Blackboard Learn Software

3.92 / 5 (219) FrontRunners®

About Blackboard Learn


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.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8

219 Reviews of Blackboard Learn

Average User Ratings

Overall

3.92 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

3.5

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(64)

4 stars

(92)

3 stars

(44)

2 stars

(12)

1 stars

(7)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 219 reviews

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November 2017

Brian from Mercy Health

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

3.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2017

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

Overall it’s an improvement over just 20 years ago when a syllabus and careful listening were the only way to connect with students. Also, I’ve had great success sharing ideas with colleagues. Of course, faculty can be just irritating as the abovementioned students. I’d say an “ignore” buttons would make this score go from a 7 to a 9.

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!”

February 2016

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: GetApp


Ease-of-use

2.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

February 2016

Well established platform

I am consulting for two institutions - the one a large higher education institution - 45 000+ Blackboard users - self hosted and the other - smaller business school - 1000+ Blackboard users - hosted. I present training and support to the faculty on how to use the LMS. Although one can discover a lot for yourself using the Blackboard help site, there are a few tips and tricks that make life a lot easier which is not always that intuitive. Problems that we are trying to solve: changing the faculty's teaching philosophy from traditional lecture based teaching to a more active learning environment. Blackboard certainly address that well - as long as you plan your activities properly, you can get excellent feedback for example let the students read or view a video on a specific concept and then let them write a pre-test before they come to the lecture. This will help you to identify where the gaps still exist which you can address then in class. Also using a flipped class room approach - Blackboard can be used to assist you in flipping your class room where you can also monitor and track which of your students engaged beforehand. I have been using WebCT and then Blackboard.

Pros

Everything is in one space - lots of tools - the sky is really the limit.
I also like the Best Practice parts of the help site - it helps you to get ideas of how you can use the tools.

Cons

In terms of support from Blackboard, sometimes the person who receives the inquiry do not read properly or English is a second language because we often have to explain again and again before they understand - that is the only frustration I currently have with the support.

It is unfortunately a very expensive product since the institutions are not based in the USA and therefore we are subjected to the exchange rate.

November 2018

Joel Thomas from MHJHS

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

As both a teacher and a student - Blackboard works for me

Make sure you explore the user guides and options, blackboard can be a powerful tool but some of it's features are less than obvious!

Pros

As a instructor blackboard lets me integrate a lot of different types of media through Kaltura, structure time released content ,vary assessments, and deliver individualized learning opportunities. All of these elements are crucial to my instruction. As a student, I get mobile access and notifications about grades, announcements, and course changes that help me manage my learning.

Cons

While the features are wonderful, they are somewhat convoluted to properly utilize, requiring more steps than I would like, and can sometimes be "hidden" in such ways that I have to refer back to user guides because it's not a very intuitive integration. Therefore, as a student, I find many of my professors do not fully take advantage of the learning management system because they have limited knowledge.

September 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2018

Blackboard LMS

Classrooms disorganized?! Not with Blackboard! This will make classroom administration a breeze, saving your instructors and administrators a lot of time and make your classroom management 1000% more efficient!

Pros

The greatest feature of this product is the ease of use with regards to its navigation. When we started using Blackboard LMS, I literally trained a large portion of our staff on the ins and outs of the software in less than 2 hours. This has made classroom organization the easiest it has been in decade. Our instructors can distribute class materials, assignments, and grades with a few clicks. It is absolutely amazing!

Cons

Installation can be both lengthy and problematic if you are moving from an incompatible LMS. While we were lucky, we still ran into bugs while making our transition. This was frustrating, but was luckily done during the summer, when attendance was at its lowest.

December 2018

Kenatu from TPDCo

Company Size: 1 employee

Review Source


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

4.0

December 2018

Hammer To Swat a Fly

Blackboard is a classic case of good product upgrading too much until you lose what made it great. It has a lot of value added features, so much so that you can no longer find the simple things. They should also focus on getting the bugs out of what is really needed and not focus so much on adding more. Keep it simple, stupid KISS. over all a pretty decent LMS but there are better for less.

Pros

Feature Rich - lots of value added functionality
Love that there are break out rooms for each session
Clickable rubrics - awesome
Cons 345/100 characters minimum

Cons

Grading system is too granular. if you use this it makes it too easy for a few bad assignments to tank students grades and gives the instructor more work.
What do you have against independent content. I create videos using Camtasia and Movavi, but its often a fight get them placed where I'd like or even to get them to run in the first place.

July 2018

Debbie from The Wilderness Center

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

2.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2018

Blackboard can be great...

Pros

I have used this system for as long as my university has had it available, 10+ years. I use it every semester and I am constantly finding new things it can do. It has been very helpful in keeping track and making available for my students their grades and assignments. It also has the ability to be personalized for each class.

Cons

As I said in the Pro's, I am always learning new things. The problem is I have to dig to find the information I am looking for and seeing what else blackboard can do. Also, I find it difficult to transfer information from one semester to another. I have used the help menu to find information but it is not very user friendly. You would think after 10+ years I would be more proficient but every semester I have to relearn the system.

