Blackboard Readiness Tool

Blackboard Readiness Tool

Last week, Blackboard released their CBE readiness tool to the public as a way for colleges and university to determine when and if they are ready to pick up the pace on developing their CBE program, or developing the right pace. This tool is a series of survey questions that covers a variety of topics including planning, preparing, orientating, delivering and supporting your CBE program. The survey itself asks a series of questions about the current development status of your program in those specific areas using a scale of “Not Started,” “In Progress,” and “Compete” to gauge your responses.

The tool then collects the data and calculates it into a final formula to output a status. For example, after taking the assessment, I received a “Wow! It looks like you’re off & running!” which is very true; my CBE program is off and running. However, some of the biggest challenges I’m currently facing ironically include the Learning Management System, which is not ready for Competency-Based Models. Most college/universities spend millions customizing their LMS to fit the simplest requirements of a CBE program such as rubrics, pass/fail grades, competency unit conversions, and gradebook. That’s saying nothing about the middleware requirements for CBE which are vastly different from the traditional model. Although I applaud Blackboard for providing this as a tool to help colleges self-reflect and move forward, I would rather see their efforts focused more on what really matters: formulating their LMS to meet our competency-based needs. While the readiness tool gathers potential customer’s names and emails addresses with the promise of receiving the full report (which I still have not received), I would rather see a product, available in both 9.1 and Ultra, that works and fits the needs of the current Competency-Based Model.

Then again, the readiness tool might help another college or university who needs to know where they are and where to push forward. It may even help them look at something they haven’t thought of while developing in their program. As many of you may know, developing these programs is long and costly and must be completed strategically. So I would say the Bb readiness tool is a great addition to your tool box if you are in the planning stages or just beginning to develop your program, but for those of us already in the thick of developing a CBE program it may not be worth the time.


Dr. Jen

Blackboard Readiness Tool –

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