Tufts University, University of South Alabama, Notre Dame and Sakai–a middle way?

Representatives of our three schools, along with Nate Angell of rSmart, began conferencing a few weeks ago in order to discuss their mutual desire to provide multiple methods integrating SunGard Banner and Sakai. As many of you know, to date there are two methods to provision ones LMS or CLE. A. Administratively create course site shells each semester for all, or a majority, of your course offerings. When Instructors login, their course and its enrollments are already in place and managed by the SIS integration. B. Allow (change the verb here depending on your perspective…) Instructors to create their own … Continue reading Tufts University, University of South Alabama, Notre Dame and Sakai–a middle way?

Deliverables to include in your LMS transition project

I just sent these tweets in succession then I realized I will lose these, and so will those who may be following with an LMS transition in 6 months or a year. (You’re welcome Janel!). Here they are consolidated into a true posting: 1. 2. 3. 4.   Let me elaborate a bit. #1 Without the ability to copy a production environment, its configuration and all its courses (database) to a non-production environment, you will never be able to thoroughly test configuration changes, new tools you might add, or system performance under peak loads without impacting your faculty and students. … Continue reading Deliverables to include in your LMS transition project

How Universities Choose Their LMS: A Review of the Literature (but if you don’t know, I can’t tell you)

Tongue-in-Cheek Opening: In this post I will offer observations on various LMS evaluations of which I am aware. This awareness and knowledge comes from personal contacts and from published LMS reports (“the literature”). Unfortunately I have not much good to say. I would like to say I’ve caught someone doing something right. If I have, I will speak up. But mostly I haven’t been able to catch any institution in the act. Since I can’t promise I will be exceptionally kind although I do have a high value on kindness, I will refer to neither my friends nor the Universities … Continue reading How Universities Choose Their LMS: A Review of the Literature (but if you don’t know, I can’t tell you)

Buying Blackboard : Speculation Continues

It was in Twitterland that I heard the April 19th announcement that Blackboard was contracting with Barclays Capital to respond to non-binding offers to buy. And that’s all that Blackboard press release said and all it said it would ever said. But it did say offers plural. At the end of this listing will be sources so far who’ve engaged in this entertaining speculation. My own speculations are informed by the April 14th, just prior, release from Blackboard, to whit, McGraw-Hill and Blackboard Launch Combined Course Solution Worldwide. a phone interview with OpenView Venture Partners who recently invested in Instructure. … Continue reading Buying Blackboard : Speculation Continues

Notes on Penn State Learning Design Podcast #4: Throw out the LMS?

They title it “Baby and the Bathwater,” Jeff Swain and Brian Young. Full podcast available from ITunes :EdTech episode #4_ Baby & the bath water These snippets of their conversation stuck out to me. “If we implement it as we did in the past, if we support it as we did in the past, we will end up with what we had in the past.”  (Brian’s voice I think) The LMS’s of today pretty much all have the same functionality. In what way are they flawed? What is it about an LMS as a tool that still needs to change… … Continue reading Notes on Penn State Learning Design Podcast #4: Throw out the LMS?

I get by with a little help from my friends

  I’ve now been in the learning management space for 12 years. I still love it. And I love that the professional networks I began back then, over time, and any number of conferences, become people I value as friends. I know which ones I can trust and which ones spout baloney after a couple of beers. Bob Boufford, I can trust. Couldn’t believe where he is today and how timely that is for some of my current questions about importing BbVista quizzes to Sakai! (click on image) Make new friends and keep the old, they say. My recent queries … Continue reading I get by with a little help from my friends

Blackboard Learn 9 – FREE

It’s called CourseSites. John Fontaine calls it “a reimagining” of what once was. The value-add for faculty, in my opinion, AND potentially for your institution are the Course Structures and Course Themes. Course Structures allow the Instructor, alone without supportive designers, and without expertise in developing online experiences, to read about and choose from 1 of 30 pre-built “structures” for the organization of his or her course. Course Themes provide the eye candy, the bells and whistles that hopefully more fully engage the student. Coming from a background in an institution that has few faculty resources for venturing into electronic … Continue reading Blackboard Learn 9 – FREE