Observation 4 No, I am not on Blackboard’s payroll. Shame on you! But did you notice this? This photo is Jeff Longland, long time technical administrator of WebCT / Blackboard over at Western Ontario University. Just a few weeks ago he took a new job with University of Vancouver (also a Blackboard client). This year as a client he was recognized as contributing to the Blackboard company by spearheading innovative way for clients to assist in prioritizing the bug fixes of products which they use. I was a part of the user group (BbSwat) where we first prioritized which fixes … Continue reading Bbworld 2010 – The difference one year has made
Observation 3 This photo was taken by Phil O’Hara of Dalhousie University and posted in Facebook. Phil is part of Dalhousie’s Integrated Learning Online effort. He shot this photo of Blackboard’s Ray Henderson during a KeyNote in which Ray is discussing the promises he made a year ago when he stepped in from VP of Angel to President of Blackboard’s Learn group. Ray constructed a report card style report and gave us some responses from clients like us as to how he has come along on his goals of the last year. He also did a blog post “My Freshman … Continue reading Bbworld 2010 – The difference one year has made
Observation 2 This is "Dr. Chuck," or Dr. Charles Severance, of the IMS Global Learning Consortium. He is the leading voice of the leading organization in interoperability for systems handling teaching, learning, and course data. He was at Blackboard’s Developer’s Conference this year (sniff…I was not), as well as Blackboard’s general user conference where I met him. The IMS Global Learning Consortium is THE standards organization, working out standards which, when adopted by the leading vendors, make interoperability a shoo in. A few years back Blackboard became an IMS Global Consortium key sponsor, and participant, and assigned one of their … Continue reading Bbworld 2010 – The difference one year has made
Observation 1 Last year (and the year before) Sungard, a leading provider of Student Information Systems, was not present at the Blackboard conference. Rumors abounded about the defunct, stalled, or otherwise unhealthy relationship between the two vendors. Integration between the two largest providers of higher ed. systems (LMS/SIS), an integration formerly provided free and out of the box for CE/Vista customers anyway (give thanks to WebCT for that legacy arrangement) – was going to be a paid for professional service by Blackboard for which the client would be paying support in perpetuity. Slick, huh? (Of course, such an integration would … Continue reading Bbworld 2010 – The difference one year has made
While one model is open and public and inviting of comments and suggestions from parties who may also be developers, vendors, or even competitors… (See such an invitation from Sakai foundation and watch Michael Korcuska’s Sakai 3 authoring tool demonstration here.) There’s another model. Blackboard’s Product Development Program also solicits customer feedback, suggestions, input, but with restrictions and follow-up that must be done by those responding to the invitation, lest, once announcing their desire to participate, they miss the window of opportunity defined by Blackboard. So when I saw Dara Millen’s invitation to jump into the Product Development Program (always … Continue reading Authoring Environment Development: Two Models
1. Without certain functionality in the Next Generation product, these clients will not migrate to the next generation product (SIS real time integration; hierarchical permissions for multiple roles and distributed support, etc.). 2. Since these users can not migrate without the functionality their institutions are built around they will either stick with Bb Vista/CE products until the end of life, now scheduled for 2012, OR, they will move to another CMS/LMS/VLE. 3. Since they are ‘stuck,’ advocating for fixing the defects in the current product and enhancing the current product to make it what it should’ve been all along, keep … Continue reading Why is the VistaSWAT Community of Practice so active?
Oh this was cool… I almost forgot to blog about it I was so bowled over by actually being asked how important to me are certain built-into Vista features (Cross-listing, hierarchical admin roles, reporting at hierarchical levels on crosslisted courses, SIS integration, etc.) I mean, it sounded like Blackboard might be prioritizing development based on what we customers say is important to us. (Don’t speak this outloud, it may break the mojo). At the very least, the hue and cry raised by the Vista/CE clientbase has reached the very ears of the NG Product Development Team and they are acknowledging … Continue reading Bb Product Development Survey