Anticipation

The proposed replacement for WebCT has been announced here.  The Board of Trustees still has to approve the contract, hopefully when they next meet on June 18th.

Check out Desire2Learn and their FUSION12 user’s conference this summer in San Diego.

I’ve been quiet…

and I will remain mostly quiet.  Over the past several months, I have been more exposed to Illinois Procurement and Ethics laws than I ever expected to be.  And that’s all there is to say about that for now.

On to other things…  our WebCT (CE8) installation is currently hanging in there.  This semester there have been more issues relating to browser versions and java.

For anyone who may run into the issue…  if you are a designer/instructor and go to your Grade Book and get a plain white screen, your data is not gone, it is a java caching issue.  Most of the time (all but 1 so far), putting your mouse pointer over the white space and right-clicking then choosing reload {or refresh} frame {or page} will bring things back to normal.

Catching up

Spring 2012 is underway.  WebCT is humming along.  The data feed from Banner is healthy and happy now after a rough start  to the semester.

Some personnel changes have transpired and will transpire, meaning old faces seen less often and new faces to come.

Change.  Something is always changing and we have to change with it, for it, in spite of it, or get left out, rolled over, or ignored.

Don’t just let it happen to you.  Choose.

Pearson OpenClass making a splash

Yesterday, I first saw this article:

Inside Higher Ed

Today, I’ve found several more, as follows:

The Chronicle

Hack Education

Ken Ingle

Do You #EDU blog

and, of course, from the company itself:

Pearson

I also received 2 or 3 emails mentioning it.  Enjoy the reading, exploring, and dreaming.  It is an interesting blip in the midst of interesting times.

Faculty Senate

Eastern’s Faculty Senate wanted to know more about what is going on.  So, John Henderson, Julie Lockett, Newton Key, and I went to their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 27.  Mr. Henderson provided the general update and each of the rest of us assisted in answering questions.  Of course, there is a newspaper article about it.  Here’s the link.

Here, again, is the list of possible contenders, in alpha order, that I am aware of (if I’ve missed something, please share!):

Agilix BrainHoney: http://blog.brainhoney.com/free-account/

Blackboard Learn 9.1:  http://www.coursesites.com/

Desire2Learn:  http://www.desire2learn.com/demos/

Edvance360:  http://edvance360.com/solutions/colleges/

Epsilen:  http://www.epsilen.com/LandingSite/index.aspx

Instructure Canvas:  https://canvas.instructure.com/

Jenzabar:  https://www.myjenzabar.net/ics

LoudCloud: http://www.loudcloudsystems.com/meet-loudcloud/request-demo.html

Moodle:  http://demo.moodle.net/

Pearson learningstudio: http://www.pearsoncustom.com/pearson-learning-studio/requestdemo.php

rSmart Sakai:  http://mysakai.rsmart.com/

And here is the link to the RFP:

https://www.procure.stateuniv.state.il.us/dsp_notice.cfm?Uni=EIU&PN=CD2012LMS

Commencement

As in a beginning, finally.  For anyone out there who may be interested, the RFP for the next EIU Learning Management System has been posted here (https://www.procure.stateuniv.state.il.us/dsp_notice.cfm?Uni=EIU&PN=CD2012LMS).  Responses are due in by October 18th.  Check it out for the details.  There are, of course, way too many to list here.

Happy Monday everyone, from cloudy, dreary east central Illinois.

Things on my mind

As I’m waiting for the official RFP for a new LMS to be posted for EIU, I keep an eye out for what’s going on around me.  In part, this is self preservation.  I could live in blind oblivion and just wait for the moment when everything hits either the wall or the fan on the way to the end of life for our beloved CE8.  Instead, I’m compelled to keep an eye on what others are going through, watch the improvements in Bb9, take in the excitement over Canvas or the enthusiasm over D2L, and still occasionally come across a new {to me} offering.

Anyway, today, I took note of @lgekeler’s tweet “Since June, Auburn College has been amazingly quiet abt their pick of #Instructure Canvas to replace #Blackboard” with a link to http://bit.ly/n2OWsJ.  Of course, I checked it out, for a couple of reasons:  1. to check out what caught Laura’s eye and 2. to see if there’s anything I should learn for our process here.

As I explored their site, I found some interesting pieces.  They have maintained the information from their decision process.  And they have added a help section/clearinghouse with tutorials for different aspects of using Canvas.  I jumped to the conclusion that there would be more information coming as their plans unfold.  Then I left the site.

A little while later another tweet caught my eye, this time @georgekroner “@lgekeler many clients go silent after announcing a switch, my personal perspective is it ends up being more difficult than they think.”  Ah, things to think about and consider.  🙂  I went back to the site, in my mind and literally, wondering if that is their message, or whether there is any intended message, and what is my part here @ EIU to help have an accurate message about our process.

Last time we upgraded (sure, it was “just” CE4.1 to CE8), we had a migration process and attempted to be open about it with a migration website to try to communicate about it.  And that was the scope of that website.  Once the migration was done, the website had no more value, no more updates.  And I find myself wondering.  Is that their situation?  Is that how we should communicate through this LMS migration process (it will be migration, whatever vendor is chosen)?

We are just approaching the part where things are becoming something real.  We need a communication plan.  That communication plan for the process to choose apparently needs to either encompass or dovetail into the upcoming migration plan that will follow.  And, of course, we need to consider not only what we say, but what we don’t say.  And what what we don’t say says.

Oh the things to think about!  Thanks Laura and George for giving me a different look at something I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.