Inconvenient All-in-one Distance Education Platforms

I am beginning to hate Blackboard for many things. First of all, most courses are based on these things called “due dates”, which I can only assume were never used before distance education, since Blackboard doesn’t seem to support them. Nowhere on an assignment in Blackboard is there a listing of a due date, or any other information about when an assignment is to be submitted. Also, on this same line, there is no central calendar in Blackboard to state when assignments are due, all of that has to be added by an instructor to a manually updated page. Not very effective. The second complaint against it is that there is not a uniform way to complete something. Some instructors have things to be posted to discussion boards, other instructors use the actual assignment tool and have assignments be submitted along side the instructional documents, or my favorite way, by using the digital drop box, which basically is just uploading the assignment to the Blackboard server, which also emails it to the instructor.

Perhaps the worst trait about Blackboard in Distance Education is that instructors don’t really know how to use it. Some instructors never take the time to set up assignments; they just want everything e-mailed to them. That really pisses me off because e-mail is not that traceable, and if an assignment gets lost in transit, there is no proof that it was sent originally, and in general instructors do not usually respond when they have received an assignment.

I am having such a hard time staying on top of my 6 courses this semester because instructors have all set up their courses differently. Some have assignments under “assignments” and yet others have assignments under “course documents”. I do not really remember which course is set up how, and it is hard to remember which course gives me 2 hours for a quiz and which one gives me just over a minute per question. It is all much more complicated than it should be. I can only imagine how people who do not have the resource of GITI manage to keep up with their assignments, it just seems like it would be hard. I don’t know quite how to do what it is I want to do, but I need to somehow give GITI the ability to accept information about class policies and integrate it into some type of workflow system for handling academics.