A Message from the Provost
February 22, 2012 - Moodle Pilot Update
As indicated in President Crain’s Campus Notice of October 4, 2011, in Fall 2011, a pilot of Moodle, an open-source learning management system (LMS), was conducted in 21 courses by a 20-member team of faculty representing each college and relevant support staff. Results of the pilot, based on surveys of pilot faculty and students, are positive and reveal no major problems in creating or administering courses with Moodle.
The pilot continues this spring in 17 classes, with an expanded focus on the upgrades, plug-ins, and support features available. The Office of Technology is working closely with the Center for Faculty Excellence to explore support and technical issues of a potential transition to Moodle, including compatibility with PeopleSoft and course migration from Blackboard to Moodle using Joule, software designed specifically for the task.
Based on continued positive results in the pilot, including confirmation of Joule or other acceptable migration tool, plans are developing for a gradual transition from Blackboard to Moodle beginning in Spring 2012 with potential full implementation to Moodle in Fall 2013.
To assist the Center for Faculty Excellence in this transition, Moodle Mentors have been identified in each college to offer additional collaborative support to foster effective integration of Moodle into the curriculum. These Mentors will provide basic Moodle training for departments within each college beginning in Spring 2012 and will continue to serve as Moodle liaisons for each college during a Moodle transition.
While we have enjoyed much progress to date with Blackboard, as a proprietary system the related costs rise each year. In addition, Blackboard routinely incorporates additional features that restrict sharing or transferring content, making it increasingly difficult to transition course content to any other system. Moodle appears to offer us the opportunity to provide faculty, staff, and students with a comprehensive, flexible, and open learning management system which is also cost effective.
Additional information will be forthcoming.