blackboard survey

I filled out a survey for my Blackboard use for Oregon State today. There wasn’t a single question about alternatives to Blackboard. Not one. The survey pretty much naturalized Blackboard. So I mentioned open source alternatives in each and every open ended question the survey asked. I don’t understand why a university that pours so much money into open source research would pay so much money to a proprietary company for its course content management systems. It’s not financially smart, and it’s not ethically smart. That, and it appears Blackboard is going even more the way of big brother.

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3 Responses to blackboard survey

  1. dawn says:

    We use Bb Vista. It’s ok. However, I’d like to see us move to something more open source (preferably Moodle). We have some Sakai components available (mostly the wiki), but it seems so clunky to me that it irritates me more than Bb does.

    I’m with you, though. This is why Bb sues companies and has a stranglehold on US universities.

  2. Eric Stoller says:

    Several reasons why we possibly have blackboard:

    1) Our CIO is not managing IT at OSU very well. IT folks and their departments are very siloed. There is a “who is in charge” attitude that leaves departments underfunded and understaffed without big picture strategies.

    2) Blackboard is easy. Open Source would require an organized, centralized IT dept (note #1) to create, manage and support an open source course management system. It’s also easier to have an external company do most of the work. OSU does not have to do R&D, updates, pay for internal FTE, etc.

    These are not good reasons…

  3. Michael says:

    Actually, Eric, while OSU doesn’t have to do R&D, updates, and internal FTE for Blackboard, we have to pay for it, and then on top of that, pay for Blackboard’s profits. If we have to pay for it, we might as well be paying for our own people.

    Agreed. Not good reasons.

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