EDITORIAL: Black to the drawing board

Editorial cartoon by TROY CARTWRIGHT Editorial Cartoonist
Editorial cartoon by TROY CARTWRIGHT Editorial Cartoonist

You’ve heard the term, “the one that got away.” Well, Angel Learning seems to be that one; in its place is Blackboard. It appeared like a bat out of hell and brought with it a sense of gloom and doom, drowning students in the darkness of ignorance. Not the best way to start a semester.

It began with glitches and quirks of the system still being worked out that many do not know how to resolve. Tutorials are not loading and playing correctly for users, which, for many students, is distracting and exasperating.

Trying to learn a new subject, program and system all at the same time can be overwhelming for some people. Not having easy access to the knowledge to answer questions as basic as “how does one contact a teacher or classmate through Blackboard” is maddening.

Although AC offered Blackboard training beginning last spring, many faculty members still do not seem to be comfortable with the system. It appears that some may not have taken advantage of the early training. Others may not have allowed themselves enough time to practice and learn the system before the fall semester began.

Faculty, it might have been better for some of you if you had received your Blackboard training earlier so you would have had more time to practice and learn the system before you had so many students coming to you for assistance. We understand having a lot to do, but it is hard to teach something you do not know or understand, and it must be embarrassing to have to acknowledge unfamiliarity rather than mastery of the new system.

While it is inconvenient and upsetting for new users, however, it is not the end of the world.

Adapting to Blackboard will go smoothly if students and instructors take a few moments to play with the system and report issues to teachers or the technical staff. When unsure of how to do or find something, asking questions about the system is the key to understanding.

Blackboard eventually may be a great tool for students and educators, but for now it is frustrating and time-consuming to use. Change is bound to happen, but it would have been far better if instructors and students had been required to receive some, more or better training before converting to the new system.

While such changes sometimes are a bit rocky, it is possible for them to go smoothly when there is good communication, preparation, gradual transitioning and enough support and technical staff available to address any issues that may arise.

To those who already know how to use this system, please share your knowledge with the rest of us. We’d like to join you up there in the light of understanding.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.