Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn

Overview

Reviews

Learning Made easy

9
Blackboard Learn is currently being used as the learning management software to host courses that a student enrolls for a certain …
Read full review

Blackboard Learn for team work

10
I've used Blackboard Learn in my own area (Work Force), we use this to take Excel Courses so that our team lead keeps a track of our …
Read full review

User-friendly LMS

9
We use Blackboard Learn as our main learning management system to offer online and hybrid courses. Blackboard Learn is used across the …

Popular Features

View all 11 features

Assignments (29)

8.0
80%

Learning content (27)

7.6
76%

Learning reporting & analytics (25)

6.9
69%

Mobile friendly (29)

5.0
50%

Reviewer Pros & Cons

View all pros & cons

Pricing

View all pricing
N/A
Unavailable

What is 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…

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

Would you like us to let the vendor know that you want pricing?

5 people want pricing too

Alternatives Pricing

Sorry, this product's description is unavailable

What is Moodle?

Moodle is an open source Learning Management System used by educational institutions. The product is administered by the Moodle Project which is led by Moodle HQ in Australia.

Features Scorecard

Learning Management

7.0
70%

Product Details

What is 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 Video

Blackboard - The New Learning Experience

Blackboard Learn Competitors

Blackboard Learn Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Alternatives

View all alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 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.

What is Blackboard Learn's best feature?

Reviewers rate Assignments highest, with a score of 8.

Who uses Blackboard Learn?

The most common users of Blackboard Learn are from Mid-size Companies and the Higher Education industry.

Reviews

(1-25 of 30)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
April 20, 2021

Learning Made easy

Meena B | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Learn is currently being used as the learning management software to host courses that a student enrolls for a certain semester. Almost all the activities such as quizzes, classes, assignments and more are hosted on Blackboard Learn. I have used the mobile version as well. It is the perfect answer for students pursuing distance learning education along with their respective jobs. The best part is the Panopto video integration that allows students to listen to lectures at their convenience.
  • Hosting of courses associated with a particular semester
  • Integration with zoom and Panopto
  • Grading of the respecitive courses and also hosts the submission of student work related to the particular home work assignments, quizzes etc.,
  • Blackboard Learn has some limitations when it comes to submissions
  • It is not that user friendly, I had to spend some time to get a hang of it in the beginning
  • I have been struggling a bit with deletion of manually added courses
It is hard to think of scenarios that Blackboard Learn is not appropriate, I think it is one stop for all the learning management solutions and is well suited especially for distance learning students. It works the best for:
  1. Hosting quizzes, assignments, powerpoints related to course content
  2. Grading
  3. Surveys related to course progress etc,.
The only area where I did notice (probably a bug) is the submission of word documents. To be more elaborate the word documents submitted for assignments etc,. sometimes get messed up especially from a formatting perspective. Hence I always convert my word documents to pdf to submit them.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I've used Blackboard Learn in my own area (Work Force), we use this to take Excel Courses so that our team lead keeps a track of our learning process. We started using this product because there wasn't a way of keeping a track of the new thing we were learning at the time, this has allowed everyone across my area to know which courses are still missing and which courses have already been taken.
  • Easy access to modules
  • Easy access to documents
  • Tracking progesss
  • Mobile version view
  • Document sharing
  • Document uploading
[Blackboard Learn] is well suited when a group of people needs to learn new things but there isn't a product that allows a team lead to keep a track of all the progress, it's also resourceful when several modules have to be published.

[Blackboard Learn] is not suited for small groups of people that will only learn a few courses since [Blackboard Learn] is oriented on publishing several courses at the same time.
Craig Smallish | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard is used college wide.
  • Good for organizing content
  • The content formatting features are, well, how should I say this, terrible.
I've used Blackboard for many, many years. With each version I remain hopeful that the formatting tools will improve. Battling simple text formatting considerations have looong been a struggle, with the most recent "upgrade" leaving me in total and complete exasperation. No, that's not an exaggeration.

Yes, I do understand that importing text, and the process of copying and pasting can often include residual coding which can sometimes create havoc. Sadly however, I'm referring to the direct keystroke entry of content, directly within the Blackboard pane. Plain and simple, it's an absolute buggy nightmare.

