BlackBoard: A Conversation Killer

As a great post by Bryan Alexander recently pointed out -how can you trace links to your site from others within BlackBoard so that the conversation can continue?

Answer: You can’t, silly rabbit!

After reading Bryan’s post, I tried a similar experiment with the same results, at least three links from various BlackBoard accounts that I have recieved will never allow for reciprocation. A CMS that just takes and takes and takes, while seldom giving. ‘Tis the season to scrap BlackBoard!

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5 Responses to BlackBoard: A Conversation Killer

  1. John Bachir says:

    ‘Tis the season to scrap BlackBoard!

    I agree. Can you think of any alternatives? 🙂

  2. jimgroom says:

    That is certainly one of the alternatives I had in mind, John! Long live Lyceum!

  3. Jerry says:

    An alternative to Blackboard that I have been hearing a lot about is Angel. While I have no firsthand knowledge with this product, folks who have migrated from Blackboard to Angel sing its praises.

    Now, I have no idea if the communication between course in Angel is any better than in Blackboard – maybe someone else has some insight on that.

  4. Thanks for the link!

    Alternatives – depends on your needs. Are you looking at getting faculty to use the web in innovative ways? A mix of Web 2.0 applications could surface some interesting projects. Do you need copyright protection? Some media storage plan might work.
    Have you looked into Elgg or Moodle?

  5. jimgroom says:


    Actually, I have been thinking a lot about alternatives to BlackBoard, and even had the opportunity to experiment with a few possibilities, most recently I have integrated a WordPress with Mediawiki and for some interesting results. My own class site, which is an English 101, can be found here(you can read more about the details in depth here). You may also want to check out some sites I have worked on with professors, namely the Poetic Sequence course with professors Claudia Emerson and Mara Scanlon. This is a distributed class that brings together twelve directed studies that meet sporadically throughout the semester. They are but using a group blog and wiki to centralize their efforts around a community of feedback through peer review.

    I particularly like the idea of bringing these open source web 2.0 tools together under a single “portal,” often a WordPress blog, and once we work out some of the housekeeping issues, namely multiple login issues, I think thi is a viable alternative for faculty who want to move beyond the closed, relatively static system that is BlackBoard.

    Thanks for the comment as well as the post that started this whole strain of thought.

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