I've ranted in the past here about Blackboard. Now I'm heavy into setting up seminary courses around it. Two things have made it turn out well.
1. upgrades--less clicking... we also have the community add on now that allows people to communicate cross cohort.
2. The fact that at some point we had the brainstorm not to set it up the way they do.
For the life of me I can't figure out what the logic is in their default set up. You have to go to one button to see your assignments for the week, then another button to do your discussions for the week, then another button to submit things for the week. What nimskull came up with that!!
We have it set up with one button per week. Under that button is the assignments document for the week, the discussions for the week, and the submissions for the week. Not rocket science but a massively easier set up for everyone. Who were these Blackboard designers, strange aliens from Clickland?
Many public thanks to our Information Technology people: Mike Robinette, Mark Alexander, and especially Dave Leitzel (also to our web guru Lorne Oke). They have been sooooo helpful!