Even the limited formatting tools that I found here on TrustRadius are:
  • Fabulous by comparison to Blackboard
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive for the first time user
  • Don't result in a wonky, embarrassing presentation
  • All of the above
Wow, look, even the bullet points and indents worked!
Honestly Blackboard, this is getting really, really old. Two words of advise, beta testing.
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard is used as a platform for students to send and receive school work. This program is operated by teachers as a web-based user software device to connect them to their students. It is incredibly important now due to the current world events regarding distancing.
  • It does what it is intended to do such as connecting students and teachers alike.
  • It allows teachers to upload assignments online to eliminate the use of paper.
  • Good platform to take tests and quizzes.
  • Sign-on errors are common and it may inhibit the students' ability to submit and receive assignments as directed.
  • It is hard to navigate at times if you are unfamiliar.
  • Not exactly user friendly.
  • Sometimes locations of assignments are not clear, very obscure.
  • Not a very appealing layout.
It is definitely something to use during a time of separation and "social distancing" but mainly because there are not that many options to begin with.
Itʻs a good platform for certain things such as tests. Blackboard may not be the most user friendly but there is always room for improvement in any website, business, etc. When used with other platforms such as Google Classroom, Blackboard can be more effective, but when used by itself I feel it is not as impactful from a student perspective.
Becca Guler | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Learn is used primarily as an online classroom. Blackboard Collaborate can be utilized to facilitate and record real-time lectures and discussions, but the main function of Blackboard is to provide a secure online space for professors to load course guidelines, content and student grades, as well as host non-synchronous discussion boards. It is also used by academic support programs such as mentoring and tutoring to post content and planning support for student access.
  • Accepts wide variety of file types.
  • Choice of layout options to fit different styles of courses.
  • Interface isn't very modern.
  • Low use of icons and heavy text make it tricky to navigate.
It works well for situations where lots of content needs to be posted and made available to students. The ability to make subfolders means that with just a little work, you can really make a LOT of resources readily available. It is not well-suited to resource CREATION, only posting/uploads, as it lacks capabilities to design and manipulate information in anything other than basic text forms and hyperlinks.
It's available, but it's not in a modern instant chat format. I don't like sending an email and waiting.
January 21, 2020

An excellent product

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Learn is one of the tools used by my school district for sending out various types of communications to our families. We have two different communication platforms that we are able to choose from when sending out information and Blackboard is always the one that I prefer to use.
  • It is really easy to create and save lists.
  • Multiple types of communications can be sent at one time.
  • It is not the easiest tool for people not as technology savvy to navigate.
  • Training is needed to master all the features.
I like Blackboard Learn best for sending out quick communications to a previously prepared list. Importing and creating custom lists can take a little more time. It is a good tool for people who like using technology. The availability of pre-loaded lists is a great time saver that helps streamline communications.
I have never needed to use the support. I guess that speaks for itself!
Rick Lupton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Timothy Sawah | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Katherine Moore | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Matthew Deakyne | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
February 10, 2019

Great Tool for Learning

Mounika Chirasani | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Mark Fitzgerald | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Mark Nowowiejski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Brittney Vigna MPH, CHES, CPH | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Pearce Muncy | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard Learn is used by our students and faculty to submit assignments, keep reading articles, and to get grades.
  • Keep classes organized
  • Keep grades and assignments in one place
  • I think it does everything it should.
  • Not missing any functionalities
  • Perfect for universities or places that have multiple classes that students have to track.
  • Perfect especially for universities that have colleges and departments that are very decentralized
Eric Kunnen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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
September 28, 2015

Blackboard Review

Eric Lech | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
February 23, 2019

Performs as expected

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
James Gurney | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Karl Plesz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I used Blackboard back in college and it was a great tool for connecting students with their professors. It made it so easy to access assignments or different handouts from class that you may have missed. In addition, it provides a way for you to virtually hand in assignments if you miss class or if it's easier for the professor to do it that way. The platform also allows for collaboration among student groups for class, because you're able to have discussion boards and your own group pages to collaborate with one another.
  • Collaboration
  • Discussion
  • Connecting educators and students
  • User-friendly
  • Access to assignments
  • Access to class information/updates
  • Not very visually appealing
  • Would be nice if all professors adopted it, some refuse to use it
  • Frequently get errors when sometimes handing in assignments or uploading documents
I think it's really well suited as a way for teachers to easily communicate with their students in a less formal way. If they need to send out an announcement to the class, it's very easy to do so and it assures that all students in the class get the message. In addition, if there's a snow day or the teacher will be out sick, it's a great platform to schedule a make up class or provide any missed materials because of the cancellation.
February 15, 2014

