching assistant and a student.
  • As a student, I get mobile access and notifications about grades, announcements, and course changes that help me manage my learning.
  • As an instructor, Blackboard lets me integrate a lot of different types of media, structure time released content, vary assessments, and deliver individualized learning opportunities.
  • 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.
  • I find it difficult to transfer information from one semester to another.
  • Slow (even when on the same network node or high-speed cable connection) -- needs a code rewrite/optimization.
Blackboard is one of the pinnacle learning suites out there. I've had the privilege of being a student and a teacher with BlackBoard and have to say that I have never been let down by the number of plugins that teachers can use and the ease of navigation for students. This tool really does check all of the boxes and makes remote learning a little bit easier.
Read Mounika Chirasani's full review
Mark Fitzgerald profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is used for the majority of courses at our university. Each class uses it differently from just posting a syllabus to a grade book, to robust use of Collaborate, discussion boards, and content submission. It is up to each professor how deep they choose to use the tool in aiding instruction.
  • It can be configured to do anything you want.
  • It makes it easier for the students have a common destination for information.
  • I like that I can do all of my assessments and grading in one place.
  • It can be configured to do anything you want. Be careful.
  • Its architecture feels old, but because they support so many schools that are change adverse, it is hard to update.
I really think that Blackboard gets a bad rap. It is a solid tool with years of experience behind it. It can do all that you need it to do and you can configure it to look the way you want it to be - if your global administers allow it. An institution needs to decide how much and what type of flexibility it is going to allow. But the tool can do it.
Read Mark Fitzgerald's full review
Erica Terry profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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I was a user of Blackboard as a student, I took a certification to further my career and it was built in Blackboard Learn. I would suggest using it in my institution, as I feel it is very user-friendly, easy to follow, and has through instructions on how to use.
  • The organization of files
  • You can have different tabs to separate items to make it easier for student use
  • Submission of testing and assignments was clear, and easy to use.
  • I did not find anything the software itself could do better, just the way the administrator had the information set up in the courses.
It is well suited for any and all learning options, be it degree-seeking, certification, taking a class here or there, professional development, etc. I feel this is one of the easier online modalities currently offered in the field. I enjoy working with blackboard over Canvas and some others. I think they are more suitable for student needs.
Read Erica Terry's full review
Mark Nowowiejski profile photo
Score 5 out of 10
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Blackboard is one of the leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) is the education industry. The platform is fairly flexible and integrates well with most Student Information Systems (SIS) allowing a school or higher education university to automate the creation of a 'website' for each section it may be running from semester to semester as well as supporting the manual creation of 1-off 'Organization' sites as needed.

Using the Blackboard LMS allows faculty who may be technical novices to easily share files, store and grade assignments and scan written submissions for originality. While the initial course shell or template is fairly basic, a user with basic HTML/CSS knowledge can unlock a lot of the system's potential. There are also ways to add javascript enhanced elements and SCORM modules from programs such as Articulate or Captivate, but that is most likely more suited for advanced technical users such as Instructional Technologist or Designers.
  • The assignment tool is very helpful, it allows for individual and group assignment submission and can scan all work for originality via the integration of SafeAssign. This feature also acts as a repository for resolving student grade challenges and in collecting data for accreditation efforts.
  • The open HTML features allow for incorporation of video very easily through embed codes or mashup tools
  • Communication - the announcement, emails, discussion boards, and group tools allow enhance the classroom and allow students to stay engaged without the need to know 50 different email addresses.
  • Blackboard ingrates very well with hundred of 3rd party tools either through a building block installion on LTI link. Very help for incorporating publishing content from a textbook for example.
  • The Mobile features off the site and lagging behind, especially if you try to access the site through phone on safari or chrome vs the BB Mobile app.
  • While Blackboard allows for HTML and CSS it has a bad habit of throwing extra tags and other forms 'of junk' HTML after saving that slow down the system and hurt accessibility for screen readers.
  • The UI of BB Learn overall is dated and in major need of modern re-design
  • BB Learn lack a common search feature, mean students have no choice but the hunt and peck around course looking a specfic peice of content.
  • While this may be a result of my version of the system being self-hosted I have found Blackboard to overall be a slower platform than other LMS systems such as Canvas or Coursera
If I were talking to somebody who has yet to adopt an LMS I would tell them to skip Blackboard and directly to Canvas.
That said Blackboard is best suited for higher education where some sort of verification or course registration is required.

