Blackboard Learn Software


 

Blackboard Learn is an interactive learning management system (LMS) suitable for higher-education universities, K-12 schools, government and military programs, as well as large businesses in a variety of industries worldwide.

The suite features content authoring and virtual classroom capabilities, along with certification management, extended enterprise, and social learning functionality. Available either in managed hosting, self-hosting or software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments, Blackboard Learn also works on mobile devices so learners can access courses on the go.

The system features an in-system calendar so that users know due dates, along with an activity stream so important messages, projects, and courses that need attention surface to the top. Gamification features, including digital badges for learning achievements, are available along with e-commerce functionality so created courses can be resold outside the organization.

Pricing is based on the number of FTEs (full-time equivalent learners) that will be using the system on an annual basis and is customized towards the organization’s needs.

 

Blackboard Learn - My learning network
 
  • Blackboard Learn - My learning network
    My learning network
  • Blackboard Learn - Calendar
    Calendar
  • Blackboard Learn - Courses
    Courses
  • Blackboard Learn - Instructor messaging
    Instructor messaging
  • Blackboard Learn - Instructor resources
    Instructor resources
  • Blackboard Learn - Tools
    Tools
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8

89 Reviews of Blackboard Learn

 

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Software Advice Reviews (57)
More Reviews (32)

Showing 1-20 of 57

Cassie from Fca
Specialty: Engineering
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

February 2018

February 2018

The only way to learn!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

This product helped me get through my college years unscathed! Everything is right in front of you. It is very organized and helps keep track of all classes, schedules, and reports.

Cons

Blackboard does take some getting used to. It can be a little intimidating at first. I think what it really needs is a mini tutorial for first time users and that would help so much!

Review Source
 
 

Brittany from Institution
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

January 2018

January 2018

Not aware of all features

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A

I wish any integrated system or software could set up a way to record a live class post it to a course unit and have online student watch and participate as if they are a part of the on ground course.

Pros

So far I like what I am able to utilize. I like the way I receive notifications when someone posts.

Cons

I wish there was an easier way to view submitted items that were graded already.

And an easier way to copy assignments from course to course.

I wish it could Track attendance

Or notifications when certain assignments are submitted

Review Source
 
 

Matthew from Savannah Technical College
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

January 2018

January 2018

Instructors review

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

It’s great for keeping a digital storage for various course material. Easily able to import and export courses shells between other courses. Able to house all content in one area.

Cons

The time it takes to edit dates for each assignment and the fact that even when students submit discussions I can,to see who they directly responded to when grading the assignments

Review Source
 
 

Jake from USBChiro
Specialty: Healthcare / Medical
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

January 2018

January 2018

A software continually behind the times.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

If you are looking for this kind of system, I would suggest Canvas. It is was better. Easier to navigate, easier to customize, and works on every type of device.

Pros

I have used this for a total of 4 years. 1 year at my old position and 3 years at my current. Eventually you just get used to it. It has all of the basic tools to communicate, set up unique folders, in depth permissions, etc.

Cons

It is old and dated to work around. It still has issues working on Mac vs PC on random files. Videos often start playing on there own... or they don't play at all. It seems like any system update destroys all of your link you put on it.

Review Source
 
 

Lourdes from Nova Southeastern University
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

January 2018

January 2018

Clunky and Outdated

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Overall, I found to be an 80's platform trying to meet the needs of this century, not quite getting there. There are way too many steps to perform an action, and too many screens to get in and out of to access various modules.

Pros

It is widely used so there are a lot of videos in Youtube and a lot of information from academic communities.

Cons

The paths to reach a certain level to perform an action are too convoluted, it is too clunky and is not intuitive. I had an issue and it took their customer support over 10 days to respond and address the issue, which is a known bug in the software.

Review Source
 
 

Tim from Prodynamix
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

December 2017

December 2017

Better but not great

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

I have used this software for several years. The recent new release is quite a lot better than the pervious version. The current version is much easier to use.

Cons

Although this a good upgrade, it seems as though the product had not been upgraded in quite a while. It still needs a better user interface.

Review Source
 
 

Brian from Mercy Health
Specialty: Healthcare / Medical
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

November 2017

November 2017

Great way to manage several classes with great flexibility to match personal style

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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!”

Review Source
 
 

Kensei from Kleen Test Products
Specialty: Maintenance / Field Service
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

November 2017

November 2017

Great start to online learning but can be difficult to use

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

The menus are clean and simple
Easy to navigate the menus, different screens and options
Saves time and energy than going to an actual classroom

Cons

It is only as good as the instructor who sets it up.
blackboard is easy to use, but if the instructor is not computer savvy (or lazy) then you can have a difficult time using the software.
Maybe blackboard is harder to set up as an instructor than it is to use as a student

Review Source
 
 

Al from Merrimack College
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

October 2017

October 2017

Blackboard allows me to provide a compelling space for teaching and to inspire learning.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

There is little question about the advantages of Blackboard over other lms; however, the cost for using it year after year is a problem that bears consideration prospectively.

