The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC upgrades to Blackboard software

By Marley Malenfant/se news editor

TCC is exchanging CampusCruiser for Blackboard. The implementation of Blackboard, a software data system, will begin with a pilot project involving 25 instructors in summer 2011, officials said.

Distance learning courses are up first for conversion followed by interactive courses in the spring of 2012. In April-May, five current distance learning faculty members from each campus will be selected for Phase 1 pilot training.

During summer sessions, courses will be offered through Blackboard.

During summer, TCC will have the “My TCC” portal, which will serve as the entrance to Blackboard, WebAdvisor and other systems.

By August, 35 current distance learning faculty members from each campus will be trained. The project should be completed by August 2012. The implementation of Blackboard will replace LogiCampus as the system for online courses and replace CampusCruiser as the online site for clubs, organizations and committees.

Distance learning director Kevin Eason said Blackboard provides more features than CampusCruiser.

“It’s more state of the art,” he said. “Blackboard is the biggest priority right now. CampusCruiser wasn’t built to handle the number of students we now have taking distance learning classes.”

Eason said Blackboard came as a result of the chancellor’s signing of a contract with Blackboard to license its premier learning management system, Blackboard Learn. 

A research committee of faculty and administrators, appointed by the president and vice chancellors, recommended the system.

Eason said instructors can have a blog on Blackboard, and students can upload an electronic portfolio. Also, students will have only one e-mail account with the college.

“Blackboard can take materials from publishers and implement that into the system,” he said. “There will be no more dl.tccd.edu account for e-mails.”

NE assistant professor of speech Lisa Benedetti, who served on the committee, said Blackboard is a stronger software program than CampusCruiser.

“It offers one system for students to operate in,” she said. “It’s going to be a wonderful operation for students. Many universities use it as well.”

NE student Katy Dragg said the CampusCruiser software is better than her previous experience at other universities.

“It’s better than UNT’s WebCT,” she said. “It’s easier to navigate.”

NE student Jonathan Hampton argued that CampusCruiser isn’t a dependable system.

“The e-mail system is complicated, especially if you don’t use CampusCruiser,” he said.

SE student Meggan Vasta said CampusCruiser is user-friendly, but she doesn’t like the e-mail.

“I don’t use the e-mail account,” she said. “I have enough accounts to keep up with, and you can’t forward anything on CampusCruiser. So there’s no point.” 

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