Learning Management Systems

Today the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to migrate from a proprietary learning management system (LMS) (in this case, Blackboard) to an open source LMS (in this case, Moodle). It was interesting to see the faculty operate. The  instructional technology staff demo’ed Moodle and explained that we wouldn’t lose anyone’s data and that the migration would be done over phases. Several faculty demo’ed how they’ve piloted Moodle and this was really key to the other faculty coming round. It was my first time appearing before this group so I didn’t say much. Someone asked if this would save us money because we wouldn’t have to pay a vendor license and I said “probably not–we would just be investing our money in a different direction–toward the community rather than toward a vendor.” I didn’t mention the whole “Blackboard may sue our ass” concern…. but what’s life without risk?

4 Responses to “Learning Management Systems”

  1. cec said:

    Mar 25, 08 at 7:10 am

    Congratulations! and hey, I wouldn’t worry about Bb suing your ass – after all, they’ve promised not to enforce their patents against open source solutions. And if you can’t trust a lawsuit happy, submarine patent wielding company, then who can you trust? 😉

  2. admin said:

    Mar 25, 08 at 4:36 pm

    thanks! and, I would add to your “lawsuit happy, submarine patent wielding” phrase as follows: “If you can’t trust a lawsuit happy, submarine patent wielding company who also pwns your emergency communication system [they just bought NTI], then who can you trust?” ….

  3. Sukey said:

    Mar 30, 08 at 4:56 am

    I thought you couldn’t migrate BB material to another content management system? – or is it – you can physically do it – but you will get sued.

    How would you not save money? One you have to buy the other you don’t – does Moodle require that much on-site upkeep?

  4. admin said:

    Mar 31, 08 at 7:53 pm

    You can migrate the material but it’s kind of convoluted. BB may sue because they believe, apparently, that they invented the idea of an online course management system. Sort of like how Gore invented the internet, except BB has had at least one court agree with them. However, good news today! Check out http://chronicle.com/free/2008/03/2306n.htm

    Yeah, you’re right about saving money, probably. But I’m not going to tell them that, not at this point. Let that be a little bonus…

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