Think, Know, Prove–New Version of Blackboard

Think, Know, Prove is a regular Saturday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

We have a new version of Blackboard, you know. My students seem to be navigating it without difficulty, so far; mostly the same is true for me, in no small part thanks to Ephrem’s screencast videos. Issues remain, though.

I have heard that there is an issue with the email function; don’t know if that has been fixed yet. My three biggest problems so far have been 1) student difficulties opening and printing .pdfs; 2) the fact that when I post an External Link to specific YouTube video, it initially goes to the video, but then redirects to the home site before the video loads; and 3) when I tried to solve that problem by posting the video under the “Mashup” column (in a strange use of that word, it seems), I get only an error message.

The first one is solved easily enough with a link to Adobe Reader and a brief explanation (and demonstration) that students should print from the .pdf frame rather than the browser. The second and third is resolved by having students right click on the link and open it in a new window. Still, something about that isn’t right.

Mathissexy likes the new Gradebook much better than the old one, and I agree except for the fact that the frame is so tiny that I can only see 8 or so names at a time and the thing scrolls like walking zombie (as in not smooth).I like the Journal function, too, and suggested that students use it as a place to record their learning as we go (I might even require that next semester; not sure, though), but I haven’t made use of the Blog or some of the other new tools.

Surely that is not all anyone has to say about it. What do you like? What do you despise? What should they fix?

What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?