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