WebCT Vista, by Blackboard, is used to teach online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. It has many features for the student, some of which are always available and some of which are specific to a course. MyWebCT allows a student to customize preferences, adding daily and weekly calendars and a to do list. From My WebCT, the student also has access to grades, campus announcements, course list, and campus and personal bookmarks. It’s also possible to see which classmates are online. An extensive Help menu is very useful with the following options: Getting to Know the Blackboard Learning System, and Using the Blackboard Learning System features and tools. Once logged in to a course, there are course tools and my tools. Course tools include icons for such things as assignments, learning modules, roster, and syllabus. My tools consists of my grades and my files.
WebCT Vista can be used by instructional librarians at academic libraries to create information literacy modules and make them available to professors who teach incoming freshmen. A professor could assign a WebCT module for homework. The Who’s Online feature is very useful because it encourages interaction among classmates who may not see each other face to face. It also allows for students to ask real time questions of each other such as, “What is the password for e-reserves?” The discussion board, however, is not as user-friendly as it could be. Although a green asterisk indicates that new items are available, it’s not clear when there are new postings to be read. The green asterisk seems to be there constantly, whether there are new items or not. This feature could be improved not only for use by instructional librarians teaching information literacy, but for anyone who uses Web CT Vista.