There's lots of speculation about how much ill-will has been created in the education community by Blackboard's predatory business practices, but not much hard data either way. The real question is how many former Blackboard/WebCT clients have left the flock since the merger (acquisition?) of the two giants that was first announced on October 12, 2005.
Now it's 3.5 years later. I thought it would be interesting to try to compile a list of schools/consortia/orgs that have switched away from either Blackboard or WebCT to any of the other alternatives, or vice versa. To that end, I've thrown together a simple wiki where anyone can enter information about changes they've made to their IMS/VLE adoptions during that time frame.
Besides the home page, there are three additional pages on this wiki:
- Those who have left Blackboard/WebCT during the past 3.5 years
- Those that are seriously considering leaving Blackboard/WebCT during the next 2-3 years
- Those who have signed (as new clients) with Blackboard/WebCT during the past 3.5 years
For those who have missed it, on March 26, 2009, Desire2Learn announced their Million $ Mission in a letter from D2L CEO John Baker to Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen. That same day a Facebook fan page was also created to show support for this offer as a resolution to the ongoing patent battle between the two companies.
Please share this widely. Let's try to get lots of entries on this wiki. (Of course, Blackboard could help us out by publishing a list of new clients added and clients lost, but I'm quite certain that will never happen.)
I saw two things during the past couple of days that made me decide to try to gather this info.
- First, I was intrigued by the listing of the IMS choices of the 64 teams in the NCAA basketball tourney. Those schools seem to be a pretty good cross-section of larger universities in the U.S. The only IMS that appears to be under-represented in the field is Angel (only 1 school). Otherwise, the scoreboard says Blackboard = 49 (77% of the 64 schools), Desire2Learn = 9 (14%), Sakai = 2 (3%), and Moodle = 2 (3%).
- Second, Leonard Low of Australia left a comment on the previous post (Blackboard's Last Chance) stating that "The disapproval of Blackboard's conduct over the last few years has been so strong that 100% of the tertiary institutions in my city (5 of them) - all of which once used WebCT - have now already migrated, or are in the process of migrating to, other platforms. They could have kept us all if they'd conducted themselves with a modicum of integrity." How common is that point-of-view? I hope we find out.