Anyone use Blackboard out there? Is it the worst, bloated, awful mess of a program that you’ve ever had to work with? I can’t believe how difficult it is to make this thing work in a smooth fashion. For instance, why in the world do I have to create an assignment with a due date and NOT have it show up in the course calendar? How come I have to return to a completely different module and create a “Course Event” that does show up in the course calendar that says, “Reminder that you have an assignment due on this date.” Why is that not automatic? Why is there no communication between the modules? Why are there modules in the first place? Is there any reason why this has to be so obtuse? I’m pretty literate when it comes to working with such things, but I can’t point to a single intuitive portion of Blackboard. Not a single solitary intuitive portion. Here’s another good one: why do I have to click through five windows to grade an assignment? Homepage, Evaluation, Grade Center, Assignment Details, Assignment? Are they like Microsoft in that they have a stranglehold on the academic world so they can whatever they want? Are there any competing softwares/systems? I used to use the MyComp system from Pearson, but it had problems too, and wasn’t really cut out for creative classes. So, that’s what I’ve been doing tonight instead of writing. I don’t mind prepping the semester, but I mind having to search for twenty minutes to find out how to make the course available to my students because the link is in a different place than it was in the previous software update. Ugh. Blackboard people, take a look at facebook. Your system doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

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