Issue raised with some faculty members not using BlackBoard

A rise in complaints from students at Baldwin Wallace University about professors and their use of Blackboard has led to action from BW’s Student Senate Committee.
Blackboard is a virtual learning environment and a course management system that is used by the university which enables faculty to add resources and enhance teaching for students to access online. Some students at BW are not satisfied with the way professors on campus are utilizing Blackboard and have reached out to Student Body President Andrew Henthorn about their frustrations with these issues.
There have been several complaints from students, Henthorn said, specifically about professors not posting grades on Blackboard.
“For students, it’s very important to gauge their standing in the class and be aware of that throughout the course of the semester,” said Henthorn. “And when some professors don’t post grades, it could prevent the students from seeing how they are doing in the class until it’s too late.”
Henthorn has been working hand-in-hand with Jaimy Dyer, president of faculty senate and the faculty advisor for Student Government, in discovering the most beneficial way to encourage professors to use Blackboard more.
“This is not a problem with every professor on campus, but it has been brought up enough times to show concern and should be evaluated through higher authority,” said Henthorn. “My position allows me to advise concern to encourage the change.”
The future course of action towards this issue is now being examined by the faculty senate, he said, because it is believed the department chairs will have more of a push when it comes to encouraging professors to utilize Blackboard.
The faculty senate is composed of the eight academic schools at BW: School of Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, Health, Business, Education, Health Science, and the Conservatory of Music. Each senator is a representative for their school, which allows them to have better insight into what is going on in that field of study.
Dyer has been focusing on reaching out to the senators of each college to crack down on how to efficiently solve this issue.
“It has come to my knowledge that a lot of professors don’t like Blackboard and don’t think it’s helpful in their course,” said Dyer. “There have been a lot of negative feelings about it in the sense that some professors believe students would only be working for the grade and not to learn.”
The hunt for a solution is underway, and Dyer is not giving up. For now, Dyer advises students to keep sharing their concerns and to communicate them not only to Student Senate but also to the professors.
“I know that when students raise their concerns, professors will listen,” said Dyer. “I want to work with the strengths and weaknesses of each department to figure out how we, as a university, can come together and be more impactful to our students as a whole.”