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Message from ellisj@mail.strose.edu

Our faculty is interested in exploring alternatives to our current LMS. Has anyone gone through the process of exploring LMS options or actually transitioned to a new system within the last year or so? Would you be willing to share any information that was helpful in making an informed decision?

 

My fear is that we will not get adequate faculty participation in the evaluation and selection process and a decision may be made that is not in the best interests of the college. It seems that the feature sets of current LMS products are more similar than ever. While not terribly dissatisfied with our current system (Blackboard), we have a twelve year investment in getting comfortable using and supporting it. Changing to a new LMS would be painful, but we are willing to do it if there are strong benefits. Obviously there would be cost savings by going with an open source option but we would probably go with a supported and possibly hosted solution if we went the open source route.

 

Here are the products most often mentioned on our campus:

 

Blackboard

Moodle

Sakai

Desire to Learn

Instructure Canvas

Epsilon

OpenClass (New Pearson/Google product)

 

Are there other LMS’s that we should be considering? Any advice, suggestions or words of wisdom?

 

Thanks.

 

-          John

 

John R. Ellis

Executive Director Information Technology Services

The College of Saint Rose

432 Western Avenue

Albany, New York 12203

518-454-5166

ellisj@strose.edu

www.strose.edu

ITS.strose.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

John,

SUNY has done a pretty extensive evaluation fairly recently.  The report is linked below:


Of course this was done more from a system perspective than an individual campus, but many of the conclusions may very similar.

Joe
______________________________________
Joseph Moreau
Chief Technology Officer
State University of New York at Oswego
509 Culkin Hall
7060 State Route 104
Oswego, NY  13126
joseph.moreau@oswego.edu
315-312-5500 office
315-806-2166 mobile
315-312-5799 fax
______________________________________


Our college is using Blackboard as well. We organized a group of faculty, under the direction of the Director of Faculty Development (who is also the Chair of the Sociology and Urban Studies Department), to test Moodlerooms (Joule). The company created a sandbox for us and provided training. We uploaded about 12 live courses and compared them side by side to Blackboard. The faculty loved Moodlerooms and was prepared to recommend that we switch from Blackboard. The annual costs would have been reduced to about 1/4 of what we were paying for Blackboard, not including the cost of upgrading our server and the time spent applying server updates and patches. 

Unfortunately, there were other circumstances which prevented our school from leaving the Blackboard platform so we are still using Blackboard.

Dale Hochstein
CIO
Saint Peter's College
Jersey City, New Jersey

Message from shelf@westernu.edu

We have transitioned our College of Osteopathic Medicine off of the LMS, using a combination of SharePoint 2010, and our home-grown Academic Progress Portal. So far the results are, at least for our needs, vastly superior to what we had leading to, and a decade of, the previous system.

 

Initiated by faculty and administration in the college, it was a combination of efforts of our central university IT, Office of Medical Education, and the Academic Informatics office. It went extremely smoothly, and was executed within two weeks during the summer term. (Nearly zero complaints from faculty or students – no news is good news as they say, and in many cases, students have come to us, personally, to congratulate us, especially on the APP portion of the rollout).

 

Would be happy to share our experiences, be they philosophical, educational, business, or  tech, etc. Good mojo all around thus far (toca madera…), and happy to point you to the key folks that made the decision, and executed the technology rollout.

 

Sincerely,

 

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT

Chief Technology Officer-COMP

Director, Academic Informatics

Assistant Professor

 

Department of Academic Informatics

Office of Academic Affairs

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Western University of Health Sciences

309 East 2nd Street

Pomona, CA  91766

 

909-781-4353

shelf@westernu.edu

 

www.westernu.edu

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Dale Hochstein
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:44 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

Our college is using Blackboard as well. We organized a group of faculty, under the direction of the Director of Faculty Development (who is also the Chair of the Sociology and Urban Studies Department), to test Moodlerooms (Joule). The company created a sandbox for us and provided training. We uploaded about 12 live courses and compared them side by side to Blackboard. The faculty loved Moodlerooms and was prepared to recommend that we switch from Blackboard. The annual costs would have been reduced to about 1/4 of what we were paying for Blackboard, not including the cost of upgrading our server and the time spent applying server updates and patches. 