Pros

I like its many features, from the journal to the discussion board and the integrated gradebook. The discussion board is especially useful, as it can be manipulated to affect teaching strategy and learning outcomes. The gradebook is helpful because its weighting help students to understand where they are at all times in the course.

Cons

I do not like that, on occasion, copy and paste are difficult. I am not always happy with the ease of prioritizing items listed in certain aspects of the course.

Review Source
 
 

Brian from Walden's Puddle
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

August 2017

August 2017

Great student online software

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Pros

Ease of use is great. It is very intuitive, and combines with drag and drop, which saves a lot of time. Easy to communicate with students as well and will notify you of student communication. Overall, I really like this software.

Review Source
 
 

PROF from iei-llc
Specialty: Manufacturing
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

June 2017

June 2017

INSTRUCTOR AND STUDENT

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A

DISLIKE IT A LOT. OF MUCH BETTER STUFF OUT THERE

Pros

LOTS OF PLACES USE IT

Cons

CLUNKY AND UNFRIENDLY COULD GO ON FOREVER AND EVER AD EVER.

 
 

Nadiia from Roosevelt University
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

May 2017

May 2017

Mobile version is very hard to navigate and it is glitchy

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

It is pretty easy to find learning materials - everything in one place. Quite user-friendly and pretty straight forward navigation.

Cons

Very slow application for mobile devices, so far one of the worst I've ever used. To load the page takes forever, sometimes you are not able to see the updates from your device, so you have to log in with the computer.

 
 

Edward from Great Bay Community College
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

April 2017

April 2017

Blackboard - Helpful for course management

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Pros

There is a great deal of functionality. Just about every action the instructor needs is accommodated.

Cons

Difficult to master. This is because there is so much functionality. It takes some investment in time.

 
 

Alyssa from St. Edwards
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

March 2017

March 2017

It's great!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

It's a great product! Finding all my grades were easily accessible.

Pros

Checking my grades were easy. I could easily communicate with my teachers. All my assignments were easy to find.

Cons

I felt like blackboard had a lot of updates that would take forever. The site would be shut down for a while.

 
 

Elin from St. Edward's University
Specialty: Other
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

March 2017

March 2017

I like it!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

I really liked it!

Pros

Blackboard is easy to use and I got really used to using it. It is easy to navigate around and check grades.

Cons

It doesn't have as many features as it could and it could have a more creative interface. Other than that I really liked it!

 
 

Lauren from St. Edward's University
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

March 2017

March 2017

Not too bad

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A

I've used both Blackboard and Canvas in an educational environment. While Canvas has obvious strengths with many features available, Blackboard's ease of use has made Blackboard an everlasting tool at our school.

Pros

The interface is straightforward and easy to use. I could easily contact my professors and vice-versa. This was especially helpful for older professors who do not like the flashy parts of Canvas.

Cons

While the interface is easy to use, it's a bit outdated. There are not as many features as competitors such as group skyping, etc.

 
 

Chris from St ed
Specialty: Other
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

March 2017

March 2017

REVIEW ON BLACKBOARD

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A

I believe that blackboard is a good system, but it could use some improvement.

Pros

Fairly Navigable and user friendly

Cons

The student view was good but the professor side was hard toe

 
 

Kyle from IBM
Specialty: Engineering
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

March 2017

March 2017

Decent

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Used it for 5 years of engineering school. For the most part it was sufficient, but there were always the occasional outages and odd issues. Sometimes things were difficult to find, or teachers refused to fully adopt the service.

Pros

Centralized location for academic needs.

Cons

No uniformity forced bewtween professors.

 
 

Michael from Thriveworks
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

February 2017

February 2017

Outperforms the Competition

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Value for Money

Blackboard beats the competition - hands down. I've used this software for over 10 years. They constantly improve the software. It's very fluid. Grading is a breeze. As an instructor, I can locate assignments and post grades quick and easy. I can identify students who are struggling and are at risk of not completing the course. Blackboard keeps me in touch with my students. Likewise, it keeps my students in touch with me - and each other. There are so many options for creating assignments, allowing students to view content, or interact with each other. I love using Blackboard Learn.

Pros

Easy to navigate.
Simple to use.
Effective learning platform

 
 

Abha from Northwestern University
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

October 2016

October 2016

There are better softwares out there

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A

I used this product for a couple of classes for a year. Our university was in the process of phasing out BB. The interface is decently easy to use but you can miss some updates if you don't check it very often.

Pros

Viewing files and uploading homeworks is pretty easy.

