Thursday, August 07, 2008

Things I Discovered on Blackboard Today

Subtitle: Ok? Ok? Click Ok? Still Ok? Ok? Ok? (Because God forbid I could control this software easily from the keyboard without touching my damn mouse.)
  1. The default way our system sets up a single-section course is different from the way it sets up a multi-section course. In a multi-section course, there is no access to the online roster from the control panel (bad). In a multi-section course, most of the crap in the left sidebar is turned off by default (good).

  2. I think that if I export/archive/whatever after I set up my preferred folder structure and turn on/off my preferred set of tools but before I add any semester-specific content, then the set-up phase will be easier next time. You would think that a crappy piece of bloatware like Blackboard would have an option for me to set up a "course template" to be applied to my course after its set up but before I start seriously fucking with it.

  3. Because the default settings give students a lot of access, I was able to pull up the roster for my section of the CS class that I'm taking this fall. Out of 28 students, there are three obviously female first names, three east and south Asian names that I can't determine the gender of, and 22 obviously male first names. All three of us with obviously female first names are facebook-friends with The Topologist (the other two were in his class in the spring -- I know which one to avoid being in a group with!). One of my former students is in the class. Right now I'm only looking at half the class since I don't have access to the data on the other section. There could be more topology students (and my former students) in the other section.