Your Comments

We have created this area for you to be able to express your comments (whatever they may be) regarding the themes covered in the L.T. Review; for instance your thoughts on the V.L.E choice – Blackboard vs. Moodle. You can be as open as you like, we will record the comments here openly and value what you contribute.

with thanks

the LRT

19 Responses to Your Comments

  1. Alex Lee says:

    Notes made from the LRT and CeLT trip to Crewe for the roadshow:

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 1″
    – Can the new VLEs allow the customising home page to display the information he wants?
    – How do both systems handle being enrolled on a vast number of courses? He wants a better way to manage information overload from too many course enrolments.
    – Related to the point above, how can both systems handle different versions of units for each academic year?
    – The new system should be faster!

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 2″
    – Is it possible to push out targeted programme / department / faculty info via the main page? This could depend on students enrolments, if they have English as a second language, if they are fully distance learning students, and so on.
    – Psychology has a site for every unit and in general the tools work fine.
    – Looking for something with ease of use to encourage adoption by more staff, and want tools that are integrated within the VLE esp a Wiki for group work. There is a built in wiki in Moodle, is there one in BB9?
    – Need facility for easy video streaming and content repository so that documents need only be edited/updated in one place.

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 3″
    – Enrolment system needs to be flexible, specifically with students who start in non-standard months
    – There needs to be better support for staff and students with VLE problems
    – Students accounts are being disabled for non-payment of fees – even when fees aren’t due yet

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 4 & 5″
    – Is it possible to push customized information for distance learning students, perhaps via the VLE homepage, or MyMMU?
    – They currently create a lot of content in Wimba Create but it’s difficult for lecturers to import and re-use it in their own units. A good repository would make a huge difference. The repository should have features to automatically update when changes are made to the content, read-only access so lecturers cannot change the content themselves.
    – Do both Moodle and Blackboard work with Wimba Create?

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 6″
    – Needs to upload small music files into quizzes in the VLE. Can both VLEs handle this, and can you embed small audio files to play within a page? What are the limits on file size before the podcast server should be used?

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 7″
    – Is going to be doing lots more podcasting, so how will the VLEs work with the podcast server?
    – How good are the formative assessments tools in the VLEs?
    – What kind of collaboration tools are available in the VLEs?

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 8″
    – Does Respondus work well with both VLEs? If there are improved quiz building functions native in VLE, a good reusable question bank, and a repository, then there is no need for Respondus.
    – Java problems really affected students using WebCT, will these problems occur with the new VLE?
    – It didn’t appear obvious how to import pictures in quiz questions in BB9, so he would like to know how to do this.
    – What are the quiz functionality available in both? Is it possible to set up a quiz that randomly chooses a few questions from a larger bank of questions – e.g. a quiz of 10 questions where the 10 questions are randomly chosen from a bank of 100. Also, is there functionality in a quiz to grade students on understanding of different areas of the subject?
    – Was impressed that the announcements in BB9 appear on the front page when a student immediately logs in, would be good if Moodle could do something similar.

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 9″
    – WebCT functionality is fine but it is access that is the problem. Need more flexibility in being able to manage student enrolments.
    – Employability is high on the agenda, but Employability/Futures do not fit standard unit profile. Need to be able to add individual students/staff as and when so that they can tailor tutorials to individual needs.

    Comments from “Crewe Staff 10″
    – Current VLE too clunky and too many steps to achieve simple tasks. Ease of use – would like a product that mirrors how people work on their machines ie drag and drop of files.
    – Access problems for students – still has students in December who can’t access their WebCT sites. Processes for admin and integration with student records need to be simple.

  2. admin says:

    Comments from Manton and nearby campus and from MMUBS / Aytoun:
    Worries regarding migration and potentially losing WebCT content

  3. admin says:

    Comments from Manton and nearby campus and from MMUBS / Aytoun:
    Please no Changes in the middle of the academic year, and more ICTS in the Business School would help

  4. admin says:

    Comments from Manton and nearby campus and from MMUBS / Aytoun:
    BIHE (ed: Bolton University) have chosen Moodle. A similar process was carried out to the session [you have put on…] here. Presentation was geared towards Moodle. This may not be the best choice!!!

  5. admin says:

    Comments from Manton and nearby campus and from MMUBS / Aytoun:
    WIMBA Create – I use this frequently to produce learning modules – will this work in the new system? If not – what will?