Cons

The announcements from the TAs and the teachers don't get synced instantly. I have missed some change in deadlines because of this

 
 
 
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Showing 1-20 of 32

Albert from DealerClick
Number of employees: 11-50 employees Employees number: 11-50 employees

February 2018

February 2018

Abomination is an Understatement

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
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Product Quality
Quality
Value for Money
Value
Support

I had the opportunity to go to school online, or check assignments on a web-based platform. I liked that. But other than that, I cannot say a single good thing about it.

Pros

It is web-based. Some modules can be dragged and dropped. It has a lot of useless features I don't ever need or use, while missing ones that I do need.

Cons

Let's be real. Blackboard never heard of "less is more." They could learn a lesson from likes of Uber.

Here's what students need:

1. Educational content

2. Tasks with Due Dates and eventually grades

3. Chat (Group and Private)

4. Notifications

If a millennial designed Blackboard, the entire application could fit into a 3 page app, simple enough for a retard.

They went out of their way to make it complicated, so it would seem better on paper. They've put so many bells and whistles that it is an absolute nightmare for both students and professors alike. Confuses everyone and is a bottleneck in our educational system we should be doing without.

Review Source: Capterra
 


January 2018

January 2018

Clean and simple

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
Product Quality
Quality
Value for Money
Value
Support

It helps me to keep student data organized.

Pros

Blackboard allows me to organize a lot of data within one program. It's incredibly helpful for tracking student progress.

Cons

The user interface can be challenging to navigate and sometimes it freezes up or slows down and data is lost.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Peter from Univerisity of Amsterdam

December 2017

December 2017

I've used this software to TA 2 courses, and I hate it.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
Product Quality
Quality
Value for Money
Value
Pros

It does allow you to at least minimize your interaction with Blackboard by allowing you to download assignments in bulk (though an unintuitive interface of course)

Cons

- Everything is unintuitive. I find I usually have to Google tutorials on how to do basic things (e.g. download all assignment submissions)
- The UI is slow and clunky. e.g. you may find that you are allowed to edit some grades, but not others, with no clear explanation given.
- The front page has about 200 buttons on it, 2 of which you might ever use.
- Grading assignments is a painful process, involving a lot of clicking and waiting.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Timothy from DeGarmo Group
Number of employees: 11-50 employees Employees number: 11-50 employees

December 2017

December 2017

Complex but Powerful - You get a ton of features but that also makes it harder to use

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
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Pros

There are a ton of options in this software that allow you to do almost anything with it. Pretty much if you can dream it up, you can set up a course that does it.

Cons

The number of options available means that nothing is simple. The benefit of a platform with 5 options is that you don't have many choices to make. When you have 500 options, the choices can quickly get overwhelming. In an effort to be for everyone, Blackboard makes everyone suffer a little bit.

Review Source: Capterra
 


October 2017

October 2017

Blackboard has been around forever and does what you need.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
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Quality
Value for Money
Value
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Pros

Blackboard is one of the tried and true LMS. It has all of the features and functionality that you need and has great customer support. It is a bigger company and has corresponding resources.

Cons

Seems to be very general in what it offers compared to some competitors that have particularized features that might be better for specialized courses.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Matt from SBTS
Number of employees: 51-200 employees Employees number: 51-200 employees

August 2017

August 2017

An incredible way for businesses to train and educate employees and clients!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
Product Quality
Quality
Value for Money
Value
Support

Having this at our disposal has rapidly sped up training processes.

Pros

This was such a great solution for an area we didn't even realize we had a need in. Having this in place makes it incredibly easy to train and educate employees and clients alike!

Review Source: Capterra
 

Jen from Univ. of Iowa

August 2017

August 2017

This is a really helpful tool for employees to train on their own time and at different sites.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
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Pros

I love the ease of access and way it enables everyone to be on the same page and use time and resources effectively.

Cons

Not as many people in my office are familiar with Blackboard, so there is a learning curve, but if you can devote the time, it is very helpful.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Juan Number of employees: 1 employee Employees number: 1 employee

July 2017

July 2017

Great features for institutions. I have been using this for around two years and his functions work pretty well!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
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Quality
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Pros

The interfaz of the web page is quite useful, it makes a really good job for the purpose to be, the features to engage the user are meaningful.

Cons

It requires a lot of time to develop an activity because you have move from a lot of links inside the tasks.

Review Source: GetApp
 

Brian from Chaplain Training Academy
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

April 2017

April 2017

Great Solution for Annual Employee Training

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
Product Quality
Quality
Value for Money
Value
Support

Blackboard is a great tool for any training manager who is looking to develop e-learning courses for annual employee training requirements. It is easy to use and comes with lots of features.

Pros

Very rich features for managing course content, discussion boards, grade center.

