As a user of Blackboard at Bournemouth University I have been involved in various discussion about it’s merit (or lack of). These are usually started by someone who doesn’t like Blackboard, and probably hasn’t used it much either (or even tried). They are usually fans of Moodle, even if they’ve not used it (but have talked to people who have).
You know the sort, and have probably had similar discussions yourself, from either side of the fence.
Thanks to @kennfj I found this report from the University of North Carolina (USA) on a comparison between Moodle and Blackboard Vista, with a view to which system will they implement across the Institution;
It is a fairly comprehensive study with some very interesting points on both sides of the argument, and I strongly recommend you read it, if you get a chance.
The conclusion states:
“The evidence gathered by this committee strongly favors a transition to Moodle on both pedagogical and financial grounds. Moodle provides better or comparable functionality with the benefit of increased relevance and control for what in the long run will be lower cost.”
We must remember, when reading the conclusion, that their decision is based on what is best for them and their “instructional mission”. It might not be the same for you or your Institution.
Interestingly enough, this report does reflect other anecdotal stories I am hearing on Twitter about a move away from Blackboard to other systems; notably Moodle and SharePoint. I have no experience of either I cannot comment on their individual merits, and I know that Blackboard has it’s faults and its difficulties (it can’t do everything we want, but does most of them fairly well).