 

Unfortunately, there were other circumstances which prevented our school from leaving the Blackboard platform so we are still using Blackboard.

 

Dale Hochstein

CIO

Saint Peter's College

Jersey City, New Jersey

John,

 

I had just completed a 2 year process of review and analysis leading to a new LMS at my previous institution prior to coming here (to be your neighbor!). You say your faculty is interested in exploring alternatives, that implies you have some faculty leaders vested in the process. I would suggest having them run the process with you as shepherd. I’d be happy to talk to you about the process I shepherded at MCLA. Drop me an email or give me a call!

 

- Mark

--

Mark Berman, Chief Information Officer
Siena College

515 Loudon Road
Loudonville, New York 12211-1462
Tel: (518)786-5000, Fax: (518)783-2590

 

 

 

From: ELLIS, JOHN [mailto:ELLISJ@MAIL.STROSE.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 4:29 PM
Subject: Learning Management Systems

 

Our faculty is interested in exploring alternatives to our current LMS. Has anyone gone through the process of exploring LMS options or actually transitioned to a new system within the last year or so? Would you be willing to share any information that was helpful in making an informed decision?

 

My fear is that we will not get adequate faculty participation in the evaluation and selection process and a decision may be made that is not in the best interests of the college. It seems that the feature sets of current LMS products are more similar than ever. While not terribly dissatisfied with our current system (Blackboard), we have a twelve year investment in getting comfortable using and supporting it. Changing to a new LMS would be painful, but we are willing to do it if there are strong benefits. Obviously there would be cost savings by going with an open source option but we would probably go with a supported and possibly hosted solution if we went the open source route.

 

Here are the products most often mentioned on our campus:

 

Blackboard

Moodle

Sakai

Desire to Learn

Instructure Canvas

Epsilon

OpenClass (New Pearson/Google product)

 

Are there other LMS’s that we should be considering? Any advice, suggestions or words of wisdom?

 

Thanks.

 

-          John

 

John R. Ellis

Executive Director Information Technology Services

The College of Saint Rose

432 Western Avenue

Albany, New York 12203

518-454-5166

ellisj@strose.edu

www.strose.edu

ITS.strose.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.


John,

We're seeing lots of LMS migration in the data from the annual Campus Computing Survey.   And we expect to see more, given that Blackboard has announced plans to sunset support for several legacy LMS applications  (e.g., WebCT, Angel Learning, Bb v. 8) over the next two years.

Below (and attached) are the LMS data, by sector, from the 2008 and 2011 Campus Computing Surveys.  These data document the migration of many campuses from various Blackboard-branded/owned LMS applications (Angel, Blackboard, WebCT), and rising numbers for Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai.   We should begin to see some of the newer LMS providers (e.g., Epsilen and Instructure) register in the 2012/2013 survey data in .


My own wanderings on the web (Google search: "LMS transition) generated a number of links to campus reports about LMS transition planning.   Also of potential interest may be the the "Ten Questions to Ask About LMS Migrations," posted in October at my DigitalTweed blog, which is hosted by INSIDE HIGHER ED.

Hope this information proves useful.  As in the past, my thanks to all who participate in the annual Campus Computing Survey: your participation in the survey makes it possible for us bring data to the discussions on the CIO List.

Casey Green
Campus Computing

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 Kenneth C. Green   818.990.2212
 The Campus Computing Project®
 www.campuscomputing.net
 cgreen@campuscomputing.net
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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From: John Ellis <ellisj@mail.strose.edu>
Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 16:28:48 -0500
To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

Our faculty is interested in exploring alternatives to our current LMS. Has anyone gone through the process of exploring LMS options or actually transitioned to a new system within the last year or so? Would you be willing to share any information that was helpful in making an informed decision?