Advice to Others

Compared to other products, Blackboard stands out as a leader of cloud-based LMS software solutions!

Review Source: Capterra
 

Matthew from Stroup Inc.

April 2017

April 2017

Cumbersome

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
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Quality
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I have had the pleasure of using this product in many of my life aspects. And I can say, without a doubt, I have loathed every minute of it.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Stephen from Mint Maids
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

February 2017

February 2017

Just OK, I would pass it up

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
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Having used Blackboard extensively, I can say that it is an unnecessarily bloated software. It is replete with links and features that you don't want and will never need.

That's not to say it's bad. It can do everything you need it to. It's just not very pretty while it's doing them.

It's also prone to blackouts on a monthly-ish basis.

Pros

lots of options

Cons

bloated
unnecessary fluff
service goes down occasionally

Review Source: Capterra
 

Kathleen from Fordham University

December 2016

December 2016

Blackboard in an Academic Setting

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Ease-of-use
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Functionality
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Quality

I have been using Blackboard for about ten years to support classroom lectures. None of these classes have involved distance learning. I primarily use "Content" to post documents, "Discussions" to exchange information with students, in the "Tools" section I post announcements, send emails, and track tasks, and I use the "Grade Center" to update the students regarding their progress. Because this is in a university setting our IT department has been responsible for customer support and software purchases. Overall my experience with Blackboard has been very positive. However, my university regularly updates the software and it is often difficult to locate features when the version changes. Small differences in the interface can make finding a particular feature difficult.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Josh from RMC Research Corporation

December 2016

December 2016

Good Software

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
Functionality
Functionality
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Quality
Value for Money
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Support

Learned about this software in a professional development course I was in and a fellow teacher showed me it. Very easy to use. lots of good features....

Pros

Offline mode.

Cons

Looks like it's from the early 2000's.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Andy from GSBA
Number of employees: 11-50 employees Employees number: 11-50 employees

December 2016

December 2016

A Tugboat Amongst Speedboats

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
Usability
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Quality
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The Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) for Business has the pedigree of a well-established education company behind it but, much like its Education-based software, lacks many of the bells and whistles of its competitors. Unlike its competitors, it lacks a modern interface and is largely unintuitive, if not overly complex to use. While it lacks in overall usability, it does has a number of useful tools, as well as a number of third-party extensions developed through strategic partnerships. Another strength is interoperability, making it easy to integrate with CRM management tools such as Salesforce. There are a number of other providers out there, including some that are free, that may meet the needs of those looking for entry level, non-enterprise software. I'd recommend dipping your toes in the water with one of them prior to making an investment in Blackboard to see if they better meet your needs. With a somewhat hefty price tag, it may be better than making the long term investment!

Pros

Interoperability, software extensions, and ability to build and scale coursework.

Cons

The software is somewhat unintuitive, with a cumbersome and clunky interface. The user interface and user experience is in dire need of a facelift.

Advice to Others

Be sure to take a test drive prior to making an investment. Don't rely solely on a sales demo to answer the questions you may have.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Rene from Kapital Financiera

December 2016

December 2016

Decent product, but expensive

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

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Great product for when your company doesn't have internal tech support. The company took care of everything for us. Unfortunately there were lots of limits and everything had an extra cost.

Pros

· Diverse approaches to problem-solving.
· Common language for interaction.
· Efficient storage of information
· Flexible representation of information.
· Iterative approach to problem-solving.
· Organized participation.

Cons

Expensive.
Long wait times for tech support.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Allexis from 2U

November 2016

November 2016

Helpful portal for students

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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Customer Support

Value for Money

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Blackboard is a great portal for students where they can submit and review feedback from assignments. When information is uploaded from the professor, it is inputted into the system automatically. It is also great for class discussions and journal entries. You can view responses from students and create a dialogue between the two submissions.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Farahman from Wayne State University

November 2016

November 2016

I use blackboard at school to do my assignments

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I am a student that takes a decent amount of online classes and blackboard allows me to do my assignments and take exams and quizzes with ease. It is quite easy to use and never really has any major bugs or issues and when it does they do a good job of letting you know what's going on and when it will be resolved.

Review Source: Capterra
 

Kathy from N/A

October 2016

October 2016

Blackboard review

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Generally a great tool, user interface could be cleaner. Love the social and collaborative aspects! sometimes LMS can silo or hinder the ability to be creative with learning paths

Review Source: Capterra
 

bobby from isdc

October 2016

October 2016

great product

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Ease-of-use
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Great product. Integrates perfectly with my education goals. I would highly recommend to anyone!!!

Review Source: Capterra
 

John from Seneca College
Number of employees: 1,001-5,000 employees Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees

March 2016

March 2016

a Long Term User's Honest Experience

Ease-of-use

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Support

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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.

Review Source: GetApp
 
 
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