No Chalk Dust Here

Inez Whipple | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The college uses Blackboard to develop and deliver online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses for students. We also use it for faculty and staff training. It is the only learning management system used at the college and has been used here for quite a few years. It helps us keep our course content together and allows documentation for grades and communications between faculty and students.
  • It's super easy to use. Blackboard was originally developed for K-12 users and requires very little student training. It's mostly point and click for students. Faculty do need some in-depth training, but it's the simplest LMS I've used.
  • It's the biggest educational LMS, so they have a ton of experience in dealing with clients and IT departments. Our recent migrations and upgrades looked seamless from my POV - i.e. as someone not involved in the process.
  • They provide a lots of training resources for students and faculty on their YouTube site.
  • The biggest thing that annoys me about Blackboard is the HTML editor. It picks up the propriety code from Microsoft documents and adds it into the background of the text when you copy and paste from a MS product. This code slows down loading times for students which is especially important during timed testing and faculty don't even know they're doing it. I've seen test questions with at least 5 pages of code attached to it and another 3 pages attached to EACH question. Multiply that by 50 or 100 questions and it can really slow a student down. Blackboard really needs a "Copy from Word" button to strip this code.
  • I would love to use the module tool, however, it adds a Table of Contents that steals a ton of real estate from the screen. It would be great if that could be minimized.
  • The gradebook is terrible to use, but I haven't seen something better anywhere.
  • It's super expensive
Blackboard is probably best for institutions that are either really big or really small. Better options exist, but you really need to employ programmers to make them good, so it's usually not an option for smaller schools.
February 24, 2014

Blackboard is A-OK!

Angel Dawkins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Blackboard was used by the organization I worked for previously as the primary system for the online classroom. It was used across the entire organization to facilitate learning and communication between students and faculty members. IT staff such as myself also had access to it to support users when technical issues arose. The Blackboard platform created a more streamlined and easy-to-use classroom for the students; much better than previous versions.
  • Blackboard allows users to communicate with each other very well. Communication is one of the most important factors in an online classroom, and through the use of the Mail tool, Discussion boards, and the Gradebook, students were able to have easy access to their instructors and speak back and forth freely.
  • Blackboard integrated support tools such as TurnItIn very well also. Having modules such as TurnItIn integrated into the classroom interface gave instructors the help they needed to make sure students were completing their work ethically. Having the flexibility to add these types of tools as needed is a great strength for Blackboard.
  • Blackboard's administrative options are also a strength, I believe, because as a support analyst, I needed to be able to see what my users were seeing. Blackboard allowed us to see both the student and faculty view to best assist both of these types of users when they encountered problems in the classroom.
  • During my time as a support analyst, many users would complain that the online classroom timed out entirely too quickly. Now as an IT professional, I understand that timeout is completely necessary for the safety and security of the user's account, but perhaps a longer timeout period could be set as a compromise.
  • Integration with Java functionality was always a huge problem with users, especially when new versions came out. They would be unable to add attachments, use the HTML creator, and sometimes have issues with viewing Grades as well. Now some of this could possibly be attributed to user error, but perhaps the use of another tool that is not as volatile as Java would be of better use in the online classroom.
I honestly don't think there are any specific scenarios where the Blackboard Learn platform would be inappropriate, especially for an online classroom. It is highly customizable which can be a great option for certain clients and is a bit more friendly than other platforms such as Desire 2 Learn.
George Browne, CNE, CNA, MOS | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Greetings,

Blackboard is being used at my campus as a learning resource for students and a "Best Practices" collaborative platform for educators. Blackboard is not only being used at our campus, but it is used throughout the entire district with thousands of courses being implemented for learning by students and professionals. It is an online resource that our students and parent enjoy and appreciate.
  • Frame content. It is fairly painless to upload content and then make it live for end-users.
  • Is user friendly. it is relatively intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • As a online course interface it is very appealing to our students who find the GUI simple and effective in delivering concepts.
  • It could be better in the area of delivering animated graphics and video streams.
  • Having an integrated instant messaging component would be very helpful.
  • It would be great if the screen real estate was more "free form" and not locked into the BB standard frame.
Great for online course delivery and faculty collaboration; not such a great tool for "real-time" lectures or content delivery.