Student-Identified Strengths and Challenges of Using Blackboard for Group Projects in a Social Work Course

Melissa B. Littlefield

Abstract


Blackboard (TM) provides social work educators integrated online communication
tools that they can employ to facilitate student learning through features such
as e-mail, discussion forums, file exchange, virtual classroom, and links to online
resources. This study describes students’ experiences using Blackboard (TM) to support
a group project assignment. The majority of students found it easy to use and useful
for the project, and indicated that they would like to use it in other courses. In addition,
students gained technical skills as a result of the group project. Students’ group
project grades and final course grades were comparable to those in other sections of
the same course taught by this investigator.
The findings of this study suggest that online technology can be used to facilitate
group assignments for MSW students. The benefits include increased efficiency of
group functioning and increased accountability of group members. The challenges
include technical problems and student resistance to using the technology.

Keywords


Social work education, technology, computers, Internet, diversity, racism

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