This is an important EDUCAUSE for Blackboard. Many of us will be taking a hard look at the company, the roadmap, and the competition. Casey Green reports that "…almost three-fourths (73.4 percent) of the campuses participating in the 2010 Campus Computing Survey report their institutions are “reviewing options for the campus standard LMS” in response to budget pressures, up from 68.5 percent in fall 2009."
Are you a Blackboard school that would be among those "reviewing options"?
3 Questions for Blackboard:
I'd like to hear Blackboard address the "why stay?" question directly and simply. Be willing to do the research on the competition and talk honestly about the pros and cons of staying with Blackboard. Be confident enough to enumerate positives as well as negatives in staying, and to give the competition its due when it is doing things that Blackboard should be doing. Be open and confident about where Blackboard is a solution that is working really well, and where changes need to occur.
What Needs to Change?
I don't think there is a consensus among Blackboard customers about what needs to be done better and what needs to change. Some of us would prefer investments in the core Blackboard Learn platform (better Discussion Boards and Assessments etc.). Others would like to see improvements in the other platforms, from synchronous learning (Collaborate) to mobile learning. Perhaps other customers are most concerned about support, stability, and performance of existing products. And still others are looking to Blackboard Analytics to increase retention and achieve better learning outcomes. Can Blackboard make a credible and believable survey of what the market is asking, and then report back to the community about where future investments will be directed?
What is the Plan?
Having identified both the strengths of the Blackboard ecosystem, and what will be changing / evolving going forward, we will next want to understand how the company plans to execute. How much will be invested? Who are the engineers and developers working on the products? What is the product roadmap? Letting us know parts of the platforms that are not set to change is as important as letting us know what will be changing.
What are you looking to learn from Blackboard at EDUCAUSE?