It doesn't do self-registration and lack a shopping cart/pay feature making it hard for 1 - off learning and career development.

Blackboard is not well suited for Corporate Training.
Read Mark Nowowiejski's full review
Brittney Vigna MPH, CHES, CPH profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is used by almost everyone at the University of Alabama. I use it to manage student organizations and for classes I teach. For large student organizations, Blackboard is essential for keeping everyone on the same page. We use it to share documents and important information because we can ensure it will be sent to all of the necessary recipients.
  • Blackboard is pretty intuitive to learn. It's not very hard to figure out what you need to do.
  • The assessments are easy to create and easy for students to take. The deadlines are helpful as well.
  • It's nice that there isn't a limit for the content that you are able to put on Blackboard.
  • On Mac specifically, when you pull up the full grade center, for some reason it won't let you scroll over.
  • Deleting everything is SO time consuming. There isn't a way to bulk delete columns for grading.
Blackboard is definitely good for higher education or anything where you would need to have a grading/testing system in place. I don't think that it would necessarily be best for companies that aren't doing this. If you were trying to edit something or create a project as a group, I don't think Blackboard would be the best option.
Read Brittney Vigna MPH, CHES, CPH's full review
Pearce Muncy profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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It’s being used across the university as a class hub.
  • Great file repository.
  • Good for in-depth documentation layouts.
  • Good for record keeping.
  • Better mobile integration.
  • More online training.
  • More walkthrough samples.
Great for class tracking or online documentation.
Read Pearce Muncy's full review
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February 07, 2019

Blackboard Learn Review

Score 7 out of 10
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Blackboard Learn is our online and course management software that we've been using for several years now at our university. It is used across campus for both traditional classroom planning and for online courses and students. We use it from first-year freshmen undergrad students all the way through graduate and adult/online learners. It helps us manage our online and some traditional components for faculty and students.
  • Great for online course management.
  • Ease of use for the Registrars, office, and staff.
  • Online learning courses go very, very well for students and faculty.
  • The interface is a little hard to navigate at first.
  • Some of the components for course management are a little clunky compared to competitors.
  • Can be capped out on some course offerings.
Blackboard Learn is a very good solution if you are familiar and using other Blackboard products and modules. We looked at a number of other course management options and Blackboard was decided on because we use other Blackboard products. It wasn't necessarily the best out there but we found it worked best for our faculty/staff/students because they were more familiar with the overall brand.
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February 23, 2019

Performs as expected

Score 8 out of 10
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I use Blackboard to manage my courses, access documents, take quizzes, view grades, and communicate with peers and faculty. It is used across the entire institution, excluding one school.
  • Clear, consistent organization/menus.
  • Communication tools within Blackboard and email.
  • The tools section is overwhelming and a lot of them don't seem useful.
  • Limited functionality of the mobile app.
Works well for medium-large classes for communication and the posting of readings/slides/assignments.
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Score 7 out of 10
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BlackBoard Learn is used as the education platform for teaching online nursing students. It is used to provide classes, tests, student presentations and online conferences
  • Allows an on-line classroom to be divided into breakout rooms when smaller work groups are needed
  • Allows in a fairly easy framework to navigate a forum that interacts via camera & audio in a synchronous on -line class
  • Allows classes to be recorded and effortless archiving of the class recordings
  • The recent upgraded version has affected the connectivity for the instructors & students with frequent bumps out of the session - breaking the teaching thread
  • Loading of presentations can have technology glitches that don't occur from student to student or instructor to instructor
  • Company support team is reluctant to help on-line support unless the facility/organization's support team have been utilized first, which often is not possible when problems occur after hours when evening classes are in session and organization's IT staff leave at 5 pm.
  • Grading center in BlackBoard was recently upgraded and this has increased the labor intensity of the instructor grading assignments within BlackBoard
BlackBoard is suitable for large classes combining group sections and making a large platform for presentation. It is a program that can give a group of instructors a way to share a class in a very fluid manner constructing sessions, sections and combining and separating groups as needed very quickly.

