As one of the more common learning management systems, Blackboard offers students and instructors a unique approach to the college experience. Blackboard assignments can take on a number of forms, ranging from discussion forums to online tests and quizzes. Students can complete blog assignments, allowing them to create a series of articles incorporating course resources as well as classmate feedback; additional assignments allow for the digital submission of the more traditional formal writing assignments. Blackboard also offers instructors the ability to post various resources, ranging from Power Point presentations with audio narration to external source links.
Additionally, Blackboard assignments offer several benefits that have fundamentally changed the learning experience. First and foremost, Blackboard assignments allow students to access course material on their own time; this allows for greater flexibility in completing college-level coursework while maintaining the responsibilities of family, employment, etc. Second, Blackboard assignments allow for an easier form of collaboration with other classmates. Through discussion forums and chat rooms, students are able to converse with one another in an electronic format; this ensures they can collaborate without having to physically be in one another’s presence, again allowing for greater flexibility.
When it comes to instruction, Blackboard assignments allow students to engage more directly with course content. Because instructors are able to post course materials in Blackboard, students can access these outside the classroom; they can engage with the content in more ways and more frequently than just the requisite credit hours per week. Finally, Blackboard assignments have positively contributed to students’ academic performance as they allow for faculty members to provide immediate or near-immediate feedback, as well as for students to respond to this feedback with the same degree of expediency.