Valencia’s Learning Technology Alternative Delivery team was part of Blackboard’s Course Delivery Suggestion Squad over the month of February and March. This is a new initiative using crowd sourcing for product improvements of Blackboard Learn that are geared towards course delivery functions. During this time a number of institutions around the nation received a chance to put votes towards a variety of enhancements that have been requested by educators, designers, and administrators around the nation through Blackboard Product Suggestion Box. Each institution was given a total of 15 votes to distribute among the 33 different suggested enhancements in which only a maximum of 3 votes could be cast towards a particular suggestion. The results were announcement on Tuesday March 22, 2011.
#1 Student Preview
Instructors and Admins do not have the ability to preview a course as a student. There should be a true student view for Instructors and Admins to use that shows the course exactly as a student would see it.
#2 Enforce Assessment Time Limit
Students are able to make submissions to Assessments after the timer expires. Instructors should have an option to not allow submissions after time has expired. It should also be easy to distinguish a late submission from one that was submitted on time.
#3 Update all dates on one screen
A single screen within a course where the Instructor can edit all content item access dates and Assignment due dates.
#4 Activity Reporting
Instructors and institutions need detailed information on how instructors and students are utilizing Blackboard. They require aggregate activity views in order to compare usage among students and instructors at a high level, as well as information at a detailed level to prove student and instructors time on task.
#5 Assignment Grading Update
Instructors want a much more efficient way of grading student assignment submissions. They want to Open, Review / Edit, and Save the student submission
Other enhancements were noted as being very important and followed certain themes throughout the process. Product Managers at Blackboard will use the votes to help prioritize feature development and the release strategy.
Remember past product enhancement have already been included in current Service Pack updates, such as the “Needs Grading” area of the Grade Center (SP3). Other product enhancements requests, such as gradable rubrics, are scheduled for future updates (Summer 2011 SP6).
Remember you can always submit your own product enhancements or suggestions to Blackboard via Blackboard Product Suggestion Box. It’s important to make these suggestions since you are the end users of this system who works with it daily.