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You only have to ask a colleague about Blackboard to find that there is rarely a positive word to be said about this system. However if there is negative comment this is usually followed by tips to improve such a system; in fact everyone seems to know how to ‘fix’ Blackboard. Other staff are indifferent and so long as they can upload course materials then the ever present blackboard will be there to support students all year round. These content delivery systems do their job and of course there are many reasons why having materials available is good. However Blackboard and such systems often promise to enhance education and yet there is very little evidence that this is the case.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://researchnot.es/4_stateofunion_update