Blackboard have set the cat amongst the pigeons with their announcement today that they have acquired both Moodlerooms and Netspot to help run a new business to support and host open source learning management systems.
Both George Siemens and Audrey Watters have already posted their initial views on this and both provide an interesting and sceptical take on Blackboard’s motivations. I agree with their scepticism but I disagree with George’s analysis of the Blackboard’s motivations. I actually think Blackboard are making a play to position themselves as the cloud provider of LMS solutions. Here are my reasons:
I have just read Lisa Lane’s article in First Monday entitled “Insidious pedagogy: How course management systems impact teaching”. I really liked her paper, not least because it raised some issues that I hadn’t considered before regarding default settings in an LMS and the idea of opt in and opt out learning management systems. It also described the way many academics use (or don’t use) the web in their work or play and how this effects their ability to use some of the more ‘advanced’ features of an LMS that go beyond an instructivist model of delivery. Perhaps most importantly of all it discusses the importance of emphasising pedagogy before ‘features and tools’ when working with web novices.
Many universities are currently, or have recently, reviewed their enterprise LMS including my own employer. Unfortunately we haven’t made our review process public but many universities have been generous enough to provide information about their reviews. The following list are some of the publicly available LMS reviews that I have found. These were really useful in developing and informing our own review and I hope that by bringing them together in one place it will be useful for others. Continue reading →
During April, 2009 I carried out an informal bit of research to see what Australian universities were using as their principal, enterprise wide Learning Management System (LMS). This was simply based on visiting each university web site and attempting to find out which LMS was being used. This was easier in some cases than others. Some universities have branded their LMS and it was occasionally difficult to identify which LMS and/or which version they were using. Of course some web sites may be out of date.
The table below indicates, to the best of my knowledge, what LMS is being used where. I’m very happy to be corrected and I will update the table accordingly. Continue reading →