BlackBoard is no longer a stable enough environment (connectivity issues in the new version) for individual and instructor testing sessions on video. Some of the nursing courses being online require a visual clinical skills demonstration and this current version is not stable for this testing via camera sharing.
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Donna Kjellander profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Blackboard is used as a learning platform for online and campus classes for students to access learning information. The software addresses the need of giving students access to information to learn.
  • Blackboard is fairly easily to use, no large learning curve is needed.
  • Blackboard has very little down time.
  • Blackboard several add-on functionalities that add value.
  • The clickable rubric is a great tool...although the point system should not be broken down to such tiny small points.
  • Blackboard has a lot of room for improvement in terms of notifications. If a student posts an assignment or updates something there is no notification upon logging to make a professor aware.
  • Using videos in Blackboard is very challenging, if you design your own and want to upload them. They used to appear on the home page but they no longer do.
  • The threaded discussions are hard to follow because every thread opens rather than allowing the reader to select the threads they want to read.
  • The notification for a makeup exam or an overridden grade are the same notification in the gradebook versus if the grades updated automatically as some of their competition programs do.
  • Blackboard is my least favorite system to work with due to not be as user friendly as other programs.
  • The clickable rubrics are great, but they should focus on whole points instead of .1, .2, .3, .4, and so on.
If you are doing a hybrid course, then Blackboard works, but for a full online college course Blackboard is behind in its technology. Blackboard offers a wide variety of add-on's some are useful and some are not. The engagement tool holds no value unless you are blind and can't see what students are posting. The clickable rubrics are one of the greatest tools out there, but the score breakdown needs work.
Read Donna Kjellander's full review
Rachel Hudish profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I have worked for multiple institutions that have used Blackboard as its primary LMS for online course delivery. Blackboard Learn integrates with several publisher textbooks, such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill. However, without an integrated CMS, user and course data must be managed manually, which can be time-consuming and tedious if mismanaged.
Blackboard Collaborate could use some improvement as it does not function on par with comparable video conference software. Its integration into Blackboard makes Collaborate one less system for learners to log into, but its functionalities are limited. Adobe Connect can be linked within Blackboard, but still launches externally.
  • Textbook integration: Instructors can easily pair courses with publisher content, such as quizzes, educational videos, and online texts.
  • Discussion boards: Students can easily discuss topics in Blackboard forums, which offers nested views for easier organization of replies.
  • The grade book is easy to manage data and set up.
  • Easy for learners to access across institiutions because Blackboard is an industry standard.
  • Blackboard needs to improve their mobile access as it should be integrated into Learn, not a separate entity altogether.
  • Blackboard Collaborate crashes and freezes during delivery of live training events and it has minimal functionality.
  • The Common Cartridge does not function well when moving content from one LMS to another. It loads everything as a link and opens in a new plain text window, making workflow tedious. If migrating many courses between Blackboard, and say, Canvas, for example, Blackboard will recommend a third party company to handle the migration instead of fixing the issue in their system to get the Common Cartridge to load properly.
Blackboard is an industry standard for training and higher education, because of this, many users who have experience using it in higher education can easily use it when they move onto government or corporate training. It is easy to use and manage as a content developer. It is best suited to manage course documents, facilitate outside of class discussion, gather important student assessment data, and analyze course assessment results for areas of improvement.
Read Rachel Hudish's full review
Sujata Krishna profile photo
December 13, 2016

Blackboard Review

Score 6 out of 10
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Blackboard is currently being used across the whole organization. It serves as our main learning LMS at the university to distribute resource materials, upload student assignments, gradebook, and main online course tool as well.
  • Easy to use. It has an intuitive interface that instructors can readily customize.
  • Easy to copy a course onto new versions for follow-on semesters.
  • Easy gradebook for students and instructors to keep track of grades.
  • Does not sync gradebook well with all other platforms e.g. with WebAssign, which I use for online homework assignments.
  • Not easy to create html-free surveys. Usually there are some tags inside the saved response files.
  • Not easy to write Math.
Not so good for sciences, better for arts and humanities.
Read Sujata Krishna's full review
Eric Kunnen profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Blackboard is the enterprise course management solution at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). All faculty, staff, and students have accounts on the system and every course each semester has a Blackboard course site available for faculty to use in their teaching. In addition, organization sites are used by a wide array of departments and student groups.

