In response to student comments on the university-wide forum IdeaScale, the administration is in the process of assessing Blackboard’s usefulness and discussing how to improve the online resource.

According to Chief Information Officer Lisa Davis, the university considered updating the site even before a suggestion was posted on IdeaScale last month. The post has received 106 votes since it was first published Sept. 16.

“We know that this has been an area that students are passionate about,” Davis wrote in an email.

Davis added that University Information Services spoke with students at the beginning of the year and was aware of their concerns.

“Blackboard has been discussed in many of our meetings with students on campus, from GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) to the Tombs’ ‘Meet the CIO’ session in the spring,” she wrote.

UIS created the survey, which opened Oct. 2 and will close on Oct. 11, to allow students to rate their Blackboard experiences.

According to Davis, over 650 students have taken the survey, and the university has contacted Blackboard to begin brainstorming how to improve the resource.

“My deputy and I recently spent the afternoon meeting with Blackboard executives to discuss our current use of the product and how we can better partner to address GU issues or concerns,” she wrote.

Most of students’ complaints have regarded Blackboard’s navigability.

“I think the interface is too confusing, too complicated, [and] it’s just not user-friendly,” Swedian Lie (COL ’13) said. “To get anywhere, you need to go through a lot of pages first.”

Davis said she checks the IdeaScale website weekly and receives notifications when someone posts an idea in the technology section. So far, posts from the site have inspired projects ranging from improving campus WiFi and cell phone reception to adding information to the university’s mobile app.

According to Davis, her goal for Blackboard is to create a student-friendly tool.

“Ultimately, we want to provide a product that students love to use,” she wrote.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*