 

My fear is that we will not get adequate faculty participation in the evaluation and selection process and a decision may be made that is not in the best interests of the college. It seems that the feature sets of current LMS products are more similar than ever. While not terribly dissatisfied with our current system (Blackboard), we have a twelve year investment in getting comfortable using and supporting it. Changing to a new LMS would be painful, but we are willing to do it if there are strong benefits. Obviously there would be cost savings by going with an open source option but we would probably go with a supported and possibly hosted solution if we went the open source route.

 

Here are the products most often mentioned on our campus:

 

Blackboard

Moodle

Sakai

Desire to Learn

Instructure Canvas

Epsilon

OpenClass (New Pearson/Google product)

 

Are there other LMS’s that we should be considering? Any advice, suggestions or words of wisdom?

 

Thanks.

 

-          John

 

John R. Ellis

Executive Director Information Technology Services

The College of Saint Rose

432 Western Avenue

Albany, New York 12203

518-454-5166

ellisj@strose.edu

www.strose.edu

ITS.strose.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi John,

 

I thought you might be interested in some related Core Data. 

 

Of the 700 schools who answered the question “2. What is your institution's practice regarding course/learning management systems (CMS/LMS)? Consider offerings of central IT as well as other administrative or academic units. (Check all that apply.),” 170 are reviewing options or planning to change their current CMS/LMS approach.  69 have recently migrated from one CMS/LMS to another. 

 

Of the 170 who are reviewing their options, 108 currently have Blackboard.  Of the 69 who recently migrated, 17 have Moodle, 13 have Blackboard, and 8 have Desire2Learn. 

 

Of the 108 who are reviewing their options to switch from Blackboard, 67 say that their faculty are generally satisfied with the functions and features of the CMS/LMS.  70 say that their students are generally satisfied with the functions and features of the CMS/LMS.  However, only 35/108 actually measure satisfaction with the CMS/LMS. 

 

I hope this helps!  Please contact me directly if you’d like any further analysis.

 

-Leah

 

Here’s what we did in comparing a Blackboard upgrade versus Moodle - http://www.csuci.edu/ats/documents/ci-lms-eval-report.doc - for various local and timing reasons, we narrowed the decision space quite early to just those 2 options, but if you can do it, there is nothing like a live test in actual instruction to allow faculty to give you meaningful feedback on the options.

 

Michael

 

John,

 

We are completing our first full semester on D2L having migrated in an aggressive timeline from WebCT.  We had an extensive, nearly year-long evaluation process before selecting D2L.  The evaluation team was comprised almost exclusively of faculty as they were the key stakeholders in this decision.  The committee’s final recommendation was a unanimous one – a rare occurrence amongst committees!

 

I am happy to discuss our process more fully with you and also put you in touch with the chair of the committee.

 

Good luck!

 

Gloria

 

=========================

Gloria M. Barlow

Chief Information Officer

Wilkes University

Phone   570 408 4440

 

Wilkes ITS will never ask for passwords or personal information in email.

                                               THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!!

 

Hi All,

 

We too are reviewing and evaluating different LMS’s.  And as I follow this thread I am left wondering,…How much student input is involved in the selection process. It seems to me that we place most of the choice on faculty and I think we might want to consider a paradigm shift. Students are the ones who use the systems in ways faculty may not. Are we giving their needs adequate voice?

 

Regards,

Richard J. Bazile

Dean, Learning Resources-College of Central Florida

3001 SW College Road

Ocala, FL 34474-4415

Phone: 352-873-5805 x1347

baziler@cf.edu

www.educause.edu/cg/itdiversity

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

John,

 

We are completing our first full semester on D2L having migrated in an aggressive timeline from WebCT.  We had an extensive, nearly year-long evaluation process before selecting D2L.  The evaluation team was comprised almost exclusively of faculty as they were the key stakeholders in this decision.  The committee’s final recommendation was a unanimous one – a rare occurrence amongst committees!

 

I am happy to discuss our process more fully with you and also put you in touch with the chair of the committee.

