Thursday, April 13, 2006

IMS of the Future? Do it Again?

MnSCU folks only please! Take this instant poll. Should we start evaluating IMS platforms again, or should we just ride it out for a while longer?

With the end of the D2L 5-year contract staring us in the face, should a full review process begin now for an RFP (request for proposals) leading to a new long-term contract with whichever IMS rises to the top during the process, or should we delay beginning such a process and take advantage of the series of 1-year extensions to the D2L contract until such time that the system is ready to engage in another full-blown RFP process?
Begin RFP process now
Delay RFP process for at least a couple of years
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like D2L. It's not perfect, but it does what I need it to do.
Mike Sakowski

Jess Lourey said...

D2L's interface has never been intuititive (Blackboard had the best I've seen so far, out of Intrakal, Blackboard, WebCT, and D2L), their chat has been unreliable, and their support spotty. I vote for finding out what the best product out there is; if it's D2L, so be it.

-mike said...

It's generally a good thing to know what's out there, and to that end, whether or when to engage in the actual RFP process, we should be developing a general understanding of what's out there, and where the world of CMS is headed.

Some places to start:
http://www.edutools.info/static.jsp?pj=8&page=HOME

As a member institution of MiCTA (and other, related higher education associations), we have available to us contract pricing on "endorsed" and "approved" products" - some of which are CMS platforms such as D2L. Whether we'd get any better pricing on our own RFP, or through organizations such as MiCTA, is a question worth pondering. MiCTA's site, and info about products endorsed: http://www.micta.org/

A very recent site, that may some day bear similar horizon scanning fruit, is Sun's Education Commons: http://www.educationcommons.org . It's more broadly interested in educational technologies, but is attemtpting to track some CMS projects.

Finaly, it seems the first step forward in engaging an RFP process (or not) is to engage in a process similar to the "IMS of the Future" visioning that MnSCU folks engaged in prior to developing the last RFP.

-mike

Bob Stevens said...

I have worked with both D2L and Blackboard. I agree with Jess Lourey D2L is terrible to figure out intuitively, lots of hidden menus. I find myself continually relearning processes for doing specific tasks if I am not doing them on a daily bases. I give D2L a “D-“ in user friendliness. The only thing we must be careful of is that if we were to switch to another vendor the transfer of our current course work needs to be fairly seamless.

The real answer to make people happy is choices. In my graduate work (all on-line) Indian State University, faculty had a choice between WebCT or Blackboard. I never had a class that was not Blackboard!

I truly appreciate this opportunity for comment, MNSCU could care less, they will just dump low bid on us if possible.

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Anonymous said...

There have been some great advances made with lessor know applications...take a look at CourseCruiser by TimeCruiser...a company which has won the Codie Award two years in a row, 2008 and 2009...their Saas model makes them hands down way more affordable than what Bb is soaking it's clients for...seems to be a solid opportunity for legacy WebCT customers still holding onto CE4.1 or 6.0 before they are forced to make a major investment in hardware or hosting costs for Bb 9.0 or 10.0.