Educational Technology & Society 2(1) 1999
ISSN 1436-4522

Blackboard Classroom

(Website review)

Reviewer: Jacqueline Klock
(Doctoral Candidate)
Instructional Technologist
Agnes Scott College, 141 East College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030 USA
Email: jklock@agnesscott.edu

1. Site URL:
  http://classroom.blackboard.net

2. Site title:
  Blackboard Classroom

3. Objective of the site:
  A way to put courses on line.

4. Expected audience:
  Instructors and students with internet access

5. Main topics covered:
  This is a site specifically to allow instructors of all levels to put their courses online. It is free for one to three classes with usually no space limit. You can either demo it for a month or select "Create a class" which allows you to have an unregistered class with more classroom management tools. The process is a straightforward. There is a five step wizard to create the pages. You can even import documents from other applications. Parts of each course can be password protected. It is up to the individual instructor as to what materials are online. However, if an instructor does not utilize all portions of the template, the navigation buttons are still present. There is no pressure to buy the system, but the benefits of doing so are elaborated on in the Blackboard Inc. home page.

The online student manual delineates how to use the site clearly. Navigation is consistent and easy to use.

This program is similar to FirstClass, WebCT, or other classroom management software including asynchronous and synchronous communication, grading, database reporting, and the ability for students to add to the site. There is an online help manual or you can pay a $100 fee for email and phone support. For multiple classes at the same institution, institutional licenses are available.

Examples of several types of courses that are now online include:

  • Arts and Science
    • Astronomy, Economics, History... 
  • Business and Management
    • Accounting, Finance, Marketing... 
  • Education and Social Work 
    • Teacher Training, Higher Education..
  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Professional Development 
6. Comments on usefulness and richness of each topic:
  This is a free, easy to use way to put curriculum online and has all the pieces needed for classroom management

7. Extent, appropriateness and quality of external links:
  No external links appear. These pages are only linked back to the Blackboard Inc. home page.

8. Special remarks
  While it is easy to load materials onsite, it might be useful to have examples on good uses of the site.

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