Friday, September 24, 2010

ANGEL-Blackboard Update

In May 2009, Blackboard purchased ANGEL Learning, our learning management system (LMS). Blackboard has committed to supporting ANGEL, as a separate product, through October 2014. We are in the second year of a three-year contract with ANGEL/Blackboard, so for the near future, we do not need to switch to another LMS. In the long term, Blackboard plans to integrate Blackboard, WebCT, and ANGEL into one LMS, called Blackboard NG, so we will need to switch to another LMS at some point.

During the last year, TLT has been discussing LMS options with faculty and school administrators, through our TL Tech Planning group and ANGEL Advisory group. Two major concerns have emerged in those discussions. Of course, our next LMS will need to have the technical capabilities our faculty currently use and need. Additionally, the longevity of our next LMS/company is an important consideration. It is simply too expensive, in terms of both money and time, to frequently migrate to a different LMS.

With that background, TLT has conducted a preliminary review of LMSs and has identified Blackboard and Moodle as potential future LMSs for KUMC. Both systems have the technical capabilities we need. In terms of longevity, Blackboard is the clear market-share leader, and Moodle, as a widely-adopted open-source platform, has some protection against corporate acquisitions and mergers.

This summer (July 2010), Blackboard also purchased Elluminate, our web conferencing system, as well as the Wimba web conferencing system/company. Like the ANGEL acquisition, Blackboard has indicated they will continue to support Elluminate as a separate product, but they will integrate Elluminate and Wimba into a single webconferencing product in the future, called Blackboard Collaborate. We will need to switch to another webconferencing system at some point in the future.

In summary, we will continue to use ANGEL and Elluminate. However, we will need to switch to different systems in the future. TLT is working with faculty and school administrators to select products that best meet our needs. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact me (Dave Antonacci at or 913-588-7144) or your school/department leadership.

Posted at 01:51PM Sep 24, 2010 by dantonacci

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