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How do we listen to you?

Posted by tjatkin Sep 20, 2017

Several weeks ago, I sat in Blackboard's Curie conference room (named for Marie Curie, the famed researcher, double Nobel prize winner, and first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris) and listened to the results of our Client Satisfaction survey, an annual survey we conduct to better understand how we’re meeting our clients’ needs.  As I listened to the different data points – the highs, the lows, the trends, and the areas of focus - I thought of:


  • the Online Campus leader who emailed Bill Ballhaus and me with ideas of how we can improve our efforts to support his university;
  • the Associate Provost who sat next to me in a listening session at BbWorld, and shared her team’s concerns;
  • the Instructional Designer and the System Administrator (from different universities) who I talked with for 3 hours at the House of Blues party in New Orleans after BbWorld; I got to know them as caring, engaged and fun education professionals – and we never even “talked shop;”
  • the Professor Emeritus who reached out to me via email as she didn't know where to turn for help;
  • my neighbor who is a kindergarten assistant at a Blackboard client county system; and
  • my nephew who uses Blackboard in school.


I realized the survey results represent not just these individuals, but their teams, their colleagues, their peers, and their classmates. The survey results are more than numbers. They represent the very real daily, weekly, and monthly impact we have on people around the world – the impact we have on you.


The survey results help me, and everyone at Blackboard, to understand the individual stories, challenges, needs, and desires in a more holistic way. The survey results help us reflect, prioritize, and plan.


Previously, Blackboard had sporadically obtained client feedback via survey tools.  In 2015, we committed to an annual survey cycle across all of our clients to better inform our work.  Next week, I will share a summary of our annual Client Satisfaction survey taken in April, 2017.


When you read the survey summary, you'll likely see elements that reflect your experience with Blackboard. You'll also see that other people and institutions may have competing needs and desires. Keeping with our conviction about the importance of transparency as a cornerstone of partnership, we will be sharing these results because we believe it will strengthen our dialogue.


Stay tuned. And thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post in my role as Blackboard's Chief Client Officer. I look forward to our conversation.



The full blog post by Eric Kunnen is available here.


Based on a project request from faculty involved in the Pew FTLC Strong Start Initiative, a class photo roster feature has been implemented in Blackboard to enhance personal connections between faculty and students.


The Strong Start Initiative, led by Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow Tom Pentecost, focuses faculty attention on best practices for engaging students in first-year undergraduate courses and important aspects of the college experience vital to student success.

The Strong Start Initiative highlighted the importance of making it a priority to learn students’ names and calling them by name as a recommendation for improving student success, along with being more approachable as a faculty member.

Read the blog post about the Blackboard Class Photo Roster ...