May 04, 2012 by Op-Ed
Like many American universities, Drexel uses a Blackboard system for online learning management. However, it is questioned how effectively the tools provided by Blackboard are used by Drexel students. Drexel faculty and students often express frustration about their daily use of Bb Vista. The most common problems they are faced with every day are mostly technical issues, organization and usability.
A group of Drexel students conducted surveys and interviews to find more about these general concerns. Through this research it was found that roughly two out of three students use Google Chrome, which was not compatible with Bb Vista until very recently. Also, the pop-up window requesting access to the computer is a major issue. Nearly 91 percent of users that took the survey said that they despise waiting to close the pop-up every time they log in. Another problem that slows the pace of the student learning lifestyle is that Bb Vista doesn’t allow you to open more than one tab at a time. If a student wants to check two subjects or more at the same time, he or she will have to use two different browsers. About 81 percent of the Drexel students polled said this irritated them and made completing assignments in Bb Vista an annoyance.
Automatic logout is another issue that ranked high on the list of annoyances by users from Drexel. While this may seem like a good policy in protecting user information, it hinders students from accessing large amounts of information or discussion board threads easily and efficiently. The organization of the discussion threads further contributes to the difficulty of use. Not only can you only view one post at a time, but you can also only read one reply at a time.
Nearly 76 percent of the students surveyed uttered that they want Bb Vista to change. The pace of a student’s life is very fast, especially when they are dealing with different courses, projects and homework at the same time. They definitely want something that adapts to their lifestyle and not a slow, not user-friendly system that they will have to struggle to use multiple times a day. Most of the students state that they are paying enough money in their tuition to deserve a better online learning system. I started a petition online, and there are already a considerable number of students who have signed it. If we want Bb Vista to change, all of us should contribute to make this happen. I want to encourage as many students and faculty members as possible to sign this petition in order for our voice to be heard. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/change-bbvista
Iden Kurtaliaj is a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.