Usage of Blackboard at NIU

Academic Courses

Blackboard is used by 95% of faculty and instructors, 98% of students, and for 68% of all course sections, for an average of 4.5 courses per student (Fall 2019). We have also analyzed how faculty are using Blackboard, and find that a majority of courses each semester make extensive use of the capabilities of the system. Blackboard integrates with other cutting-edge tools for teaching and learning including video applications, publisher platforms, student engagement systems, and exam proctoring.

Other Uses

In addition to scheduled academic courses, Blackboard is used in a variety of ways to support the mission of the university:

  • Departmental communication to students by major/minor on events and program deadlines
  • Development and storage of course materials for upcoming and previous semesters
  • Student portfolios for program assessment and supporting job searches
  • Department and programmatic assessment across courses, including general education assessment
  • Storage and delivery of electronic reserves using a process custom-developed by the University Libraries and DoIT
  • Secure storage and sharing of files for graduate student application review
  • Web conferencing for non-course-based meetings, including administrative, employment searches, research, and outreach
  • File sharing and communication for student organizations and departmental/administrative committees, such as the 2018 Higher Learning Consortium Update, personnel committees, and the University Assessment Panel
  • Annual compliance training for students, faculty, and staff, including State-Mandated Ethics Training and Title IX
  • Delivery and tracking of training completion for employees including commercial card services, DoIT, RecWell, and HSC
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