I now use a variety of Google platforms for course management: Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Groups and Google Calendar. I have set up a dummy site illustrating how I use these. To view the site, simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the site.
I never used Blackboard, so I can't say how doing this compares. I used Moodle for many years, but my students reported that it was cluncky, slow to load, etc. I found it aesthetically difficult and extremely difficult to use in the sense that doing one simple action took several clicks and dialogue boxes.
Alternatively, if you are at least somewhat technically savvy, Google is aesthetically nice, easy to use, and has very simple, clear privacy settings.
Some provisos: 1) users must have a Gmail account, 2) you must use privacy settings to be compliant with copyright, FERPA, etc 3) you have to invite folks across all of the platforms you use rather than inviting folks in one simple step for all.
In the coming weeks if folks are interested I will detail exactly how I use the individual platforms, e.g., Google Docs (for syllabi, assignments, quizes, etc.) Google Groups (for discussion fora), and Google Calendar (for scheduling appointments).