Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reviewing D2L

A potential new user for D2L appears to be in the midst of comparing different IMS platforms at Allegheny. Thoughts and Experiments is the blog by James Fadden of Allegheny College. He and others at the College are comparing and contrasting four LMS/IMS packages as possible replacements for WebCT which they are currently using.

Not surprisingly (to me at least), they are reviewing:

  • Desire2Learn
  • Angel
  • Moodle
  • Sakai
You'll notice that Blackboard is not on their list. You can read his comments about each of the platforms by following the posts in his "LMS Migration" category of his blog. There are several entries so you need to use the Older Entries button when you reach the bottom of the page.

Here are a few of his comments that I agree with:
  • Communicating in Sakai: "Well I am moving along with Sakai and finding that at this point I am feeling more strongly about it than Moodle or Angel but not as intrigued with it as I am with D2L." That would be my ranking as well.

  • From Angel to Sakai: "I registered for an account at www.sakaisandbox.com which was pretty easy and I had a course to play with." Yes, try this to easily learn about Sakai.

  • Angel Investigation: "Upon logging on I am very comfortable with the interface." Agreed, Angel has a very easy to navigate interface, almost bland.

  • Coming to Terms with Complexities of D2L: "At points I am at awe. At points I am ready to spit nails. I think this means that D2L is a step forward from the version of WebCT that we are using." It does take a little time to get used to it, but D2L is a MAJOR step forward from WebCT.

  • Notes from D2L Demo: "Interesting Facts: 1) D2L has never lost a production client. 2) D2L is scalable from 100 users to 100,000 users." In MnSCU we have something more like 200,000 user accounts on a single installation (with beefed up hardware and database).

  • Contacting Desire2Learn: "... this company goes to great lengths to develop a community of users in much the same way that the open source products use in their development process." I agree that the D2L community of users is a strength, and getting stronger all the time.

I think I'll contact James in the near future to see if he is interested in doing an interview for a Desire2Pod cast.

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