The researchers examined responses from 862 faculty members at 38 institutions nationwide using the blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) to supplement their face-to-face instruction. The four research questions addressed the primary uses that faculty make of blackboard, perceptions that faculty have of how certain blackboard features enhance or elevate (or might enhance or elevate) their assessment of student work and instructional capabilities, and how faculty use of blackboard might positively affect the psychosocial climate within the face-to-face classroom setting. Additional analysis sought to identify the factors that predict use and positive perception of blackboard as a supplement to face-to-face teaching activities. The results indicate that faculty primarily used blackboard as a course management/ administration tool to make course documents available to students and manage course grades. Few faculty used blackboard for instructional or assessment purposes, and even fewer utilized blackboard to foster a more positive sense of community within their face-to-face classes. Faculty attitudes, on the whole, were positive when it came to the classroom management functions of blackboard, but neutral or otherwise undecided in terms of its instructional or psychosocial benefits. The main factor in determining blackboard usage - whether for course administration or instructional purposes - was experience with the tool. In addition, women had more positive attitudes than men did in terms of blackboard's potential to enhance classroom management and foster a positive relational climate. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed before concluding. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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