In addition to traditional face to face courses, the Blackboard learning environment is used by GVSU's online and hybrid classes as the virtual classroom, enabling faculty to deliver engaging content and media while providing active learning-based assignments and assessments which include student feedback. Blackboard powers a collaborative and high-touch campus community with communication tools that span the range of asynchronous (announcements, email, discussion boards, etc.) to synchronous tools that include Blackboard Enterprise Instant Messaging and real-time live capabilities with Blackboard Collaborate.

By leveraging the system to provide role-based information through personalized information with the Blackboard Community system portal, the university can fine tune messaging and help to communicate through the clutter. In addition, the Enterprise Survey tool within the Blackboard system helps to deliver surveys and serves as an effective way to learn the pulse of the faculty, staff, and students.

Blackboard powers the networked learning environment at GVSU.
  • Blackboard is an effortless, easy-to-use, and scalable environment that includes a suite of tools and capabilities that enhance face to face teaching while powering high quality online and hybrid teaching and learning.
  • Blackboard empowers universities, colleges, and K12 schools with the ability to extend the boundaries of the classroom through content delivery, assessment, and a suite of communication tools.
  • Blackboard provides an environment of customization, personalization, and integration through the Building Blocks program. This provides an effective way to extend the capabilities of the system through the addition of third party, open source, and home grown applications.
  • Blackboard is focused on accessibility and the support of a variety of standards that include LTI and ADA.
  • As Blackboard has grown in adoption, popularity, and use over the years, one challenge has been supporting a multitude of users and campus constituencies that are running a wide variety of hardware and software versions. The Blackboard listserv community has come along side of users to assist users by the sharing of clients, along with a newly renewed focus on end user support.
  • With the wealth of tools and capabilities, as well as Blackboard acquisitions over the years, the integration of these tools has sometimes lagged and taken longer due to competing priorities with support, new product development, and maintenance. With new leadership at Blackboard in the past few years, the integration of a variety of solutions and tools is now a clear priority.
The key questions to ask during the selection process would be how well the product facilitates the following:
1) Ease of Use
2) Scalability
3) Accessibility
4) Support
5) Integration Capabilities
6) Community Activity
7) Quality and Depth of Features
Read Eric Kunnen's full review
Annaliza Marks profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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I work for a small liberal arts college that is state run. We use Blackboard primarily for supplemental course materials, such as PowerPoints, assignments, assessments and student grades and we use it for 100% fully deployed online courses. We average about 40-60 online courses and 250-300 supplemental courses. About 85% of our students use Blackboard in some manner. We also work with the K-12 community and off campus programming. Web courses, webinars, business meetings and dual credit courses for high school students are being used in Blackboard. We also have a full online program developed specifically for the Department of Military Affairs and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Our newest project involves online courses that are combined with our students and international students developed through the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiative. We currently have three COIL courses that work specifically with students in Spain and have plans to develop other courses in a few different countries.
  • Blackboard is very detailed. It has all the bells and whistles anyone can ask for in a Learning Management system. Especially for the instructor. Features like the retention center keeps the instructors engaged and helps students who may need a little extra attention.
  • Blackboard is very easy for the students and the instructors to use. There are a lot of training materials developed by Blackboard (and by other schools), including written manuals and videos that students and instructors can watch.
  • Blackboard has a lot extra features in modules that can be downloaded and installed by the administrator that can make your instance unique to any other school.
  • Blackboard is very helpful and quick to provide a solution when there is an issue. The technical support is fantastic and are always willing to help you with any issue.
  • The mathematical functions in Blackboard are weak and hard to use for our math instructors. Most people don't even know that a whiteboard containing mathematical functions exists and when they do learn, it is so confusing that the instructor gives up.
  • The mathematical calculations in the Grade Center are weak. It does not take into account the null values so the averages are sometimes skewed. I have to remind instructors that they have to put a zero into the null value or their averages will not be correct. It is also very difficult if an instructor wants to create an average, then add them together and then average the total points. In other words, if the instructors wans to do anything besides a basic class average, it requires quite a bit of work.
  • The browser compatibility issues need a lot of work. Most of our students expect to use Internet Explorer and then have a lot of issues with Blackboard, or Java does an update and everything doesn't work like it should. Blackboard needs to find a better, faster way of keeping up with the updates in browsers and Java. Our students get frustrated, and I get frustrated, when I have to constantly remind them to use a browser other than Internet Explorer.
  • Blackboard claims that it is customizable however to make the "look and feel" of the Learning Management System unique is very limited. The log in screen is customizable however doing so is difficult and requires some coding knowledge. Although I have managed to customize our log in screen (because I am a software engineer), I have spoken with a lot of other schools who did not have someone on staff who could write code for the customization.
The first question I ask is, "what are they planning to use it for"? I believe the number of users will make a difference in whether or not they should use Blackboard. Blackboard is a very robust system and may not be needed for a small amount of users. It would not be cost effective and using an open source system like Moodle, may be a better [option]. I also would have to look at who they have on staff. Blackboard is a great LMS out of the box and provides a lot of support if there is an issue. Some of the other LMSs do not have the same kind of support. For example, Moodle has no support so unless they have an expert on staff, they could run into issues that would be difficult to manage or repair.
Read Annaliza Marks's full review
Eric Lech profile photo
September 28, 2015

