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Anything but Blackboard

I hate it. It's slow, cumbersome, and confusing. I've had to deal with Blackboard more this semester more than any other and it's just been a huge pain. Did I mention it's slow? Logging in takes, like, a year. Then the main page it directs you to after logging in has way too much information.

And I quote:

My Courses
Courses in which you are enrolled
SGW3-20045-2: Chem 105 sections 26-35 Fall 2004 1PM
Announcements
study Guide for Redox Material
MAJ9-20045-1: ECEn 360 (Fall 2004)
No Announcements.
MAJ9-20045-2: ECEn 361 (Fall 2004)

No Announcements.
JKA2-20045-1: ECEn 425 (Fall 2004)
No Announcements.
ADK5-20045-3: Engl 312-003
No Announcements.
JLH39-20045-18: Library Research Skills, Fall 2004, Engl 312

No Announcements.
SGW3-20045-13: Morgan's (Grainer) Chem 105 Recitation
No Announcements.

That's exactly what it looks like ... it's not worse looking from losing formatting or anything like that ... this is actually what I'm shown. You'd need a computer to parse this crap. Do I really need to be shown that my ECEn 361 class has some weird unique identifier of "MAJ9-20045-2" ??? Do I need to be told over and over again that I'm talking all these classes during the Fall of 2004? I'm pretty sure most folks already know what semester they're in.

It just seems to me that things could be made to show you the information you cared about and not all this extra crap.

And the individual class pages are terrible too. The left hand column is a separate frame--which is just ugly and hard to use:

Announcements
Course Information
Staff Information
Course Documents
Assignments
Communication
External Links
Tools
Faculty & TAs
Course Materials
View Grades
Course Tools

Anyone care to explain how the meanings of the names "Tools" and "Course Tools" differ? How about "Staff Information" and "Faculty & TAs"? What about "Course Documents" vs "Course Materials"??

Can I get an amen?

And why have all these different sections so separated? Do they think it will be easier to use if they make people click, like, six-dillion times just to go from one "area" to the next? Factoring in the normal 30 second page loads I have to sit through for each click, getting what I need can take ... well ... a long long time. Why can't most of the stuff I need be shown on a single page? You know, we do know how to use a scroll bar ... and I'd rather scroll to where the info I need is than have to click three times to get to it.

Ok, I'm glad I could get this off my chest ... now back to my homework.

Interesting tidbit

A while ago, Blackboard tried using the DMCA to stop someone from revealing a security issue:

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Apr/gee20030421019667.htm

hmmm...

is it...

faculty & ta

or...

faculty t&a

?

let me reiterate ... blackboard is worthless

let me reiterate ... blackboard is worthless ... Now it's telling me:

Access Denied
Guests are not allowed to access this content

There's no way my authentication could have timed out in 5 minutes. I guess it just "decided" to log me out. I guess it could tell I was trying to get real work done.

oh my

I've had enough ... I just reauthenticated and now it's telling me I'm logged out again.