(Warning: Major rant in progress.)
What in the world is wrong with Blackboard/WebCT? As you all know, last year Bb bought out WebCT and promised to maintain both products and eventually merge the two into one super-duper-LMS. We WebCT users didn’t really know what to expect — we’d just upgraded to CE 6 (long, frustrating story). We’d heard horror stories about Bb support and were hoping that WebCT’s usual good customer service would continue.
Sadly, we were wrong.
We’re working with an LMS that is in alpha version at best. (How can you release a course management system when the assessment tool doesn’t even work?)
We’re trying to make the most of it, though. BB/WebCT is very slow to respond to our problems. We’re dealing with numerous bugs that occur randomly yet regularly. For example, sometimes exams randomly will load just the first five or six questions then nothing more in various classes for random students. A few weeks ago, we and numerous other academic institutions completely lost access to our servers for almost an entire day because Bb let the WebCT license for BEA Weblogic expire. And earlier this week, we get the following somewhat discomforting email from Bb:
We are working diligently and quickly to resolve the situation and expect to make available a permanent solution later this week through a hotfix. In the meantime, we have developed a script that will allow you to determine if this is an issue at your institution by uncovering any attempts to access the assessment data.
This is just ridiculous. We WebCT users are feeling like unwanted stepchildren of a marriage that’s gone bad. We now completely understand the dramatic increase in the number of academic institutions moving to Moodle over the past year.