Bb Europe: some new features

While the B in Blackboard might just as well stand for Behemoth, right now it’s the only game in town for us. Meanwhile, BbWorld Europe continues apace and the bloggers are buzzing. Niall Sclater of Open University has a longish post that highlights some of the features promised in a future version of Bb, aptly name Bb NG (Next Generation).
Here are a few bits–the rest is available at: http://sclater.com/blog/?p=95
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Michael L Chasen, Blackboard’s CEO, described the three principles of Project NG (Next Generation) which is bringing WebCT and Blackboard together into one platform: Student achievement, Openness and Web 2.0. So what does that actually mean?
There is an excellent instructor dashboard. . . It informs tutors about what’s new, what needs attention, which students have handed in work late, which haven’t logged in for a week etc.
The authoring facilities are also getting increasingly sophisticated. A course management block allows you to drag and drop blocks of content around the page, building new items and adding assessments, communication tools etc from drop-down menus. One of these menus is for mashups allowing you to integrate Google Earth maps, Flickr, YouTube and other resources easily into courses.
“Communities” can be set up by students to create their own social learning spaces if the institution wants to make this possible.
The student profile has been redesigned and looks good – something you could imagine would give a greater sense of ownership to the student.
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We’ll see…

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