Blackboard Review

Score 4 out of 10
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In my previous position, we were using Blackboard Learn through a consortium with Blended Schools Network to build a Virtual Academy for at risk students.
  • Blackboard allowed for easy import and export of content from publishers like test generation in the Exam View Suite.
  • The integration of Blackboard with Turn It In was also a positive of its use in the K-12 setting.
  • Blackboard required significant training for new users to set up classes and incorporate their own content.
  • The user management was a bit cumbersome, but this may have been due to Blended Schools restrictions.
I think it is a robust learning management system, but with the development of some newer and easier to use tools, it is no longer a top choice for me.
Read Eric Lech's full review
James Gurney profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Blackboard was used as an online resource for courses in all departments at the University of Georgia. It served as a tool to disseminate syllabi, course readings, handouts, Power Point slides, notes, and study guides. It also allowed instructors to create discussion boards for students to share their thoughts, questions, and comments regarding course topics. Some instructors used Blackboard as a means for collecting written assignments and administering quizzes. Finally, it served as an online database for grades and course progress. It addressed several problems, including: handing out readings/course packets, administering quizzes, and making sure that students had a safe space for sharing their comments with their peers as well as with their instructors.
  • The email service in Blackboard allowed teachers to send group messages to the entire class very easily.
  • The discussion board feature of Blackboard helped facilitate group discussion and gave students who may have been shy in class or did not think of a comment in time a place to share their thoughts.
  • The grade book feature of Blackboard allowed students to quickly access their progress in the course.
  • Posting slides and presentation notes allowed students to come to class more prepared.
  • The email service operated only within Blackboard. In order to have messages forwarded out of the system, one needed to change the settings. This led to a number of emails being lost, especially when students were not familiar with the system.
  • Posting course readings online could be problematic because students would not take the time to read articles on their computer or devices. Hard copies tended to get better results.
  • Discussion boards could sometimes be hard to track. Replies to user comments could get lost in the board, resulting in a lack of response.
Blackboard is particularly well suited for a class that meets in person. When used as a supplement to in-person meetings, Blackboard can be a very strong resource because of the announcement section and the ability to create discussion boards. However, for classes that only hold online meetings, Blackboard sometimes proves lacking because of the inability to add video/audio recordings for lectures. Purely online classes become more like an online reading club than a true class.
Read James Gurney's full review
Karen Ratliff, Ed.D profile photo
September 18, 2015

