As I commented on Mohamed Amine Chatti's post "LMS vs. PLE", I have been very disappointed in the online learning community at Pace. Before entering as a grad student, I had never used Blackboard before. At first, I was excited at this online community. But over the past couple semesters, I become more and more disappointed (and annoyed) with the site.
A PLE (personal learning environment) is supposed to offer students the opportunity to extend their learning, make it personal, and have an input on the method of learning. At first glance, Blackboard seemed to be just that for me. But after my first semester, I was sad to see that I no longer had access to the documents available to my classes. There was no printed record of my class contributions. No more lists of grades for me to keep on hand. With a new semester, Blackboard is essentially wiped clean of my previous coursework.
One issue Mohamed brings up in relation to PLEs is the ability to extend the coursework or study of the topic even after the class has finished. Blackboard obviously provides no opportunity for that as it is right now. But should Pace decide to utilize a different learning community, that would have my experiences thus far more positive. I would have liked to stay in touch or communicate or discuss with some former classmates. If I didn't get their emails before the semester ended (or in my current case, we're no longer meeting in person for the rest of this semester for one class and I missed the last in-person class due to being sick), then I'm out of luck. I may not have had the time during the semester to peruse all the resources and documents my professors had made available, and now there's no way for me to have access to them at all. Blackboard leaves much to be desired and makes me wonder how my experiences at Pace would have been different had a system closer to a PLE been utilized instead of Blackboard.