Charting a new course from blackboard to Sakai

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Conference Proceeding

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Ithaca College is charting a new course in the sea of learning management systems leaving the turbulent Blackboard waters to find a safe port of harbor with Sakai. This paper will chronicle the issues that led us to begin charting this course, the initial departmental recommendation, how we involved faculty in the review and decision making process, the technical review process, the pilot and the implementation. Learning management systems are foundational instructional technologies. Yet, the options are limited and not extremely competitive. For the past decade Ithaca College had flip-flopped between Blackboard and WebCT (not necessarily by choice) trying the patience of all involved especially faculty and IT support staff. After the last upgrade forced by the purchase of WebCT by Blackboard, and in light of significant licensing increases, IT administration looked for a way to get out of the turbulent waters and into calmer seas. As a result of a collaborative review and evaluation process, Ithaca College is implementing Sakai hosted by Longsight beginning May 2011 with campus-wide implementation planned for the Fall 2011. This decision and move is significant because it will be the first major enterprise application system that is open source and hosted by an off campus vendor. The decision made sense philosophically, pedagogically and financially. We believe this change will provide a more stable, robust, collaborative environment for the future and will share our process in this paper. © 2011 ACM.

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Proceedings ACM SIGUCCS User Services Conference

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