Although this .pdf report is somewhat dated now, the points of study may be of interest for UVic. The group was asked by the provost to review current usage of Blackboard/WebCT, and answer the following questions.attached report: UCLA working group
Date:February 25, 2002
To:Jackson Beatty, Chair, Faculty Committee on Educational Technology
From:Brian Copenhaver, Provost, College of Letters and Science
As you are aware, there are numerous technology solutions implemented across the College in the general arena of “course management systems,” such as WebCT, IMED, and ClassWeb. This is understandable given the distributed nature of instruction. When the College started down this path in 1997, CMS were fairly new; the systems have changed in response to the experiences of both faculty and support staff, as well as advances in technology.
Given our dependency on these systems to deliver instruction, the time is ripe for a new examination of what the College should be doing in the next 2-3 years with respect to course management systems. I am requesting that FCET provide a recommendation to me and the Deans of the College before the end of spring quarter of whether we should take a different approach, and if so what we should do. While you may wish to provide additional information, I am requesting that you include at least the following in your recommendation:
1. The College: What are we using today? How do faculty rate the usefulness? How do IT staff rate the ongoing support?
2. The Need: What are the teaching requirements now and in the near future which any new system must be able to provide? What other critical criteria do we need to be thinking about as we make decisions about the future? What are the big determining factors?
3. The Technology: What is the state-of-the art with regard to CMS? What are the primary areas of development which are expected in the near future? What are the big determining factors?
4. The Criteria: Based on the above, what are the criteria we should be using to select and/or develop a course management system for the next decade?
Please include in your final recommendation:
Systems you’ve evaluated and the extent to which they meet the criteria
The pro’s and con’s of implementing a College-wide approach
My comment: This year UCLA decided on Moodle as its CMS. Their general timeline is this:
Here's a link to their UCLA Common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CCLE) Moodle Testing Site
Stephen Culhane is a professor of Communications at BCIT. He has used and written on Moodle extensively, and has trained language teachers how to use it world-wide.
Cites pedegogic issues as primary in choosing Moodle over WebCT, where teacher centered models change to student centered, allowing enhanced student interaction, engagement, and participation, based on a socio-constructivist framework.
Main benefit to teachers:
Chat has capacity issue (chat calls to server are bringing it down). Moodle creator has specificed much of their current development is focused on capacity issues and their management)
In addition to server capacity and admin, support should be localized at the departmental or faculty level, focussing on training and template creation. The templates could serve both multisectional and individual course needs. Ideally, the support person would have instructional and disciplne specific knowledge within the department, as well as some technical.
Designate would conduct workshops on use and template creation (how to use and modify a template for a bank of activities or exercises). Designate would also coordinate with sys admin on needs, though most could be done without sys admin, through the modules themselves.
Stephen believes Moodle shows great promise for distance edecation courses. Cites step by step processes and assignments, and collaborative nature of the framework.One admin question is this: Does our contract with WebCT have an exclusivity clause? Other instutitions do, and this has halted their explorations of Moodle.
Both the HCMC and CASS are looking at Moodle to determine the feasibility of supporting it. This blog is a place to post stats, discussion, technical information, and announcements.
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