Blackboard Impressions: Results of Student Survey

Using Blackboard itself I conducted an online survey about the use of the iLearn site for INFT215 .NET Programing Environment, a second-level programming subject teaching the C# language. 12 of the 16 students active at the end of the subject replied so there was a 75% response. The survey contained 12 questions of which the first 7 related directly to the iLearn subject site and its use. The questions and answers of these questions are discussed here (see a later post for the remaining questions which related to discussion forum and blogging assignments).

In answer to “Have you used online learning management systems before this semester?” 3 students had used Blackboard at other institutions, 2 had used SharePoint, the system I used over the past few semesters and 1 student had used an unnamed system, probably James.

The frequency of access to the subject site is important, so the non-zero answers to “On average I accessed the iLearn site” are:

  • 5-7 times each week 50%
  • 3-4 times each week 42%
  • 1-2 times each week 8%

I suspect some students accessed the site more than once per day, so in the next survey I will choose a more frequent option. Relating these replies to the actual usage statistics generated by Blackboard is difficult since only individual page accesses are available. Over the semester as a whole there were 25,284 page accesses of which I accounted for 4935 or 19.5%. Assuming a 98-day semester this means each of the 16 students accessed almost exactly 13 pages per day including weekends. The actual usage by day is shown on the right. All classes were held in a teaching lab on Mondays and Thursdays and this comes through on the chart. It is interesting to note that access on Sundays equals or exceeds that on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.


The next two questions can be summarised as “What parts of the iLearn site did you find the most useful/least useful this semester? Select all that apply”. The multiple parts listed all the major topic areas and tools. For 10 students out of 12 the most useful parts were the Discussion Forum tool and the Assessment content area, with 8 students nominating the Gradebook.

For the least useful features 7 students mentioned Email and 5 students Staff Information!

To the question “I found the iLearn site very useful for communicating with the lecturer” using a Likert scale, 67% of students chose Agree or Strongly Agree. A similar question “I found the iLearn site very useful for communicating with the rest of the class” saw 92% in the Agree or Strongly Agree categories.

10 students chose to answer when asked to “Comment on good points and bad points about the iLearn site”. A range of comment fragments are:

  • Really well layed out. Easy to navigate and understand.
  • I would like to get my password saved there … Otherwise, it
    really is a great thing & I hope, other classes can make as good use of it
  • … it was good to have all the relevant information for each subject a mouse click away
  • The discussion board was excellent although it took me a while to actually benefit from it.
  • Liked discussion board & updated announcements nearly daily.
  • … Was very slow at times, dunno how it’s gona go with more and more people on it next semester????
  • Discussion board rocks! Over 330 entries is unbelievable.
  • Bad: I want to be able to customize the site more.
  • Easy to access and use. Good central point for all information and communication for the subject.
  • Its the right way for the future. However we have the Bond Homepage, eStudent, Library and SDrive. The system would only be really benefitial if everything would be integrated and linked.

The students had a few niggles with iLearn but were very supportive as a whole. They obviously were looking forward to using iLearn in all their subject in future semesters.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Blackboard Impressions: Results of Student Survey

  1. Peta Hopkins says:

    I’ve added a blog post to the L files about the Library Tab in Blackboard. The Library is certainly conscious of integrating as many of its services as possible within the ilearn interface.

    Library in ilearn

    If that is where our customers are, then that’s where we need to be too.

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