Curious Case Western Reserve University students may have noticed that the days of the Blackboard Learn course management tool being drab are over. The Website was updated Aug. 17 by CWRU Information Technology Services.
The upgrade not only changed the page’s design, but also added some new features, including better integrated grade reporting.
A new “Retention Center” was created, which will allow instructors to keep track of student’s performance throughout the course. Furthermore, new online grading functionality will allow instructors to view, edit and grade assignments within the browser, eradicating the need to download assignments before they are graded.
“I’m excited to see what the Blackboard team has come up with for improving features and simplifying the layout,” noted sophomore Karun Kumar Rao after hearing about the update. “Hopefully it will help more teachers adopt the platform and will make student’s workloads easier to manage.
Additionally, an improved Global Navigation menu will provide students with one-click access to all their Blackboard sites. A new panel will be added to the Global Navigation menu called “My Blackboard,” which will show students their posts, grades, upcoming assignments and calendar all from one place.
Blackboard is also going to become more user friendly through an improved content editor that will allow easier formatting and content posting. A new feature called Video Everywhere will give users the option to record videos on their webcam and embed the clips into the content editor.
Lastly, streamlined discussion forums will be organized and opened in one area, making them simpler to keep track of and read.
Sophomore Kenya Coleman was also impressed by the update.
“I applaud the new online grading assignment system since it will have a significantly positive impact regarding faculty and student interaction,” Coleman said. “Overall, I believe that these changes will be of major help for the student body because it will provide us with simpler ways to interact with our academics.”