BlackBoard is probably the most comprehensive learning tool available online today. This tool offers not only an unparalleled amount of support, but also features so massive and varied that it would be difficult to name them all by ourselves.
BlackBoard is a leader, and has been a leader, in the eLearning tool industry for a long time now. The BlackBoard eLearning platform is a stunning example of what can happen when a school comes together in an exciting, cohesive way under one program.
Although BlackBoard is extensive, it is by no means a one-trick pony. BlackBoard offers solutions to nearly every part of campus life, far more than any other eLearning platform ever does. It’s an exciting tool that could easily be a sign of things to come in the online learning marketplace.
- BlackBoard eLearning Tool: Summary Overview?
BlackBoard eLearning platform is a wide array of tools. These tools include ways to evaluate, analyze, create, and ascertain data about a wide variety of campus activities all at once, in an easy and convenient fashion.
BlackBoard is not a cheap system, but the fact that they offer an integrated platform to appeal to all aspects of campus life is very tempting to educators and administrators alike. This is definitely one of those systems for which we warned to set aside a large chunk of the budget. For a system like this, you’ll definitely need an implementation partner. Choose a local partner, so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to have constant on-the-ground help with anything that happens.
- BlackBoard: Who It’s For
BlackBoard is for any administrator or teacher who wants to integrate online learning tools with in-class learning tools. It is a complete campus system, and is focused on helping students and teachers learn and share together over the Internet.
In other words, it’s primarily for colleges. All levels of academia might benefit from a BlackBoard system, but it is primarily targeted towards colleges. There is also a spin-off branch, called BlackBoard Engage, which is targeted towards all the eLearning platform needs of a high school. This is a smaller version of BlackBoard for high schools.
- BlackBoard: Core eLearning Features
BlackBoard has seven major platforms. They are:
- BlackBoard Learn: This is the essential eLearning platform. This platform is geared towards professors, mainly, who want to access their courses at any time. It’s a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers to engage students in a variety of ways. Success is tracked both through reported scores and through assessing outcomes at the end of every marked period. This is a fantastic tool for educators who want to reach their students in a variety of ways.
- BlackBoard Collaborate: BlackBoard Collaborate is the way that everyone involved in the learning process can collaborate together. It’s an interactive experience, designed to keep students engaged at all times. Unlike with most LMS, BlackBoard Collaborate allows students to keep track of all of their assignments on a mobile phone, enabling them to be connected to the teacher and to each other at any time of the day.
- BlackBoard Connect: The BlackBoard Connect program is an offshoot of the others; honestly, it’s just another way to reach the students a teacher already has. This is for the mobile phone, and enables students and teachers to connect by text and to set alerts pertinent to the courses.
- BlackBoard Transact: BlackBoard Transact is one of the reasons we call BlackBoard a “total campus system,” rather than just an eLearning platform.
Transact is a card-scanning system, put into place by a local implementation company (see our list of LMS implementation companies). This allows students to use just one card in order to pay for meals, pay for on/off campus purchases, and access buildings. It also allows administrators and guards to control building access from a centralized location rather than relying on scattered guards.
- BlackBoard Analytics: When the course is over, and you have the data about student performance, what’s next? How do you move forward? With BlackBoard Analytics, it offers reports, predictions, and a data transformation model that a lot of teachers and administrators absolutely love.
- BlackBoard Mobile: Everything is mobile these days, and so is BlackBoard. Not only does BlackBoard Mobile enable a teacher to connect through a mobile device with his or her students, but to connect with the administration, as well as prospective and alumni students and teachers.
- BlackBoard Engage: This is the High School version of BlackBoard. It has many of the same features as the BlackBoard Learning System, but is delivered in a High School –sized package for the convenience of educators.
- BlackBoard Review: What’s Great About BlackBoard
BlackBoard is the most comprehensive LMS on the market, no doubt. It makes it a breeze to go through any system, and is infinitely customizable. The fact that it extends to all aspects of campus life is a very exciting, forward-thinking methodology of approach to LMS, one that we’re sure the world will see a lot more of in the coming years
BlackBoard offers more than any other LMS that we’ve seen. It’s not as easy to use, but it does have a completeness of service that makes it very attractive to higher education and academia in general.
- BlackBoard Review: What’s Not So Great About BlackBoard
BlackBoard is costly and complicated. There are no few ways around those two pitfalls. If your college is on a shoestring budget as is, you may want to steer away from asking for the funding to bring BlackBoard to your school.
It is also not the kind of thing that an individual teacher can simply set up. This is a program that needs an implementation company on the ground, willing to walk the entire school through every step of the journey. If your school is willing to provide that kind of help, the system is good and comprehensive enough that it will be well worth your while.
- BlackBoard Pricing / Cost Explained
BlackBoard has no fixed price. Now that the trepidation from learning that has settled, we can reveal that yes, BlackBoard is a costly system. There is no one price, since the implementation for every company, organization and school is different. Each price quote is customized to the system needs of the individual school.
- The Final Word: BlackBoard Conclusion
BlackBoard is a pricey, complicated, and fantastic system. If your school or organization has the money and the resources to invest in learning to use it, you should take them up on it. While it’s not as user-friendly as Moodle, it’s an excellent program for eLearning platforms that will keep students excited and engaged in a variety of ways. The results for professors and administrators are good enough that within a few years, the switch will seem nothing less than retrospectively inevitable.