[Offtopic] e-learning systems

victor rajewski askvictor at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 08:59:34 EST 2007

> According to its pledge, Blackboard says it will not "assert U.S. Patent
> No. 6,988,138 and many other pending patent applications against the
> development, use, or distribution of open-source software or home-grown
> course management systems anywhere in the world, to the extent that such
> systems are not bundled with proprietary software."

There are various actions in motion to invalidate that patent; sounds
like they're hoping that if they drop the threat to open source
systems, these actions will drop. Not likely.

> Of these, Sakai (sponsored by hundreds of unis worldwide, including ANU)
> does seem a worthy, free alternative, though Moodle is also very popular.
> Any opinions regarding any of these systems?

sakai seems like a good idea, but it's more focused at larger (read
university) systems I think. It also seems to have a committee
approach to its design and development (a camel is a horse that was
designed by a committee), and I have read that it isn't great in
practice. Having said that, I haven't used it myself.

I quite like moodle myself, and it has become quite popular adding to
it's strength as more people add more features. I've used it, as well
as WebCT (now owned by blackboard), and moodle won hands down (this
was a couple of years ago, however). I have read of studies with
similar conclusions based on student perceptions.

We're about to roll out an elearning system for our school, and the
main contenders seem to be MyInternet/MyClassroom (which I have no
idea about, but am about to evaluate), and moodle.



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