Monday, March 1, 2010

Is Teaching with Blackboard Teaching?

Been wondering about that. I have a lot of colleagues who spend considerable amount of time in the classroom, working with students, developing new assignments and activities, personalizing their instruction. But then they teach online with Blackboard. They create reading assignments from a textbook, set up some multiple-choice exams that are automatically graded by Blackboard, maybe have students look through some textbook-publisher-provided Powerpoints, and, oh, yes, have students post to one another on an online forum. Is that college-level instruction?


CTE said...

Part of the problem is that faculty have lost control of the course development process such that they have little voice over key design decisions such as appearance, button colors, framework, banners--just kidding. They can pick button colors.
But assignment types and parameters are not often open to design discussion--although designers would certainly argue differently--and varieties are not really being discussed, partly because many faculty are not comfortable translating face-to-face instruction to distance learning, partly because many are not really accomplished at face-to-face learning to begin with, partly because the designers like dealing with uniformity across hundreds of courses.
But there is no uniformity in classroom instruction. Why should there be uniformity imposed in online instruction?

CTE said...

I am guessing that this is going to get much worse with the new upgrade to Blackboard 9! Imagine that, Blackboard 9! (and it still has the left frame that occupies 25% of the window). I just can't wait until someone crams this at faculty.