Jump on board

Bryan Lipiner

Before college, for many of us, the only way to see our grades was to get them back in person, or ask a teacher for them after class.

But at Quinnipiac and various other universities around the country, we are provided with an online gradebook that allows us to not only review our grades, but also to view class announcements, communicate with professors and create a calendar.

Though it may seem like a useful tool, some professors opt not to utilize it. In fall of 2013, only one of my professors posted grades on Blackboard, which also happened to be a one-credit course.

This may not have seemed like an issue at first. After all, the semester does fly by in a quick 3 1/2 months. Yet, come finals time, it’s often necessary for students to prioritize their studying. Which subject is the most important in terms of grade point average, which will take the longest time to learn, etc.

By putting all grades on Blackboard, it can also be rewarding to students who put in time during the week to complete homework assignments and other projects. It can be frustrating for students to put in time and effort during the week to complete their assignments, only to never see such results.

Students and professors can also benefit from using Blackboard by electronically submitting assignments instead of printing them out. This process calls for much less paper usage, which can reach high amounts if an entire class was to write a four or five-page essay. In addition, it allows students to save money they would have spent on ink, as well as eliminating the possibility for professors to misplace hard-copy assignments.

Outside of the actual gradebook, Blackboard features message boards, email options and additional course information, as well as areas for professors to post class assignments and readings. Professors can also make class announcements via Blackboard.

Adding student grades to Blackboard can potentially make it easier for professors to keep track as well. By putting grades on Blackboard, professors have an online, backup gradebook that can be stored without any fear of it being misplaced. It would also be more convenient, as it could be accessed at anywhere with an internet connection.

How can this be accomplished?

Only if supervisors and students enforce it, by reaching out to professors and voicing their concern. The use of such a program appears optional as of right now. If those in higher power, and students, would make its use mandatory, it would benefit everyone involved. Blackboard is too useful of a program to ignore.