Friday, May 8, 2015
Life in the Pissant Swamp: The Curious Case of the Blackboard Disorder League
One of the downsides to using Blackboard, and there are a few, is that minority of students don't seem to be able to navigate its moderately labyrinthian structure. I put all my assignments for my classes in the content folder of Blackboard. I ask students, and tell them this explicitly in my syllabus, to copy and paste their assignments into the "write submission" box, the big word processing looking box on their left, in Blackboard's assignment drop box. Despite this and despite urging students to go to IT in class and in my syllabus for help if they are having problems doing this--virtually none of them take this advice--a few students still make errors. Instead of putting their assignments in "write submission" they put them in "comments", which are, of course for "comments", or simply "attach" their papers, something I note in the syllabus I do not allow given the problems of compatibility between word processing programmes.
Every so often I wonder why students make these mistakes. Is it haste? Does haste make grade waste? Is it a lack of patience? Do these students not take the time to read the instructions and/or not take the time to look over the Blackboard assignment drop page? Is it an I don't care attitude? Is it laziness? Is it all of the above? I am not sure. Perhaps one of these days I will ask those who make these mistakes why they made them.