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The Search for the Truth Behind the Rumour: Dispelling Open Source VLE Myths

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Bryony Bramer, Leo Havemann, Sarah Sherman
Blackboard Learning and Teaching Conference 2010 Swansea

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The Search for the Truth Behind the Rumour: Dispelling Open Source VLE Myths

  1. 1. The Search for the Truth Behind the Rumour Dispelling Open Source VLE myths Bryony Bramer Leo Havemann Sarah Sherman The Bloomsbury Colleges
  2. 2. © Ewan Mura Photo credit: Ewan Munro http://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/2445298176/ A bit about us...
  3. 3. Aims & Objectives • Our view • The current options • Defining some myths • Weighing up the pros and cons • What about you?
  4. 4. So Many Options In the short term the question is whether/when to upgrade. But looking beyond... 8
  5. 5. ... is the VLE dead?? Should we now be thinking about PLEs?
  6. 6. Photo credit: http://twitpic.com/photos/vaughany
  7. 7. VLE Options Assuming we do need a VLE... 8
  8. 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).
  9. 9. “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 (2)
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. Option A: Stick with Blackboard 8 Pros: •Easy •Familiar •Stable •Integrated •Standard Cons: •Out-dated •Limited features •No long-term support •Restrictive •Expensive
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. Option B: Upgrade to Blackboard 9 Survey Feedback:
  15. 15. 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”
  16. 16. 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”
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. Option C: Move to an Open Source VLE Pros: •Cost •Adaptable •Community support •User configurable •Download & go Cons: •No 'official' support •Staffing requirements •Unfamiliar •Future •Responsibility
  19. 19. Summary • Does it come down to which is the best product? • Impact / Change management • What next?
  20. 20. Your thoughts… • Is your institution thinking 'what next'? • Any points we haven't touched on? • Please discuss!
  21. 21. Bryony Bramer bbramer@rvc.ac.uk Leo Havemann lh12@soas.ac.uk Sarah Sherman s.sherman@bloomsbury.ac.uk

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