why doesn’t your institution maintain its own open source LMS?

Interesting article here on a new open source LMS, Canvas, from Instructure: http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/31/instructure-blackboard-universities-coates/

Canvas site: http://www.instructure.com/ instructure site image

It always seems like a great idea, whether it’s Moodle, Sakai, or this new one, Canvas. But listen to the recommended requirements listed on the Canvas home page:

Institutions with expert IT staff, data center, staff to support users, capability to update and maintain environment including any optional 3rd party integrated systems.

I’m not saying our institution or yours does not have its share of experts, but the key is having a dedicated staff to be there for every contingency, not a staff that has multiple responsibilities in IT. Designing and running your own LMS is a big job that requires an investment in people–that’s right, people. The investment in the technology is kind of easy to make, it seems, if we look around at what schools are willing to throw at us. The investment in people is often, unfortunately, the last one we are willing to make. Odd. I can’t explain it. I just know that people are stretched to their limits and attention to individual issues suffers because of it.

Still a number of top colleges and universities have foregone the Blackboards of the higher ed world and made the investment. It can be done if you are serious about it and think that you can do as well or better than Blackboard. Is that what you think?



Categories: education, learning, online learning, open source

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