So, I'm bothered today by the first phone call/email that greeted me as I walked into my office. Of course, it was another Blackboard issue. I was hired as an instructional designer, but have become the Blackboard technical liason for faculty instead. I don't want to complain, because there definitely needs to be support for the college Learning Management System....and I don't mind being that person. What I do mind is that the college LMS is built on a house of cards! It's crumbling beneath our noses. We upgrade every May in the hopes that it will fix the gajillion issues/bugs/quirks, but all it does is provide more and different issues/bugs/quirks that we then have to re-learn and support. My job has been consumed by Blackboard issues. My time and faculty time is being spent mindlessly trying to fix issues and create work-arounds instead of focusing on teaching & learning. Mind you, teaching & learning cannot happen without a solid LMS. I truly believe that. We need an online medium for dispersing knowledge, whether the course is online, hybrid or face-to-face. BUT, this online medium needs to have some basic functionality! What do you mean the Discussion Boards "don't work????" What do you mean that you spent four hours grading discussion boards and all the grades disappeared? This is problematic to say the LEAST.
I am a technology user and an innovator. I don't mind spending an inordinate amount of hours learning new technology.....with the thought that it may fail or not be adoptable. However, when I'm supporting the majority, I like a bit of predictability. I can deal with bugs and workarounds if I'm given sufficient enough support AND if those bugs don't change every time I finally get a handle on them (i.e. upgrading every year to a new version!) There has got to be a solution to the bugginess of a system that doesn't include the company telling you to upgrade. How about you FIX YOUR BROKE SYSTEM! We were told to upgrade the past two times to fix issues we were having. I would kill (not really) to be back on Bb 7.3. We didn't know how good we had it!