You kindly replied to my original post, and i wonder whether I can ask you more questions...!? Thank you in advance for your time and patience.
I have done a bit of research on this potential migration from Bb to Moodle for our organisation, and it's all quite exciting. I need to present a balance view of the migration to the Secretary though, so i wanted to ask about the some issues on WebCt/Bb, and whether they are better in Moodle. If you (or anybody else reading this) can shed some light on them, i'd be very grateful.
1) We are heavily understaffed, and the course administrator hates WebCT. I can't help wondering though if the problem is not so much WebCT per se, but that she doesn't have enough training or access to (quick-response) technical support. My concern is that if we were to move to Moodle, she would still need training, and still have to wait for a reply from Moodle support (from, for example, a Moodle web host).
I wonder whether those that move to Moodle have, by default, more access to in-house technical expertise, rather than Moodle being more user-friendly per se.
The question here is, would you say that Moodle IS more user-friendly for an administrator? And indeed for students...? Our students apparently do not use WebCT very much, though we don't know whether that is because they don't like it or because they are very busy (they are full time doctors 4 days a week, just 1 day at the course). We uploaded a survey of their usage of WebCT to find out, but they haven't done it (!!).
2) Specific WebCT problems the administrator mentioned are:
- poor navigation (can't always use the back and forward arrows)
- cumbersome to use (too many steps or clicks to get things done) and not enough automation of tasks (again, this might be a reflection on her lack of training)
- assignments uploaded via WebCT by students went missing, though we couldn't figure out whether the problem was with WebCT or the student. Because of that, they have reverted to emailing their work, which defeats the purpose of having a VLE!!
- no spell check
Generally, is this functionality better in Moodle...?
3) Migration of content. This worries everyone, and might be the trip up factor if it takes too long, as we don't have the manhours to do it manually.
4) Is the rate of innovation in Moodle comparable to that of WebCT? This might not be an issue for us, as we are so small (150 students), but in case they ask me at the presentation, I had a look on the Blackboard website, and extracted this list of new functionality from their press releases. I understand some of it might not even work that well, or be that useful at this stage, but just to get an idea, does Moodle cover similar functionality?
- Lecture Capture Technology to Blackboard Learn Platform
- Enhanced Student Identity Verification
- iTunes U Integration for Blackboard Learn
- Integration with NBC News Archives & Digital Content
- Support for e-Readers
- iPhone & Mobile Web Platform to Product Suite
- Mass notification and alert program
- Instant Messaging Within Blackboard Learn(TM)
- National Partners and Participating Campuses for Student Payment Solution
I think Moodle is very exciting and I am keen to highlight its benefits, but i just want to make sure that we clarify what the problem really is: the technology or the lack of training/resources. Any guidance or suggestions on any of the above will be very useful.
Many thanks once more, and warmest regards, Fiona Veira-McTiernan