Dancing with the Devil: a View From Blackboard';S European Conference

Niall Sclater, Virtual Learning, May 22, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Niall Sclater, who as Seb Schmoller notes, leads the Open University's VLE Programme and was responsible for the OU's "widely reported and watched implementation of Moodle." He offers what Schmoller describes as an "enthusiastic description of Blackboard's 'Next Generation' learning platform." Mostly, it's a bunch of web 2.0 stuff, such as a dashboard, a course management block that allows you to drag and drop blocks of content, and ways to open itself up. That's probably necessary for its survival (and people building other learning management systems should also take note).

That said, Sclater writes, "So have I gone over to the darkside and am I going to recommend the Open University switches from Moodle to Blackboard? Hmmm... not right now I haven't. For one thing, talking to some of the delegates, they want their hands on this stuff now and are going to have to wait a year or so for some of it. Meanwhile the Moodle community has lots of innovations up its sleeves too."
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