Blackboard Brand

Score 9 out of 10
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Blackboard is being used by my organization because students and teachers use Blackboard to facilitate curriculum and learn curriculum.
  • Blackboard is easy to navigate
  • Blackboard allows teachers to move back and forth between various screens.
  • Blackboard provides faculty and staff with email access through the university.
  • Blackboard provides tutorials on how to navigate the system.
  • Blackboard does not provide regular software updates. I've used Blackboard for the past eight years and not a lot has changed.
Read Karen Ratliff, Ed.D's full review
Karl Plesz profile photo
Score 2 out of 10
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Blackboard is being used to deliver webinars to customers both within the education system and for corporate clients. It allows for clients to participate in training without having to travel to a classroom. The business problems it addresses include clients' inability to get to training; overhead associated with physical classrooms; and flexibility for content delivery.
  • Students can speak to the class if they have the correct hardware. This allows for a two-way conversation, when applicable.
  • Students can virtually raise their hand, add emoticons to the chat and vote with canned answers. This makes up for the students' inability to always send audio.
  • It's relatively easy to switch between pre-loaded content (slides) and a live share of your desktop. This makes it easier to give examples of the concept you're teaching.
  • They need to find a way to eliminate the need for java. This is by far the biggest obstacle for the successful delivery of a webinar.
  • The ability to use Blackboard on any platform is a must now, including mobile devices.
  • There needs to be a way to monitor the quality of the internet connection as the moderator / instructor. We often have quality issues and drop-outs with no way of knowing what is at fault.
If you intend to use this in a closed network environment where the type of network connection, network speed and reliability can be known and controlled, this will work. The same applies to computer platform, browser brand and version, java version, etc. Otherwise, there are too many unknown and uncontrollable variables to make Blackboard guaranteed to work each time.
Read Karl Plesz's full review
Darin Nolan profile photo
Score 6 out of 10
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I currently use Blackboard Collaborate with my online teaching position at Insight School of Washington. We use Blackboard Collaborate as our live classroom with students. Students are required to attend a minimum of 1 hour of class connect time (Blackboard Collaborate). Each week we have a staff meeting that is also held in Blackboard Collaborate. Using Blackboard Collaborate allows our staff to connect with our students in a live environment.
  • Blackboard allows teachers to present content to our online students by uploading PowerPoint presentations.
  • Blackboard is a great tool for students to interact in a safe online environment.
  • Blackboard has the ability for teachers to share their desktop and occupy a students desktop to help students with their academics and computer problems.
  • Blackboard has the ability for teachers to share documents and websites live with students.
  • On many occasions the Blackboard website has been down or our connection to Blackboard is disrupted at ISWA.
  • Some platforms such as Mac Yosemite is not compatible with uploading PowerPoints. You have to upload your PowerPoint as an Open Office document.
  • Blackboard could be better by making the tools more user friendly.
Blackboard Collaborate is well suited for online schools to connect with their students. The tools within Blackboard need to be more user friendly for students. Some of the functions of Blackboard are limited. There can sometimes be a lag when sharing your desktop with students or a website. Loading the application can also take a lot of time. A person needs to make sure they have the most current version of Java installed on their computer to run Blackboard Collaborate.
Read Darin Nolan's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Course authoring (12)
Course catalog or library (12)
Player/Portal (10)
Learning content (13)
Mobile friendly (14)
Progress tracking & certifications (10)
Assignments (14)
Compliance management (8)
Learning administration (11)
Learning reporting & analytics (10)
Social learning (10)

About Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Inc. is an enterprise learning management systems vendor. Blackboard was founded in 1997 and became a public company in 2004. The company provides education, mobile, communication, and commerce software and related services to clients including education providers, corporations and government organizations. As of December 2010, Blackboard software and services are used by over 9,300 institutions in more than 60 countries. Blackboard Learn is the company's flagship LMS, supporting course management, test & assessment design and administration, and is extensible via Blackboard's suite of addable modules.

Blackboard Learn Competitors

Blackboard Learn Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No