March 2016

John from Seneca College

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Review Source: GetApp


Ease-of-use

1.0

Customer support

2.0

March 2016

a Long Term User's Honest Experience

Quick background, was in high tech sales and marketing for many years prior to teaching and heavily involved with custom Computer Graphics systems since Time Arts Lumena was around (predecessor to Photoshop). Check out my LinkedIn profile for more details. On to the product review -- I've been using Blackboard for *many* years, and have been teaching (and doing) Web Design and Development since 1993. I'm retiring shortly, so I can be absolutely frank and honest about my experience with this app without fear of upsetting IT folks or admins that I would have to work with in the future. Truthfully, the ONLY reason I use this app is because I have no alternative at the College where I teach and it gives the students easy access to information, but so would any LMS (Learning Management System). The UIX (User Interface Experience) is incredibly archaic and counter-intuitive. It's also painfully slow to use, as it does constant server requests (just paste the URL for a Blackboard connection into http://www.webpagetest.org/ for testing). Sometimes one single click every 15 seconds is all the system will react to when I'm using the grade book, etc. -- in the "real" world, without captive users, no one would ever return to a site with those response times. To be fair to Blackboard, part of that may (or may not) be our schools network or Blackboard interface setup. As far as usability, Blackboard needs to let the User Interface and UIX designers (if they even had any) direct the techs and coders. It's *very* obvious that it's been the reverse, . They should 'steal' some Apple UIX people and give them some *real* power to direct how the app works and what it looks like. I've just finished using Blackboard for 3 hours+ doing things that should have taken 1 hour or less had the interface been optimized and more thought out. For example, under the 'Assignments' and 'Course Documents' sections there is no easy way to reorder or batch select using something basic like check boxes or a multi-select hot keys. Also, any NEW assignment or document post goes to the BOTTOM (the absolute reverse of a Blog post) So I need to drag it back to the top (where it logically should go). However, even that is awkward, since when I drag to the top of the browser the window does not auto-scroll. I have to hold the left mouse button at the same time as I use my middle finger to roll the mouse wheel -- duh!!. There IS a small text window pop-up accessed via an archaic icon to reorder posts, however, that shows only 5 assignment titles at a time (no window resize function to show more than 5). I can reorder them there, but need to do a single mouse click each time it moves up one position, but again, with no way to see more than 5 and no way to multi-select. So, if I have 50 course documents and want to shift 5 new documents to the top (where they belong) that's almost 250 mouse clicks to re-position 5 documents to where they should be in the first place - duh!! In Gradebook it only shows 10 students listed by default. I can change the setting up to 50 but the next time I go back it's back or need to refresh something -- it's back to 10. It doesn't save defaults or give me a choice. This may seem to be nit-picking, but over the period of a 14 week semester that's a lot of wasted time time and clicks. I'm going to end my review here as I have more work to do, but when I saw a 4 star review for this LMS being the solo review I had to balance it out. Bottom line is, the concept is good -- many, many modules/tools in a LMS bundled package but the execution is absolutely awful. Just Google search 'Blackboard sucks' or 'I hate Blackboard' if you want real faculty and user opinions sans any marketing spin. Other telltale signs are when a company start to lose long-term clients. Ryerson University in Toronto just did a switch from Blackboard after "a multi-year consultation process". More on that process is here http://lms.blog.ryerson.ca/ Hopefully that last paragraph doesn't get censored, because that's the source of raw truth.

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.

March 2018

Phil from University of Otago

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

3.0

March 2018

This was the only LMS choice offered by my institution. Appreciated what it offered.

Pros

Blackboard makes organizing course content easy with standard options and the ability to add content with ease. Students enjoyed the standardized ability to track lecture notes, videos and access course readings. For me, it managed the basics of course content delivery really well.

Cons

Student management was challenging. I spent many hours working out how to grade material online and how to hide or show results for students. I found the help files not particularly useful for these challenges, and as these were things that I only performed once or twice per year, I tended to forget how to resolve these issues.

June 2018

Kyle from Computer Software

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2018

Love Blackboard - Used as a teacher and a student

Pros

Blackboard is one of the pinnacle learning suites out there. I've had the privilege of being a student and a teacher with BB and have to say that I have never been let down by the amount 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.

Cons

As a teacher, there are almost too many ways that you can configure the course room and it can get fairly overwhelming. As a student, I didn't really have any cons!

February 2017

Michael from Thriveworks

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2017

Outperforms the Competition

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

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

Blackboard

It was a lifesaver for me because I actually needed printed materials in alternate formats anyway, and it was aaccessible with my screen reader, JAWS. I would definitely recommend Blackboard as a means to provide course materials to students.

Pros

Blackboard makes it possible to teach courses fully online. It is also useful for courses that are being taught on-campus, because all the materials can be posted there so instructors don’t have to print multiple copies, and students can access them anytime. Instructors can also have blackboard grade quizzes and tests automatically (except essay questions have to be graded manually) so students can check their answers after submitting their work. Tests and quizzes can also be timed, and if you have students with disabilities who have extended time on tests as an accommodation, you can set them up with the additional time.

Cons

I used Blackboard the whole time I was in graduate school (2 years) for both online and on-campus courses, and I have only positive things to say about it.

April 2018

John from ERM Education

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality