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The interface of Blackboard(TM) design: Students' perceptions of its ease of use and usefulness

Jamal Douglas, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not the interface of Blackboard™ as a learning tool provided an environment that improves communication; is engaging for students; provides feedback mechanisms to improve students' learning; is easy to use and useful for students; and finally to explain the Blackboard™ features that students would like to see added to the Blackboard™ design to make it more useful and efficient. A 60-item survey was administered to 320 undergraduate and graduate students in different colleges within UNL. ^ The data collected about the ease of use Blackboard™ features indicated that these features were highly rated: View Grade, navigate the icons, external links and Discussion Board. The second highly rated features (38% to 63%) were access the Library, editing tools, Edit my personal information, use the Dictionary, use Hide and Show and Search. These features were not applicable: Edit Homepage and Edit team. The most difficult features to use were getting help from technical support and quick help from the Help Desk. ^ The useful Blackboard™ features were View Grade, Send Email to get feedback, the Discussion Board and the management of its messages, the Digital Drop Box, Search, and Groups Area. Other features that were the least useful for some students were the Student Manual and the Address Book; while six out of 15 features were not applicable such as the Course Journal, the SCORM Learning Plan, the Science toolkit, the Virtual Classroom, Tasks and the Calendar. ^ Results on whether Blackboard™ provided an environment that is interesting and engaging to students showed that students were satisfied with some features although they were frustrated with many others. Many students reported that they did not spend more time than required on Blackboard™ activities. Additionally a good percentage expressed that Blackboard™ design enhanced their communication and feedback; although, students would like to see more features to enhance feedback, communication and to increase students' engagement while learning via Blackboard™. ^

Subject Area

Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Douglas, Jamal, "The interface of Blackboard(TM) design: Students' perceptions of its ease of use and usefulness" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3159540.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3159540

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