Choosing A New Course Management System
As you may be aware, since Blackboard acquired WebCT, support for WebCT has decreased and will be phased out by 2011. Online courses have become commonplace at Lincoln and faculty input is critical in choosing the next online course management system.
Several systems have been identified with well-established university use and include Blackboard 9.0, Desire2Learn, Angel Learning, and Moodle (short descriptions attached). Representatives from the first three companies will come to the main campus in mid to late March to show us their products and answer questions. Moodle is an open-source system and is not supported by a single company, and so has no representatives.
Please take a look at their web sites where you will find a sandbox to test their tools or a virtual tour of the system. Links are below. As you review these systems, keep in mind how you use the tools, what tools you would like to use, and changes you would like to see in our current system. Faculty will notice new tools added, particularly assessment tools and tools which encourage collaborative learning and communication between students (blogs, wikis, group settings).
Angel Learning: http://www.angellearning.com/tour.html
Blackboard 9.0: http://www.blackboard.com/release9/
Moodle: http://demo.moodle.org/, http://moodle.org
See also an excellent Comparison of CMS by EduTools.
Brief Overview - Four Course Management Systems
Compiled by ATS
Here are short descriptions of each system provider in their own words.
D2L has set up a test site for Lincoln:
Please use the following to login to the Desire2Learn demonstration site that we walked through on Friday.
D2L product offerings include:
1. Learning Environment is a web-based suite of teaching and learning tools which “provides the flexibility to control the environment to match your ... approach to teaching and learning, and tools to help facilitate communication, collaboration and community building;”
2. Learning Repository (LOR) is “the first fully integrated standards-based LOR enabling the storing, tagging, searching and reusing of learning objects. The Desire2Learn Learning Repository empowers organizations to effectively capture, reuse and manage content across multiple programs, courses and sections;”
3. Live Room provides “synchronous chat, whiteboard/canvas, presentation technology designed to assist in real-time collaboration;”
4. Competency “takes ... program assessment to the next level by using a comprehensive and flexible suite of tracking and reporting tools;”
5. ePortfolio collects, organizes, and presents student artifacts;”
6. 2GO allows users to access D2D on a Blackberry.
“Moodle is a software package for producing internet-based courses and web sites. It is a world-wide, ongoing development project designed to support a social constructionist framework of education (strong community, shared experiences, building things together for others to view and use).”
“A group of authorized service companies is committed to financially supporting the open source Moodle project as well as the individuals and universities using it.”
Because it is open-source, there are many avenues for support available, it is highly customizable, thousands of instructors and programmers are available to answer questions.
Moodle demonstration site: Moodle Demo
1. Get perspective into learner performance and behavior with Reprts Console, “immediate visibility into key course metrics instantly at login. Academic performance and student activity are automatically assembled;”
2. Offers “pattern recognition of online student activity – and [allows] faculty to automate appropriate actions (see http://www.angellearning.com/community/higher_ed.html#automatically)
3. See results with industry-leading assessment and learning outcomes management (LOM)
Request a sandbox and use your Lincoln e-mail address to log in: Request Angel Sandbox
BLACKBOARD “provides a foundation for engaging and assessing your learners inside and beyond a classroom.” Capabilities include
1. Course delivery via Grade Center, tracking student performance with Dashboard, collaboration tools, plagiarism assessment;
2. Community engagement and collaboration tools;
3. Outcomes assessment-“tools to measure learning, analyze and report on real data, and manage improvement.”
Here is an overview and virtual tour: Blackboard, Release 9