In addition to traditional classroom instruction, many classes are offered over the Internet. For the busy student who can't fit classroom attendence into a busy schedule, the freedom of an Internet class makes education possible off-campus. To avoid a feeling of isolation in the learning process, Blackboard offers many of the features normally found in the classroom.
Named discussion areas allow students to interact during class assignments, with stronger students frequently "jumping in" to help those get over the rough parts of a task.
The plan of learning for the semester is always available for reference. It contains reading assignments in the text, grading policies, homework assignments with due-dates, and other information related to the running of the class.
Assigned tasks may be as simple as "do problem 3 at the end of chapter 4" or may involve the completion of an online tutorial with the resulting project uploaded to a Student Project Server.
As assignments are completed and graded, you can look at the gradebook at any time to see how you are doing compared to the class average. Your scores are not visible to anyone else, and you cannot see anyone else's scores, but you'll always know how you've done on a particular assignment.
Yes, there is an online, real-time blackboard / greaseboard that allows you to draw pictures on a slate using your mouse. If you need to draw pictures while chatting with other other students, that capability is available and is remarkably easy to use.
Take a look at the layout and controls of the Blackboard system.