Blackboard Popularity Chronicles – Part 1
In a recent article on a blog I just discovered (Bionic Teaching), where the topic is not really about negatively criticizing BlackBoard, I liked reading a few stuff (which are so common about BlackBoard nowadays), where the author quotes BlackBoard users:
Blackboard Inc., whose course-management system is used throughout CUNY’s campuses, has become particularly unpopular there this semester after a series of technical problems. In March the Blackboard software was offline for three days, making it impossible for students or professors to access material for many courses.
Those problems have caused many here to consider alternatives. At one point during the CUNY meeting, Mr. Ugoretz said the blog software the university is experimenting with, called WordPress, could be a “Blackboard killer.”
Mr. Powers uses Blackboard for his courses and generally likes it. “I’m not against it,” he said. “I just want it to work.”
“Blackboard was supposed to run a stress test last summer and last fall to find out how a system could work of that magnitude,” said Mr. Kuechler. “They never delivered on that stress test, and that forced us, in a way, to go to that system and keep our fingers crossed.”
“It’s the dedicated customer service and support like that,” Mr. Kuechler mused. “That helps us justify paying Blackboard such exorbitant fees. You can’t get that kind of service from Open Source providers. This is enterprise level software.”
He said that CUNY had since changed the way it manages the servers, and that Blackboard officials were now doing more to help out.
“It’s been rumored that for a mere $10,000 we may be able to get someone from Blackboard to speak to us on the phone,” said Mr. Kuechler hopefully.
And here I am, wondering if Dokeos would really benefit from better marketing :-)
How does a system up 99.9% of the time, super easy to understand and manipulate (so much that most people don’t even need help to do so), translated into more than 30 languages, with a user base of 1.5 million souls, with a proven track record of working for up to 220000 students in live environment, with a maximum limit of 32000 courses, approximately 10 times cheaper than BlackBoard sound to you? Way to go, Dokeos!