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Poll
Question: Which LMS is the best and/or least awful to use?
BlackBoard - 4 (23.5%)
Desire2Learn - 6 (35.3%)
Canvas - 7 (41.2%)
Total Voters: 17

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Author Topic: Learning Management Systems: The Impossible Dream  (Read 18095 times)
fosca
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« on: February 17, 2012, 9:10:39 am »

We switched several years ago to Angel and were pretty happy, until Angel was then bought by BlackBoard and now will be phased out by 2014.  So we're trying to find another LMS, for both fully-online and hybrid classes.  Which do you use, which do you like, which do your students like, which can do what you need (mathematical equations, large-ish file uploads, etc.).

Thanks!
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They equate learning with "understanding magically everything that [the professor] teaches us because it's all so easy" not "expanding their knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge to new situations and problems."
slinger
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 9:28:48 am »

I voted "Other."

Canvas is easy to use for both students and faculty, and can do everything you want and more. It's not sluggish, complicated, slow, or prone to failure like Blackboard is.
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larryc
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 11:20:03 am »

I am using Canvas right now and it is slick in many ways but also missing some basic functions.  Not ready for prime time.
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zharkov
or, the modern Prometheus.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 11:32:15 am »


Blackboard is Blackboard, eCollege is more like Blackboard than not, but Moodle is more a course development toolkit, not a cookie cutter approach.  You probably need to like technology and be a bit tech savvy to use it.  Web CT was useless.  I'm trying Coursekit, just to supplement an face to face class, and OK so far.  Nice interface and linking to other websites and such.  Perhaps Coursekit can help in decentering the LMS, just as other devices like smartphones and iPads are decentering the PC.
 

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__________
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Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
spork
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 3:26:06 pm »

Canvas.

And according to the Canvas support wiki, the discussions feature will soon be modified, to make the product even better.
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a.k.a. gum-chewing monkey in a Tufts University jacket

"There are no bad ideas, only great ideas that go horribly wrong."

"Please do not force people who are exhausted to take medication for hallucinations." -- Memo from the Chair, Department of White Privilege Studies, Fiork University
torshi
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 4:00:48 pm »

I am using Canvas right now and it is slick in many ways but also missing some basic functions.  Not ready for prime time.

I agree with this.  We are doing a large-scale Canvas test, and its performance is disappointing.  It looks great, and some features are better than or comparable to Blackboard 9.  Others are worse to much worse, even compared to Bb 8.  Navigation, gradebook and course copy are in the former category and email is in the latter.  Quizzes lack some basic, useful features.  Students have adapted fairly well with "how to" sessions in class (help and the user guide are inadequate).  I've graded about 400 papers in it so far and have stopped using the rubric because it was so time-wasting.

I teach four f2f courses and work with a large number of emails and papers during a semester.  My priorities are probably different from those of someone with smaller classes--or who teaches online. 
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larryc
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 4:22:51 pm »

I am using Canvas right now and it is slick in many ways but also missing some basic functions.  Not ready for prime time.

I agree with this.  We are doing a large-scale Canvas test, and its performance is disappointing.  It looks great, and some features are better than or comparable to Blackboard 9.  Others are worse to much worse, even compared to Bb 8.  Navigation, gradebook and course copy are in the former category and email is in the latter.  Quizzes lack some basic, useful features.  Students have adapted fairly well with "how to" sessions in class (help and the user guide are inadequate).  I've graded about 400 papers in it so far and have stopped using the rubric because it was so time-wasting.

I teach four f2f courses and work with a large number of emails and papers during a semester.  My priorities are probably different from those of someone with smaller classes--or who teaches online. 

Disappointing isn't it? Someone in one of the Canvas user forums said something along the lines of Canvas having been designed by students who were frustrated with Blackboard without involving the instructors in the initial design. And now they are out marketing Canvas as a mature product and a full replacement for BB when it is really still in beta.

And so my search for the great BB alternative goes on...
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I can be happy anywhere I have a little money and the cops aren't after me--I'm still searching for this place.
anthroang
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 6:53:11 pm »

We're currently testing Etudes as a replacement for Moodle. It's less flexible and customizable (and has a couple annoying quirks that the developers say will be addressed in future updates), but my students have commented they find it much easier to navigate. The technical support for Etudes is fantastic, too.
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spork
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 2:48:17 pm »

I'll play contrarian again.

People get used to doing things in particular ways. For people who are used to Blackboard's architecture, Canvas or Moodle or Sakai will not meet all of their expectations. I saw this with a particular faculty member who was involved in a Canvas pilot on our campus. He railed against Canvas because he wasn't able to set up his course site and use features exactly like he had done with Blackboard.

Here's what I like about Canvas:

- I don't have to download documents written by students, they are readable within Canvas/the browser because of the Scribd application.

- Same for Speedgrader, clicking is reduced tremendously.

- I don't have to hunt around for buttons.

- I find the gradebook easy to set up.

Discussion threads are a problem but supposedly that will be fixed by the end of March.
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a.k.a. gum-chewing monkey in a Tufts University jacket

"There are no bad ideas, only great ideas that go horribly wrong."

"Please do not force people who are exhausted to take medication for hallucinations." -- Memo from the Chair, Department of White Privilege Studies, Fiork University
fosca
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 7:26:26 pm »

Yes, we're still trying to find a LMS, since Angel is definitely going away soon (well, yeah, they said that before, but hey).  So here are our choices.

I'd love to hear your (updated) opinions about which of these you use, which you like, and why.  We will use it for both face-to-face and online classes.

Thank you!
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They equate learning with "understanding magically everything that [the professor] teaches us because it's all so easy" not "expanding their knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge to new situations and problems."
seeweed
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 11:48:46 am »

I've used D2L, Moodle and Blackboard. If I had to pick from these, I'd go with D2L.  Navigation through the course seems a bit cumbersome from the student perspective, but that may be because I only use it for one course I teach as an adjunct and haven't gotten accustomed to it. The thing I love about D2L is that it's SO easy to grade the discussion posts. It takes approximately 1/4 of the time that it does on the other platforms.

Moodle is very adaptable in general, but at least the way we have it set up at our institution, discussion grading is maddeningly inefficient.  Otherwise I don't mind Moodle; however since the bulk of my time as a faculty member consists of reading/responding to/grading discussion posts it's hard to overlook this issue.

In my opinion the Moodle platform looks like something out of the 1980s. Again, this may be something our institution controls but overall its design and appearance is dated.
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kohelet
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2015, 4:25:56 pm »

I have to say, I'm mostly happy with Blackboard.  It may be, as spork brought up, that I'm just used to it, but I've been pleased with the improvements they've made recently (like easier discussion board grading, better inline grading of submitted assignments, quick switching between courses, "post first" discussion forums, fewer clicks for some stuff).  On another thread a while back, others concluded that my Bb experience may be mostly positive because we have excellent dedicated Bb support on campus.  We nearly never have downtime except for scheduled maintenance, which is weekly.
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drbrt
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2015, 4:27:47 pm »

I used to hate Blackboard and complain about it constantly. Now I am at a school with eCollege, and I take back every back thing I ever said about Blackboard.
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List? I am supposed to have a list? MONDAY IS COMING! ACK!
archman
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2015, 11:04:43 pm »

D2L blows the pants off BlackBoard.
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 2:56:35 am »

At my old job, we were all stuck with Bb.  I didn't hate it, but I was not a huge fan either.

At my new job, it's D2L.  I like it just fine, except for one thing -- it's not possible to cut and paste text in some specific places, which drives me batsh!t insane.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 2:56:50 am by systeme_d_ » Logged

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