What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is a web-based learning system used by schools for giving instructions to students, for online interaction, and for educational assessment. It is a program/software built to enhance teaching methods and the learning processes of students.
Founded in 1977 by Matthew Pittinsky and Michael Chasen, Blackboard was designed to provide tech standards for learning applications available online. Originally, Blackboard featured only course syllabi and information, reference and study guides supplied by college and university teachers. Now it has evolved to having multi-language versions for use in different schools worldwide, with various features to enhance the teaching and learning experience.
The Blackboard Learning System, which is part of the Academic Suite, aids teachers and instructors in creating and managing course content, while allowing them to have an easy means of interacting or communicating with their students. The system also helps these instructors to evaluate student performance.
With Blackboard, course materials can be accessed online by the students. Activities and tests may also be administered on the web, allowing for student feedback. With online availability of information, group collaboration is easier as the system also allows for online discussions and chatting on virtual classrooms. Multiple formats of information can also be put on the Blackboard system, wherein students can choose which file format suits his/her learning style best. Students can also re-use and review previous tests and lessons, allowing for improved learning and improved grades. They also have the option to assess themselves through practice tests before taking the actual examination. And once a student completes an examination, his/her teacher can readily access the completed test and later exchange comments and feedbacks with this particular student. This allows for improved monitoring on the student’s learning processes and skills.
The only major drawback for Blackboard is that many faculty and students don’t find the system easy to use. With so many features and things you can do using the Blackboard learning system, many are still not tech-savvy enough to maximize its features and benefit from it.