Blackboard Media Center
Blackboard. On the other hand, Blackboard has also advantages over Moodle. Blackboard provides more polished appearance of the course site and better gradebook so the instructors and the students can have clear updates on the progress of the latter. In Blackboard, in the continuous discussions, one can easily see the differences between the read and the unread posts, the latest and the old one. Also, the great advantage of using Blackboard is that announcements made by the instructors can be seen immediately by the students upon entering the course.
According to the Southern University at New Orleans, Blackboard also has features that allow instructors to improve or customize course contents and manage the students studying online. This online software also offers and allows an academic interaction wherein students and the faculty-in-charge can log in, using only one user name and password and get into the systems and access all courses components available in the Blackboard component. Thus, refusing to accept outsiders or nonstudents to enter and have access in the system. Blackboard provides software that is easy to learn.
It also allows instructors to combine or draw together all online materials into one and easy-to-view sites, enabling the students to have an easy navigation in the system. As mentioned, Blackboard can also accommodate any available files in any formats. A valuable storage for all course materials is also provided to ease in the usage of the system. The Boise State University provides some other features being provided by Blackboard. Additional assistance is being supplied by Blackboard, in case students and instructors encounter problems connected to the usage of the software system.
There are four assistance services provided. First is the Student Instructions for Blackboard, which is designed to aid in the basic functions of logging in, changing of passwords and updating personal information. Second is the Blackboard FAQ for Students which is an online database where some of the common inquiries of the students are being addressed. Third is the Student Online Privacy Notice which points out the rights and responsibilities of the users in terms of publication and the like. Lastly, is the Optional Plug-in Downloads for Blackboard which contains a set of links of files created by the instructors.
These four main features are highly beneficial for both the students and the instructors (2006). Summary and Conclusion With the fast development in the global education, educators tend to think of ways on how to make learning more enjoyable and accessible to the students and the concern. Technology has provided a lot of benefits in solving man’s inquiries. The latest that this technology provided human in terms of education is the development of the Course Management Systems (CMS) which makes distance learning possible and allows more room for learning beyond the conventional classroom setups.
CMS has been used by different sectors especially the educational sector—universities and colleges, high schools and other institutions whose primary goal is to make learning accessible to many through the utilization of the internet. From its first recognition in the 1990’s, CMS has developed further, encouraging other educators to follow the many people who are making use of this system. Educators, instructors and other education provider are the ones who are highly benefiting from this online technology.
With the increasing number of users of this kind of technology, many forms of Course Management Systems are emerging. Included in the lists are the three giants in this kind of industry—the Moodle, the WebCT and the Blackboard. In this research study, the usage, quality and users of these three CMS’s are being focused. With the aim of comparing the features and quality of these existing software institutional tools, the researcher conducted a survey to 40 educators. A Proportionate Stratified Random Sampling was used in determining the samples—20 old instructors and 20 new educators.
Through a questionnaire entitled, “Evaluation of the Three Course Management Systems (CMS’s): Moodle, WebCT and Blackboard,” the quality of the three software systems was assessed. The three are highly different from one another. However, since, Moodle is free of charge compared with WebCT and the Blackboard, majority of the respondents preferred the use of the mentioned online educational tool. Set points criteria were also highlighted, compared among the three and used to determine the quality of usage among the instructors. In terms of ease of usage, the three systems are highly chosen by the respondents.
Though, Moodle is more preferable because it charges no fee upon installation. Similarly, in the case of providing communication tools, Moodle gets the highest approval from the instructors sampled. However, in terms of data management specifically in posting of announcements and of new lessons, Blackboard posts a high rate of approval from the educators. Nonetheless, WebCT has features concerning grade scaling and students’ performance monitoring that is of high quality than the other systems. The three CMS under study posted features and services that differ from one another.
Though, already merged, Blackboard and the WebCT pose characteristics that differ from one another and become the subject of comparison. These software devices or services are being used by many other universities, colleges and educational institutions around the world, aside from the institution where this study was conducted. Nevertheless, given several set point criteria, based on the results of this study –the survey and the data analysis—the Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) open software system—is highly used by the majority of the respondents though some are new or have been into teaching for years.
It encompasses the services that the Blackboard and the WebCT can provide.
Blackboard Media Center. (2008). Blackboard and WebCT Announce Agreement to Merge. Retrieved June 4, 2008, from http://www. blackboard. com/company/press/release. aspx? id=767025 Boise State University. (2006, August 14). What is Blackboard?. Retrieved June 4, 2008, from http://itc. boisestate. edu/BbSupport/BbDocs/general/WhatisBlackboard. htm#top EduTools. (2006). CMS: Product Comparison System. Retrieved June 4, 2008, from http://www. edutools. info/compare. jsp? pj=8&i=358,386