HOME   |  


January 19, 2012

Blackboard alternative

As online education becomes more and more popular, Tri-C is constantly encouraging faculty to develop courses in this format. We use a web-based service called Blackboard to present the courses.

Blackboard discussion formatAfter using Blackboard for about four years, I have a pretty good understanding of how it works. I'm not a fan.

Blackboard is clunky and ugly, not at all user-friendly. And did I mention that it's ugly?

The very first assignment I give students in any online class is to introduce themselves via a "Discussion Board."

Here you see how this looks in Blackboard. Many students find it intimidating. Since Blackboard is currently in version 9, I doubt that it's going to change, so I've been looking for an alternative. I recently found one.


Schoology screenshotIf Blackboard and Facebook had a one-night stand, Schoology would be their love child.

It has most of Blackboard's educator-friendly features: online tests, attendance charts, statistics-tracking and a whole lot more.

But it's way friendlier. In fact, it looks and works almost exactly like Facebook.

Here, a Week 1 discussion area looks less dense and intimidating than it does on Blackboard. Facebook users will find it very familiar, right down to the "Like" button.

Since we've only been using Schoology for a week, it's too early to tell whether it will take the place of Blackboard, but so far, I "Like" it.

Top of page   |  small speech balloons




2007 April-December

2008 January-December

2009 January-December

2010 January-December

2011 January-May

Video icon Video  Audio Audio