February 23, 2014

Book Reviews

Thanks for the many reviews of Blackboard Learn Administration book. Here are some of them.

“This book is a MUST HAVE for every Blackboard system administrator!

When I started managing an LMS (starting with WebCT CE and now Blackboard Learn), I had no idea what I was walking into. There was no training, or the funding to be sent to training. Everything I’ve learned over the years has been from digging through piles of documentation and reading updates from the user community. My life would have been completely different if I had this book back then! It has the perfect balance of information for new admins as well as those who have more experience.

I’m looking forward to whatever Terry Patterson writes in the future (Part 2?).” 

– Alicia S. – found on Amazon.com – 06/26/2013

“As I’ve spent the last year and a half self-teaching all the ins and outs of this convoluted LMS, I pretty much review this as somewhat of a newbie to Blackboard Learn administration, I will reiterate the other reviews in saying that I wish I’d had this book when I started on this great adventure. It would have made all that time so much more efficient. Terry has done a fabulous job of breaking down the basics into easily understandable step-by-step instructions, and I look forward to trying out his tips and tricks on the advanced topics. I would also have to say that this book is a perfect complement to Blackboard Essentials for Teachers and I plan to recommend that they both be required reading for all new support staff at my institution. Reading these will provide answers to just about any question faculty could throw at you.

Thanks you Terry Patterson and Packt Publishing!!!”

– Alex Manly – found on Amazon.com – 06/25/2013

Terry Patterson’s Blackboard Learn Administration book filled a huge gap between the vendor documentation and the needs of the New Blackboard System Administrator! No where does there exist a more comprehensive set of “How to” instructions, nor a better single source of the “Why to.”

Experienced Blackboard Administrators will tell you that Blackboard is a finicky animal and the care and feeding of such can be a precarious position. Learning to manage the system is not trivial and it is often accomplished through trial and error. Thankfully, there is now a usable manual for the uninitiated!

Patterson begins, as expected, with the basics of setting up the Learn system, filling in the questions a new administrator won’t be able to find anywhere else. But, he informs beyond the simple install steps and delves into the full tasks of administration including what I believe are the most important points: Processes and Maintenance.

It’s been a long time since I was a new Blackboard Admin and every bit of knowledge I now possess was gained through many (wasted!) hours of research, parsing of listservs, phone calls to other institutions and pestering Blackboard Support. Patterson pulls his repertoire together in one reference and how-to guide aimed at making even an experienced Blackboard Learn Administrator more successful with Learn administration tasks.

After nearly 7 years of administering Blackboard Learn, I still found several sections with fresh perspective and new instruction. Patterson really shows his expertise in his section entitled “Security, Reporting, and Configuration in Blackboard Learn.” He explores issues that are not strictly Blackboard Learn, but are absolutely needed information for the Learn Administrator.

Overall, this book has critical value for a new Blackboard Learn Administrator (both GUI Administrator as well as Application Administrator) as well as significant value the more seasoned Blackboard Learn Administrator. This book should be on the shelf of every Blackboard Administrator. For its purpose, this book unequivocally rolls a six.

– jtsveigdalen – found on Amazon.com – 06/19/2013

Having been a Blackboard system administrator since 2008 I will agree with other reviewers that his would have been nice to have. It gives great instructions for helping setup and maintaining your Bb system. Now that I have a copy it will set on my shelf (actually on my computer but that didn’t sound as good) so that I can refer to it as needed.

– Michael Ashby – found on Amazon.com – 06/17/2013

I’ve been installing, configuring, optimizing and maintaining Blackboard Learn instances since the release of 9.1 (single app servers and now multiple app server installations). Prior to the release of 9.1 (starting in 2005), I had administered WebCT servers. Over the years, I have searched and searched through the various help documents published by Blackboard, to find needed information. This, at times, has proved to be a very frustrating experience (although they have made significant strides in the last few years, it still can be cumbersome to find the information you need QUICKLY). This book places information that I would have searched for over the past years in once convenient place.

Starting with Planning and Installing Blackboard, Terry Patterson systematically works through all aspects of a Blackboard Learn installation. In this book, he covers Setup and Customization, creating and administering courses, users and enrollments, roles, tools, utilities, security, reporting, optimization, authentication, data integration, building blocks, web services, LTI, troubleshooting, log file searching, disaster recovery, and much more.

I honestly wish I had had this book years ago. This book would have made my life a lot nicer when dealing with Blackboard!

– Bruce – found on Amazon.com – 06/17/2013

Having been a Blackboard admin for over 6 years I only wish a quality resource like this had been available years ago. This book is a great accumulation of common sense advice that most experienced Blackboard admins had to learn through trial and error. For new admins this book will put you on the fast track to removing much of the mystery that comes with setting up, administrating, and running a Blackboard deployment; it is also a great reference for the rest of us. An Excellent Resource!

– BB Admin – found on Amazon.com – 06/04/2013

Blackboard Learn administrators should get this book http://www.packtpub.com/blackboard-learn-administration/book – as a blackboard user you will know that documentation is hard to come by. This book is therefore invaluable. It covers subjects such as installing blackboard, integrating data, security and building blocks, in short a reference to pretty much every admin job you would do in blackboard. I feel this book will be invaluable to me in my day to day job at a busy university, helping me to ensure I can provide solutions for blackboard and enhance our student experience.

– VickP “vickspring” – found on Amazon.co.uk – 05/29/2013

Wow….Finally a manual that is quite easy to understand. For me as a online course designer for instructors, I’ve always wanted a book about the BlackBoard Learning Management System that was easy to comprehend without needing another degree or certification, and this book is my Rosetta Stone. With easy to read descriptions, illustrations, charts, and graphs, one can be up and running quickly to fathom how this complected LMS operates. I look forward to having this book in my reference library for my career, and look forward to future editions.

– C. Martinez – found on Amazon.com – 05/27/2013