Part IV: NIACC CMS Switch

Question: Have you had any problems with capacity on the new system to support the full institution? How well does it support an institution of, say, 15.000 full-time students?

Bruce: We have a small implementation and currently have about 2000 accounts (and growing), 50 faculty and 165 course sections (summer and fall) on the system, so I can’t answer that question based on our experience, but I know there are some big universities using ANGEL.

Question: Any regrets? Praises? Recommendations?

Bruce: No regrets. The ANGEL sales and support staff have been great to work with. Like I indicated earlier the support staff are very responsive – although not 24/7. I’m not trying to sell one system over another. You need to make your own evaluations. Every system has features that users love and hate. No matter where you move some users will be thrilled at the new features, some will be disappointed at the loss of their favorite features, and there are some that you can’t please no matter what you do. Most of our faculty have embraced the new system and are learning how to make it work for their classes. We have more instructors teaching face-to-face classes and using ANGEL than we did with WebCT. We have not heard much from the students. I guess that is a good thing. We did no training for students, provided a pdf of the student guide on the login page, but that was all. I have seen some comments sent to instructors indicating that some students really like ANGEL. If you move, plan at least one full semester or quarter for training faculty and migrating courses. If possible spread your implementation over two terms. We started training in the spring for summer and fall courses, implementing for all summer online courses which is about 1/3 the number of online courses that we have in the fall and then all of our online and several face-to-face courses in the fall. I would have liked to have started sooner. It was pretty hectic. There is much that I could say about the features, but have rambled on far too long and so will end here.

Bruce McKee
Instructional Technology Coordinator
North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, IA
mckeebru@niacc.edu

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