Blackboard Learn, formerly known as the Blackboard Learning System, is a delivery system that allows students to connect with professors and other students.

Often used as part of an online learning system, it provides students with the same resources they might have in any traditional class. Professors can customize the system to include the information and type of content they need, and students enrolled in the class can log into the system to do their assignments. Though the system varies between schools and even classes, some features remain constant.

Parts of the System

Professors have the freedom to customize the system based on their own needs and the needs of their students. It generally features a syllabus that lets professors inform their students of all assignments and projects in the class and the due dates for each one. It often has both an announcement component and a faculty information component. The announcement area lets teachers give students details about upcoming assignments, let students know when they will be out of town and inform them of any changes to the syllabus. The faculty information section gives students a way to connect with their professors, including an office number or cell number and an email address.

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Content for Students

One of the more important components of the Blackboard Learn system is the content that is available for students. It often has a link or button on the side of the page that directs students to the core content or resources needed for the class. This may include videos of lectures the professor posted, links to online articles, chapters of online books that students must read and written lectures. It will usually feature an assignments section that lets students post or upload their assignments and an assessment section that helps them keep track of their grades and read feedback posted by their teachers.

Communication Components

With online classes, you won’t have the chance to sit in the classroom, talk with other students and work together. The Blackboard system includes communication components that help you interact with those students. Most classes will have a bulletin board or forum that lets you post questions, and many professors will require that you post a response to a weekly question and post responses to the comments other students make. Though it may have an internal mail system, some professors require that students send messages to their professional emails instead.

Optional Features

According to Blackboard, there are now optional features that schools and teachers can add to the traditional system, including a plagiarism checker, portfolios, surveys and mobile versions of the site. A mobile version helps students complete their work from a tablet or even a smartphone. With surveys, teachers can get feedback from students that will help them create future lesson plans. SafeAssign, which is a new type of plagiarism checker, allows professors to instantly find out if a student cheated or improperly sourced material when submitting a paper, essay or another type of assignment.

Students taking classes online will come across the Blackboard system. Hundreds of colleges across the country now use this system to help professors connect with their students and ensure that students do the work required. Blackboard Learn lets professors customize the system based on the courses they teach and the materials they require.