Blackboard Launches Facebook Application

Last year I raved about the potential of a possible Blackboard application. If you don’t already know, Blackboard is the educational tool that is ubiquitous across college institutions within the United States. The company sells a platform which helps educational institutions build robust systems for teaching. Teachers and students share documents and can have course discussions within course-specific forums. Professors can also post grades for assignments and courses. I previously suggested that integration with Facebook would be ideal because it’s where students are spending a ton of their time.

October marked the launch of Coursefeed, which provided integration with Blackboard and a direct interface within Facebook. The application has since added over 13,000 users. 6 months later, Blackboard has launched their own application which is nowhere near as robust as the Coursefeed application. The purpose of the application is to notify students of changes within Blackboard via Facebook.

Have a new assignment posted to one of your courses? Now you can read about it within Facebook. You’ll receive a notification with a link to the corresponding page within Blackboard. You can also navigate through all the top level information pertaining to each course. This includes links to the profiles of other course mates. The application appears to be well built aside from a Java error that I received when entering false information into the fields.

The application also highlights Blackboard’s desire to keep the majority of the content within their platform. This is most likely for security purposes. Resistance to integration with Facebook is commonplace among other enterprise level applications due to the lack of security and exposure of data to Facebook. If you are a Blackboard user and want to get notifications of Blackboard info in Facebook, check out the Blackboard Sync application.