Blackboard offers more advantages for learning than Blogs at Baruch

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Iraj Zia | The Ticker

Kamilla Sharipova

As the fall semester commences virtually, students and faculty have entirely settled into a virtual world of classwork and homework. The two most frequently used academic platforms at Baruch College are Blackboard and Blogs at Baruch.

Blackboard is a platform for basic functions, such as submitting homework and checking grades, and it is used by virtually all students at Baruch.

Blogs at Baruch, however, is not as frequently used as Blackboard because its only function is, as the name suggests, posting on a blog.

Although each platform has its perks and disadvantages, Blackboard takes the gold due to its versatile functions that span from blogs, submitting homework and keeping up with classwork. Blackboard has been the traditional method to reach students regarding academic life and is, therefore, the one most students are familiar with.

Many students default to Blackboard as their preferred system due to the lack of experience with both platforms, in general.

Given that people tend to prefer old methods and familiar experiences over new ones, students might be less likely to adapt to Blogs at Baruch after learning how to use Blackboard. Students with jampacked schedules are also less likely to invest time learning a new platform.

Most CUNY professors are familiar with Blackboard since it has been around longer. As a result, professors have developed different ways to optimize the functions on Blackboard for students, based on the class they’re teaching.

When a new website or program, such as Blogs at Baruch, is introduced to professors to be used in class, it takes a certain amount of time to master the use of these websites — time that could be used more effectively for students, such as by holding longer office hours or tending to student needs through other means of communication.

Blackboard is more of an all-in-one package than Blogs at Baruch because all of the resources that students need are in one place.

With Blackboard, there’s no need to remember dozens of usernames and passwords and waste time recalling which website to navigate to submit a certain homework.

Classes across different departments that do not use Blackboard make use of several different websites, which makes it increasingly hard to keep track of multiple different platforms from multiple different courses, making the use of just one platform of Blackboard, which also has a blog function, more practical.

Although Blackboard is the superior option, it is known to have frequent technical difficulties, such as preventing students from accessing grades and assignments at desired times, making the platform fragile and prone to crashing.

A way to combat this issue is for professors to give students sufficient time before an assignment is due to make sure that it’s working.

Similarly, it’s not a good idea for students to wait until the last minute to submit an assignment on Blackboard due to its nature of lagging and frequent crashes.

Students can be proactive, which is also a valuable skill for college life and beyond, and make sure that everything is set before the due date.

Blogs at Baruch is the other platform in question, with the function of a regular blog.

Professors post assignments as blog posts and students complete this assignment as a reply to the post, creating one long chain of answers available to the whole class.

It is known for its easily navigable interface that is way more user friendly than its counterpart, Blackboard. It is much easier to use this blog platform because it only consists of one function, meaning that there’s not much that needs navigating once on the website.

Although there’s less navigation in the Blogs at Baruch website, it comes with a huge cost.

Once there’s a substantial number of replies to a post it becomes much harder to view all the responses, including viewing questions or posts by specific students in an organized manner.

In addition, another big downside of this blogging platform is that the public nature of posts means that all posts are seen by all students.

There are assignments that might pertain to more personal aspects of life than others, making it difficult for students to express themselves or make the decision to post their personal thoughts for all to see.

Due to the various layers within Blackboard, it takes getting used to in order to easily move around and make good use of its different functions.

However, once students get the hang of the ins and outs of Blackboard, it is the more convenient platform to utilize due to the ease of viewing all assignments in one place and having more functions beyond a standard blogging platform, like Blogs at Baruch has.