Monday, November 13, 2006

The Versatility of Using BlackboardTM as an Instructional Tool.

Barbara Darroch, Craig S. Darroch, Paula M. Gale, Richard E. Joost, Tim N. Burcham, and Joseph E. Mehlhorn. Dept. of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Dept. Of Agri. & Natural Res., 144 Brehm Hall Univ. Of Tennessee At Martin, Martin, TN 38238

In 2001, the University of Tennessee at Martin adopted BlackboardTM as the campus standard for delivery of course materials online. Faculty members in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been using this course management software since it was first introduced. Some faculty have used Blackboard in a limited capacity to post grades and email students.  Progressive faculty have used enhanced features of Blackboard to stimulate critical thinking skills, to learn outside the traditional classroom, and to deliver online courses. Students have benefited from Blackboard features that provide instant feedback and flexibility in taking tests, allow them to track their progress in class, and give them improved access to course materials. This broad range of faculty and student experience with Blackboard has revealed some of the challenges associated with the use of course management software in online and traditional classroom environments. This paper will highlight faculty and student perspectives and provide insight that will help users integrate course management software into their curriculums.