 

Good luck!

 

Gloria

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hello,

 

During our review, we ran a focus group with both students and faculty. We asked them not to consider the current system, but rather what they needed in an eLearning platform. We also had students sit on our committee along with faculty and other staff outside of IT. Good luck with your review process.

 

Robin

 

Richard,

 

We gave a lot of thought to involving students in the process and then chose to limit their involvement to some basic usability input. The LMS is a teaching tool and therefore a tool to be wielded by faculty. I think the choice of LMS is basically a faculty choice, maybe to be influenced by student (and IT support staff) opinion, but at root a faculty choice. IT should do their homework up front and make sure that the systems among which the faculty make that choice are ones that IT can live with. Personally I’d rather support a system that faculty love but which is a little difficult to manage rather than an easy to manage system that faculty hate! Or a system that students love, but faculty hate.

 

- Mark

 

 

From: Bazile, Richard [mailto:baziler@CF.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 4:19 PM
Subject: Re: Learning Management Systems

 

Hi All,

 

We too are reviewing and evaluating different LMS’s.  And as I follow this thread I am left wondering,…How much student input is involved in the selection process. It seems to me that we place most of the choice on faculty and I think we might want to consider a paradigm shift. Students are the ones who use the systems in ways faculty may not. Are we giving their needs adequate voice?

 

Regards,

Richard J. Bazile

Dean, Learning Resources-College of Central Florida

3001 SW College Road

Ocala, FL 34474-4415

Phone: 352-873-5805 x1347

baziler@cf.edu

www.educause.edu/cg/itdiversity

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

John,

 

We are completing our first full semester on D2L having migrated in an aggressive timeline from WebCT.  We had an extensive, nearly year-long evaluation process before selecting D2L.  The evaluation team was comprised almost exclusively of faculty as they were the key stakeholders in this decision.  The committee’s final recommendation was a unanimous one – a rare occurrence amongst committees!

 

I am happy to discuss our process more fully with you and also put you in touch with the chair of the committee.

 

Good luck!

 

Gloria

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi Richard, in our process (described in the document I linked previously) we polled the students who had been involved in the live test of the two systems. In our case, the results were quite similar. I’m not sure exactly what we would have done if they had been widely divergent. Faculty are going to have much more influence on the decision at most campuses, but we were very interested to learn what the students thought as well.

 

John,

We moved from Blackboard to Sakai in summer of 2010, after a two-semester pilot. The evaluation was led by our faculty-dominant Committee on Information Technology.

The change was very well received.  The few complaints were mostly from faculty who did not attend a training class, and their complaints nearly always disappeared with a short one-on-one visit by some who could introduce them to Sakai.
Associate Provost for Technology & Information Systems
Wake Forest University



Richard. . .

 

I think Mark is right on target – the LMS is a tool for the faculty.  Like everyone else (or so it seems), we are examining our LMS needs and whether Bb meets them or not.  In discussing student involvement in the decision-making, the point was made that if the faculty like and praise the system, the chances are that students will like the system.  If the faculty is unhappy with the choice and makes it known, the students will be unhappy as well.   I found that to be a logical point of view.

 

Bill

 

Bill et al,

 

I do see the great value of faculty input into the system. I would not want to deny that. However, I am wondering if we have things just a bit backwards.  I think of it as primarily a learning tool thus Learning Management System not Teaching Management System. I am really just wondering if too much emphasis is placed on faculty and not enough on the student. Maybe, that is for the vendors to make apparent to us.

 

Best,

Richard J. Bazile

Dean, Learning Resources-College of Central Florida

3001 SW College Road

Ocala, FL 34474-4415

Phone: 352-873-5805 x1347

baziler@cf.edu

www.educause.edu/cg/itdiversity

 

From: Schleifer, Bill
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

Richard. . .

 

I think Mark is right on target – the LMS is a tool for the faculty.  Like everyone else (or so it seems), we are examining our LMS needs and whether Bb meets them or not.  In discussing student involvement in the decision-making, the point was made that if the faculty like and praise the system, the chances are that students will like the system.  If the faculty is unhappy with the choice and makes it known, the students will be unhappy as well.   I found that to be a logical point of view.

