The Sentinel

Students feeling blackboard’s learning groove


Students feeling blackboard’s learning groove

Blackboard. We all use it. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, the use of Blackboard is inevitable.
“Blackboard provides a virtual classroom environment where instructors and students can do virtually everything they do in a traditional face-to-face classroom,” said Jamie Green, NIC director of eLearning and Outreach.
When Blackboard came out in 2004, it was a single management system called Learn. Two years later, Blackboard merged with WebCT, and later, in 2009, merged with an online system called ANGEL.
ANGEL, acronym for A New Global Environment for Learning, was created at Indiana University in 1996. Our very own NIC began our long relationship with online learning here with the system of ANGEL.
Many newer students may now know about ANGEL; NIC recently decided to move onto a different and more user-preferred feature at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester: Blackboard Learn 9.1 Next Generation.
“NIC’s eLearning department strives to provide best eLearning tools possible in support of student success, educational excellence, and community engagement. Blackboard Learn is the leading educational system worldwide and is a platform that continues to evolve as online education continues to evolve,” said Green.
Some students and instructors prefer Blackboard to ANGEL because of the suit of upgrades, greater mobile access, a robust multi-media environment, improved social networking capabilities, and enhanced communicational tools. These features provide significant cost-savings to NIC.
“The difference between Blackboard and ANGEL are like the differences of Chevy and a Honda,” said Green, “both are decent vehicles, but there will always be something newer and shinier on the road. However, never underestimate the importance of reliability and a knowledgeable mechanic.”
Green also states that it shouldn’t be a matter of Blackboard vs. ANGEL.
“[Education] is all about what you see and do along the journey and arriving at your destination in a safe and timely fashion,” Green said.
Blackboard has also announced several new enhancements to be seen by the end of this year.
Instructors can look forward to a new content editor and enhanced assessment question analysis. Students can look forward to enhanced social networking integration. College administrators can anticipate a built-in course evaluation tool. All users will have access to a new at-a-glance interface called “My Blackboard.”
“One of the biggest improvements that eLearning is making is the formation of an eLearning Advisory Council. This council will be comprised of full and part-time faculty, administrators, staff, and students. We are currently seeking student volunteers. See the Blackboard log-in page announcements for more details,” said Green.
For more information and all things Blackboard contact Jamie Green at 208-769-5906 or

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