Blackboard bugs and bites

By Carmen Herrera |Staff Writer|

It has happened to everyone.

Many students and teachers have experienced the ongoing problems of the campus’ educational and communication web software, Blackboard.

The newest version of Blackboard was uploaded at the beginning of the 2011 spring quarter. Despite an updated version of Blackboard, technical problems continue to occur, disrupting classes and teaching that depend on this site.

I don’t know how many times I have tried to login, only to see a blank page reading “service unavailable” or had an email notifying that Blackboard is down and won’t be up until hours or days later.

Blackboard crashes to the point where students cannot access their work for classes and delay the plans of the teachers as well.

The issues with Blackboard have seemingly gotten so out of hand that professors don’t know what to do. There are only a few teachers who steer away from online usage and stick to using regular paper handouts for their assigned work.

Though it may be harder work to try to grade many papers, it seems worth avoiding the troubles of Blackboard and being delayed from grading because the site is down so frequently.

Last quarter my class was required to take our final exam via Blackboard at exactly 6 p.m. and closed down at 8 p.m. and to my horror, right at start time, Blackboard went down and I had no access to my final.

If you thought I freaked out, my poor professor was bombarded with e-mails and phone calls from panicked students trying to get to their final exam.

Many times, I would just prefer work on actual paper because Blackboard’s inconsistency is overwhelming. You never know when the site will act up and how it’ll ruin your plans to do homework or more importantly, take an exam.

Responses from students in the library and Santos Manuel Student Union were overwhelmingly negative. Students said, “It sucks.” While others note that it’s as problematic as the old system.

“It sucks for students when Blackboard is down because we rely on it so much,” said student Yesenia Guiterrez. “When we need to turn something in and it doesn’t work, it’s very frustrating.”

I would have to agree with most of these students who are sick of the website’s inconsistency. Once or twice can be passable, but when this happens multiple times in a single ten week quarter, you’re left scratching your head wondering why Blackboard “sucks.”

There needs to be more solutions to this problem that greatly affects the student body. If the site overloads because too many students are trying to log in or using it at the same time, than maybe multiple websites need to be made for work rather than just one.

Now that the new Blackboard is up and running, some students still wait on whether Blackboard will truly improve.

“During the transition from the old platform to the new platform, it suffered growing pains,” said student Eddie Hahn. “I think the jury is still out on whether or not the new Blackboard is better.” I couldn’t agree more.



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