Daily 49er

BlackBoard to be replaced by new system

The course-management site Blackboard has had its share of malfunctions.

Courtesy of blackboard.com

The course-management site Blackboard has had its share of malfunctions.

Alexandra Baird, Assistant City Editor

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Cal State Long Beach students will soon be accessing class information via a new system when the university ditches BlackBoard for Desire2Learn.

CSULB had plans to phase out of BlackBoard and into a system from ANGEL Learning Inc. in spring 2010. The plans were put on hold when BlackBoard bought ANGEL, making it a product of the same company the university was trying to get away from, according to Leslie Kennedy, director of instructional tech support services. So, they went back to the drawing board.

“We re-evaluated the tools that were available to us,” Kennedy said. “They were BlackBoard, Moodle and D2L. D2L was the one.”

Desire2Learn will be configured soon, and faculty will begin using it for classes in January. By the spring semester, the systems should be fully transitioned, Kennedy said. There will be no major change in the cost of operations for the university, she said.

Kennedy said the university wanted to change to a program that was more reliable and that met requirements for disabled students’ accessibility. Although the interface won’t change much and will still be called “BeachBoard,” the program will be improved, she said.

“It will have a similar look,” she said. “But it’ll have more tools than before and also be more reliable. Reliability is key.”

The Daily 49er reported in March 2009 that Don Gardener, associate vice president for academic technology, said that there were “severe” difficulties with BlackBoard, including lost documents and system malfunctions.

Still, some students say they haven’t had too many problems.

“I’ve only been using it a few weeks so far and I’ve had no problems,” freshman criminal justice major James Moran said. “Sometimes the teacher will tell you where to go [on BeachBoard] but it’s really self-explanatory.”

Junior design major Matt Grant said he likes that BlackBoard is easy to navigate, but he has had one problem. “When I try to change the links, sometimes the browser crashes,” he said.

Other students said the only problems they have with the program are user-based.

“The only thing that gives me a hard time is that my professor never posts the lectures,” sophomore nutrition and dietetics major Megan Maxwell said.

David Cowan contributed to this article.

 

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