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regensburg00.ppt

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  • 1. Evaluating and Deploying a Web Based Course Management System JQ Johnson Academic Education Coordinator University of Oregon jqj @darkwing.uoregon.edu Presentation at Universität Regensburg 4 September 2000
  • 2. University of Oregon environment
    • Mid-sized (16000 students) research university
    • Excellent network infrastructure
    • Very small "distance education" component
    • Moderately large group of faculty who are "early adopters"
    • Slow adoption of web technology by mainstream faculty
  • 3. Timeline of UO Blackboard project
    • Need assessment (1996-1999): evaluated a variety of course management systems
    • Evaluation (spring 1999): trial courses using WebCT and Blackboard
    • Implementation (summer 1999-spring 2000): licensed Blackboard for pilot project
    • Production (summer 2000): Blackboard becomes standard library service
  • 4. The need
    • Increase use of web-based instruction while reducing cost
    • Introduce pedagogically sound uses of technology
    • Find software tools that will make it easy for typical faculty to integrate web-based instruction into their courses
    • Our primary goal: enhance face-to-face courses rather than support true distance ed
  • 5. What is a Course Management System?
    • Integrated environment offering wide variety of features for teaching
      • access control: only enrolled students may view course
      • easy web publishing of syllabus, lecture notes, etc.
      • asynchronous communication: announcements, threaded discussion
      • synchronous communication: chatroom, virtual whiteboard
      • online quizes and gradebook
      • collaborative workgroups
  • 6. Commercial Course Management Systems
    • Many vendors of commercial products. Market shakeout currently in progress
    • Current major products
      • Blackboard Courseinfo
      • WebCT
      • eCollege (also outsources management and development)
      • Convene
      • TopClass
      • etc.
  • 7. Related Products
    • Web publishing tools
      • Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe GoLive, Macromedia Dreamweaver, etc.
    • Courseware development tools
      • Authorware, Dreamweaver Coursebuilder, Click2Learn Toolbook, etc.
    • “ Learning Management Systems”
      • Click2Learn Ingenium, Docent Enterprise, KnowledgeSoft, etc.
    • Campus portal software
      • Campus Pipeline, GoCampus, Angel, etc. (cf. http://www. futureu .com/ vcomm / olx /products2review-portals.html )
  • 8. A Blackboard CourseSite http://blackboard.uoregon.edu/courses/PSY201JJF
  • 9. Course Documents
  • 10. Lecture Notes
  • 11. Integrated discussion forum
  • 12. Online quizes
  • 13. Evaluation of Course Management Systems
    • Features
      • Several good comparisons/reviews, e.g., http://www.ctt.bc.ca/landonline/
      • But features change with every new software release
    • Costs/resources required
      • License costs
      • Hardware costs
      • Personnel costs for management/support
      • Personnel costs for developing course content
  • 14. Evaluation (continued)
    • Ease of use
      • Best measured by direct experience
      • Most vendors offer “try before you buy”, e.g., blackboard.com
    • Range of vendor-provided support services
      • Site hosting? Course development? Campus integration? 24x7 end user support?
    • Ease of integration into local environment
      • Link to registration/student information system
      • Integration with existing e-mail system
    • Vendor stability
  • 15. Evaluation – University of Oregon experience
    • Trial courses (spring 1999) using WebCT (locally hosted) and Blackboard (using blackboard.com)
    • Both were successful, but faculty preferred Blackboard
    • Chose Blackboard for pilot project, beginning summer 1999
    • Ongoing evaluation is also looking at eCollege and Campus Pipeline
  • 16. Implementation at University of Oregon -- costs
    • License for Blackboard CourseInfo ($5,000/year)
    • Local server, managed by library: Pentium III/400MHz/ 256MB/15GB/Linux (total hardware cost, about $5,000)
    • Support personnel
      • 10 hrs/week administrator
      • 4 hrs/week tech support
      • 15 hrs/week (or more?) Student staff providing support for students (forgotten passwords, etc.)
    Total 1-year cost: approximately $40,000
  • 17. Implementation: developing course materials
    • Faculty develop their own materials
    • Faculty Instructional Training Center provides guidance and resources, but not labor
    • Some departments assign graduate student teaching assistants to Blackboard support and development
    • Some faculty are experimenting with publisher’s textbook supplements in Blackboard format
  • 18. Implementation: problems
    • Student account creation
      • Self-authorization was too complex for students
      • Integration with university Student Information System (SCT Banner) is ad hoc
      • When creating accounts for students, need a reliable mechanism for distributing passwords
    • Web browser compatibility
      • Blackboard is not well-tested on Macintosh
      • Some portions of Blackboard require Java and current-generation browser
  • 19. Implementation: more problems
    • Security and privacy issues
      • Instructors have access to more student data
      • Blackboard internal implementation not designed for security, though no known problems exist
    • Rapid change in software base
      • We ran Blackboard version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0 (5.0 released August 2000)
      • Updates often included major changes (not always improvements) in user interface
  • 20. Implementation: marketing to faculty
    • Advertising was mostly word of mouth during pilot project
    • Marketing focused on large undergraduate courses
    • We used vendor provided documentation, CD-ROM based tutorial, and some locally written documentation
    • We offered several workshops (2 hrs. to 3 days), usually combining Blackboard with more general discussion of teaching methods
  • 21. Results to date: a very popular tool
    • “ I think it's a real tribute to the design of Blackboard that I was up and running after a four hour workshop. I've been impressed from the get-go.”
    • Elizabeth Hoffman Instructor Arts & Administration
  • 22. Results to date: examples
    • Courses in a wide range of disciplines:
      • Art and Gender
      • Dramatic Screenwriting
      • Introduction to Native American Literature
      • Introductory Psychology
      • Internet Information and Culture
      • Organic Chemistry
      • etc. (more than 100 courses total)
    • Adopters tend to cluster in particular departments
  • 23. The Future (next 12 months)
    • Pilot project has become an official library service, available to any faculty member
    • We expect continued growth in usage, particularly by smaller courses
    • Server upgrade planned for September (2x700MHz PIII/512MB/30GB/Linux)
    • We are investigating campus portal software
      •  Blackboard Tier 3,  Campus Pipeline
    • We expect that the commercial market will change greatly in next year
  • 24. For more information
    • University of Oregon Blackboard site: http://blackboard.uoregon. edu
    • UO Faculty Instructional Technology Training Center: http://libweb.uoregon.edu/fittc/
    • This presentation: http:// darkwing . uoregon . edu / ~ jqj /presentations/regensburg00. ppt
    • JQ Johnson: [email_address]