 

Bill

 

From: Berman, Mark
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

Richard,

 

We gave a lot of thought to involving students in the process and then chose to limit their involvement to some basic usability input. The LMS is a teaching tool and therefore a tool to be wielded by faculty. I think the choice of LMS is basically a faculty choice, maybe to be influenced by student (and IT support staff) opinion, but at root a faculty choice. IT should do their homework up front and make sure that the systems among which the faculty make that choice are ones that IT can live with. Personally I’d rather support a system that faculty love but which is a little difficult to manage rather than an easy to manage system that faculty hate! Or a system that students love, but faculty hate.

 

- Mark

 

From: Bazile, Richard [mailto:baziler@CF.EDU]
Subject: Re: Learning Management Systems

 

Hi All,

 

We too are reviewing and evaluating different LMS’s.  And as I follow this thread I am left wondering,…How much student input is involved in the selection process. It seems to me that we place most of the choice on faculty and I think we might want to consider a paradigm shift. Students are the ones who use the systems in ways faculty may not. Are we giving their needs adequate voice?

 

Regards,

Richard J. Bazile

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
Subject: Re: [CIO] Learning Management Systems

 

John,

 

We are completing our first full semester on D2L having migrated in an aggressive timeline from WebCT.  We had an extensive, nearly year-long evaluation process before selecting D2L.  The evaluation team was comprised almost exclusively of faculty as they were the key stakeholders in this decision.  The committee’s final recommendation was a unanimous one – a rare occurrence amongst committees!

 

I am happy to discuss our process more fully with you and also put you in touch with the chair of the committee.

 

Good luck!

 

Gloria

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Message from mike.cunningham@pct.edu

Mark, I have to raise a point on your response. If the topic was “teaching” and not “learning” I would agree that it would focus on faculty. But learning is a two way street.  The students need to be able to access and use the system as much as the faculty, and if we think about total time, students are using the system much more than faculty. Someone on the group doing the evaluation needs to focus on the needs of the student. That does not necessarily need to be a student, just someone looking at it from their perspective. And I would hope the faculty involved would also be doing that. I do agree with your statement that IT comes in as a tie breaker. If the field is narrowed down to two options and IT can easily support one and the other would be a pain, option one wins.

 

Message from shelf@westernu.edu

Agree that the focus has traditionally been on the faculty / administration in terms of the technical implementation of most commercially available LMSes.

After nearly a decade (half of which I was the primary administrator) of using a very popular LMS, we have abandoned it, in favor of a hybrid of an in-house developed application in combination with SharePoint. So far, for a full semester, working like a champ, and students, faculty, admin, and even IT love it.

One of the main features we are able to offer students is a student-centric, rather than course-centric, longitudinal, chronological and continuous perspective from prior to matriculation through graduation. This is one primary design principal, and the tech follows (as do permissions, data mining, slice-dice, trend analysis, etc.).

In addition to this student-centric design imperative, we also have a student-advisor-centric design point of view. This gives them the complete, and granular picture of individual students, as well as define cohorts (course, class, etc.). The bottom line is that the student advisor can intervene before a student fails a course. Neat, and we've saved quite a bit of students from failing out of professional school (and that makes admin. happy at north of $40k per student / per year lost revenue should a student wash out). Humanistic, the right thing to do, and helps revenue retention as well.

Would be happy to chat about it off-line. I had presented a portion of our tech at Campus Technology in Boston this past summer, and, since, we've moved quite a bit further down this road.

Cheers,

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT
CTO-COMP
WesternU

shelf@westernu.edu


This sounds like a design after my own heart. Congratulations. If there are any LMS vendors lurking in the background, please pay attention to this email. God bless, Sam Young Chief Information Officer Point Loma Nazarene University Individualization ~ Achiever ~ Learner ~ Belief ~ Activator ________________________________
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