your say on Blackboard

UKIT is embarking on a process to locate barriers to success in using Blackboard and to improve the Bb experience at the University of Kentucky. Yes. We really want to go there. If you are a UKy instructor who is a user, a nonuser or even a hater, we may be looking for you. We’re trying to line up personal interviews with you and, we hope, a few of your students. Please read and consider. (And thanks to Dr. Christopher Rice and Virginia Lacefield for the text below.)

The University of Kentucky Information and Technology Services is beginning to conduct research to better understand the user experience of both faculty and students around Blackboard. We seek to better understand how our faculty and students use  (or don’t use) Blackboard – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to discover how we can improve the user interface and feature sets to better serve the needs of our campus community. Rather than relying upon a basic user satisfaction survey, we are using a targeted Experience Analysis & Design process to go deeper into understanding the total user experience around use of this platform. Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative interviews and surveys, as well as observational research, we will work to understand the needs of a variety of users and the ways in which they actually use and experience Blackboard, all with the goal of improving our implementation of this learning management system.

It is very important for our research that we include faculty who are at both ends (and the middle) of the Bb user spectrum, including those who use Blackboard minimally or not all, possibly because they have not tried it, they didn’t like it, or they didn’t find it a useful teaching tool for their classes. Without the participation of members of that group, we cannot fully understand the faculty’s experience or directly address issues that keep instructors from using Blackboard successfully.

The initial round of qualitative interviews start this week. We are asking for 45-60 minutes of each person’s time during the kick-off phase of this program. If you are interested our team of interviewers can come to your office or meet you in one of our interview locations in McVey Hall.

If you have any questions please contact Virginia Lacefield at virginia@uky.edu or 257-3018, or Dr. Rice, our EAD project leader, at christopher.rice@uky.edu or 859-948-5390.