Mears: Blackboard lockout frustrates faculty, students
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 00:01
While some students and professors look upon the beginning of the new semester with hopes of good grades and excitement, others of Sam Houston students and professors are starting off their Spring 2013 semester frustrated. The frustration stemming from being unable to use Blackboard just days before the new semester was set to begin.
With first day back jitters, many students look at Blackboard for a preview of their classes and a chance to print off the many syllabi that are available to them for each of their classes on Blackboard. However, students were unable to view their schedules and syllabi on Blackboard until the first day that classes began. When asked how she felt about Blackboard being unavailable for use, freshman Political Science major, Ariel Traub stated that she felt "unprepared [and] wasn’t given an opportunity to prepare for the new semester." As a result, Traub had "been really anxious" about the new semester.
Some students took to Facebook, voicing their frustration about the technical issues with Blackboard, stating that it should have been fixed, and up and running by now simply because those that work on Blackboard and ensure its smooth running had all of break to "fix it" and clear out any bugs with the site.
Not only were students unable to use Blackboard, professors themselves were unable to post their syllabi for students, and set up the needed documents for their classes. Upon arriving to class, a professor of mine was still attempting to get his syllabus posted to Blackboard for his students to print, and was unable to even after trying almost the entire class time.
With the semester getting off to an uneasy start, many students and professors are still trying to remain hopeful that Blackboard will be debugged and functioning smoothly soon.
To keep this issue from occurring again, those that operate Blackboard should allow admittance to both professors and students based off of the letter their last name starts with.
As in this way professors would be allowed to begin using Blackboard and once they have set up their classes, it would be available to be opened to the students. It could be opened up to the students just as registration is, students whose last name begins A-M would be allowed to access their material on Blackboard one day, and the next day students N-Z would be allowed.
This would not only keep some of the technical issues to a minimum, it would also give professors and students both a set day to know when Blackboard and its tools would be available for their use.