  6. admin says:

    Comments from Manton and nearby campus and from MMUBS / Aytoun:

    Verbal comments (so these are paraphrases):

    General worry regarding migration of content from WebCT to either system, considerable mention made of the investment people have made with the respect to their materials and training

    A general call for greater degree of support, both in terms of training and handholding – but also with respect to creating baselines of quality and experience for students (a perception that use of the VLE by staff is not equal in depth, belief or committment

    General grief over WebCT, and puzzlement over whether either Moodle or Blackboard will overhaul the things that the do not like with WebCT (many of which are regarded as productivity killers, or just plain put users off using them)

    Several staff surprised to learn that Blackboard is not WebCT Version X

    Quite a mix of staff having used Moodle at previous institutions,generally favourable with respect to the openness of the product and impression of control (over the appearance for instance). WebCT generally described as clunky, hard to navigate, inconsistent.
    Impression that migration is going to be costly in academic time and effort

  7. Dee Vyas says:

    Feedback form Elizabeth Gaskell

    A new version of VISTA seems much more focussed on students and staff getting their work done.

    Moodle will require a lot of work to make it feel polished

    Seen both sides, will try it out and provide feedback. Moodle seems more attractive to students (but is it easier to setup than WebCT)

    Neither BB or Moodle do it for me. I would prefer an interface which is more visual and interactive, more like facebook yey with a structure and yet flexible to buiild upon and develop to met individual needs
    ‘Gut feeling’ leads me to Moodle rather than commercial solution. ‘Moodle’ to me appears to have a cleaner user interface. BB interface looks cluttered and unfriendly

    Please can we improve the speed of adding new user and adding areas/units. Improve the look and feel and functionality of the managament/admin portal

    Transfer needs to be as smooth as possible. Ease o use of sound files – for downloading? streamlining?

    I think BB would be an easier transistion for those not too literate to new media, easier to navigate

    Great if we go to Moodle as I ( and others MMU acas) do work for the OU already

    OU’s ‘First Class’ was better than both BB9 and Moodle

    Like the look of the interface. I think the transistion to BB maybe the best option as moodle is not very intuitive.

    • admin says:

      Have to correct the comment on ‘A new version of Vista’ – Blackboard is not WebCT, they acquired the company / product as they have others like Angel, but Blackboard 9 is a separate product from WebCT, different development arc and code base, and it doesn’t have all the features you are used to in Vista. Blackboard 9.1 brings back some stuff missing from BB 9 that you are used to with Vista, but it also should containt some new tools and thinking.

      On the comment on OU’s First Class – AFAIK First Class is OU’s modified Moodle.

      • Neil Ringan says:

        FisrtClass is a totally different thing to Moodle – it was (is) one of the very frst generation of online communication tools and is primarily designed as an online communication and collaboration tool not a VLE. As I understand it the OU are “trying” to replace everything which they have used FirstClass for with Moodle.

  8. Alan Crispin says:

    I believe Moodle is used by the Open University. This would support the argument of choosing Moodle provided the OU experience has been good.

    Also can anyone comment on the student tracking/register and grade book tools available within Moodle as these will be important to course/level tutors.

    • admin says:

      I can comment on some of the OU use. The OU have heavily customised Moodle at some expense to their particular needs, having chatted with a Moodle provider (within education) they described it as rebadging Moodle as the OU. He also pointed out that the OU have fed a large amount of their developed codebase back into the community, which reflects a high degree of commitment.

  9. ludo says:

    Comments from Hollings

    Several academic staff who were heavily involved in using and researching e-learning and hypermedia technology at Hollings attended the roadshow, including senior staff.

  10. ludo says:

    Hollings staff: “In principle good idea to review WebCT Vista and develop integrated e-learning innovations.”

  11. ludo says:

    “[We need] easy-to-use and easy-to-access document and content management.”

  12. ludo says:

    “Down with WebCT!”

  13. ludo says:

    “[I ]don’t like the document camera [a.k.a. visualiser] because switching to and from it is too slow. [I] don’t trust it to switch to and from [the PC] successfully.”

  14. ludo says:

    One Hollings academic is running a project to determine the collaborative and pedagogic benefits of Facebook.

    Does Facebook have the potential to act as an ersatz VLE? (e.g. by having a Facebook group for every unit.)

    Can Facebook be integrated with Windows Live?

    70% of students said they wanted to use Facebook alongside their studies.

  15. ludo says:

    Cardiff Uni are piloting the use of Google Wave as a live messaging / collaboration platform.

  16. ludo says:

    On student e-learning resources: “It doesn’t have to be polished necessarily; it just has to be good.”

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