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The Search for the Truth
Behind the Rumour
Dispelling Open Source VLE myths
Bryony Bramer Leo Havemann Sarah Sherman
The Bloomsbury Colleges
A bit about us...
© Ewan Mura
Photo credit: Ewan Munro
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2445298176/
Aims & Objectives
• Our view
• The current options
• Defining some myths
• Weighing up the pros and cons
• What about you?
So Many Options
In the short term the question is whether/when to
upgrade.
8
But looking beyond...
... is the VLE dead??
Should we now be thinking about PLEs?
Photo credit: http://twitpic.com/photos/vaughany
VLE Options
Assuming we do need a VLE...
8
Open Source Myths (1)
“Open source is
free”
• No licence cost.
• We would still have
hosting / managed hosting
costs.
• Additional staff
resourcing - probably need
developers (ongoing), and
migration support
(project).
Open Source Myths (2)
“Open source is
cool and sexy”
• Bandwagon appeal –
seems like others are
doing it
• Doesn’t address
pedagogy, usability or
financial dimensions
Open Source Myths (3)
“If it’s free - it
can’t be as good”
• Equating price point with
quality
• Many institutions seem
happy with their Open
Source VLEs
• But often they have put
in significant development
work
Open Source Myths (4)
“There’s no
support for it”
• Where does the buck
stop? With us!
•Or our managed hosting
provider.
• User communities
provide advice, guidance
and freebies they have
developed.
Option A: Stick with Blackboard 8
Pros:
• Easy
• Familiar
• Stable
• Integrated
• Standard
Cons:
• Out-dated
• Limited features
• No long-term
support
• Restrictive
• Expensive
Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9
Pros:
• More Features
• Up-to-date
• User-friendly
• Familiar
• Simple upgrade
Cons:
• Over-hyped?
• Need to relearn
• Compatibility
• Expensive
• Restrictive
Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9
Survey Feedback:
Navigation is...
Common tasks
Worse
13%
Not sure
7%
Didn't work
it out
21%
Took a while
17%
Didn't take long
62%
About the same
27%
Training required
At least
one training
You can work
session
it
out as you go
20%
27%
Some
training or
documentation
53%
An
improvement
53%
Feelings on upgrading
Oh no!
13%
Don't care
7%
Great
13%
Fine
67%
Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9
Survey Feedback:
“easier to navigate”
“more attractive layout”
“easier to find stuff”
“more modern”
“It just doesn't get in the way so much”
Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9
Survey Feedback:
“too much on the screen”
“more clutter”
“far more 'buttons'”
“seems slower”
“can't see what the improvement is”
Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9
Pros:
• More Features
• Up-to-date
• User-friendly
• Familiar
• Simple upgrade
Cons:
• Over-hyped?
• Need to relearn
• Compatibility
• Expensive
• Restrictive
Option C: Move to an Open Source VLE
Pros:
• Cost
• Adaptable
Cons:
• Community support • No 'official' support
• User configurable • Staffing
• Download & go
requirements
• Unfamiliar
• Future
• Responsibility
Summary
• Does it come down to which is the best product?
• Impact / Change management
• What next?
Your thoughts…
• Is your institution thinking 'what next'?
• Any points we haven't touched on?
• Please discuss!
Bryony Bramer [email protected]
Leo Havemann [email protected]
Sarah Sherman [email protected]
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