Posts Tagged ‘blackboard’

Interesting educause video Moodle vs Blackboard

As always, the most interesting features here are the comments by users…

I guess that my own opinion is that Chamilo is more secure and more open, anyway :-)

Migration to Chamilo

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

We offer software engineering services of

  • migration from Blackboard(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from WebCT(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from Angel(TM) LMS to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from Lecando(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from Moodle(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from ATutor(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from Dokeos(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from Sakai(TM) to Chamilo 1.8
  • migration from FileMaker(TM) to Chamilo 1.8

We have previous experience in migrating content from WebCT, Lecando and Blackboard to Dok€os.

Migration generally follows the following cycle:

  • Signing of confidentiality and legal responsibility agreements (you have to take the legal responsibility of accessing your LMS data through another system than the contracted LMS)
  • Analyzing the current LMS implementation
  • Exporting sample data
  • Evaluating the percentage of data that can be transferred without loss or damage (generally around 90%)
  • Writing up the software to migrate
  • Exporting the data
  • Importing into Chamilo (running the migration software)
  • Testing on migration server
  • Approving the export
  • Exporting the data again
  • Importing into Chamilo
  • Last checks
  • Chamilo in production

The whole cycle described above generally lasts around a month and a half, and has to be scheduled 2 months in advance. Depending on the amount of data, the easiness to access the data and its specific structure, prices may vary (non-binding prices, only provided as illustration) from US$5,000 to US$100,000 + corresponding taxes.

Why migrate to Chamilo?

Chamilo is probably the easiest LMS system to use. While very complete, its easiness implies:

  • reduced software training costs (1 to 5 i comparison with other open-source LMS, for example)
  • reduced dropping rate from learners and trainers
  • increased visibility of course content. The platform is practically invisible to the student


BeezNest is the company most active behind the development of Chamilo, an open-source e-learning LMS with more than 1,000,000 users worldwide. Try Chamilo at

If you want to get in touch, just send us an e-mail at info at beeznest dot com

BPC – Blackboard to be replaced by Moodle in one institution

June 27, 2009 1 comment

The LMS Evaluation Commitee of the University of North Carolina at Charlorte just published the results of a 5 quarters survey about the implementation of Moodle to replace their current BlackBoard Vista.

Although I don’t particularly like Moodle (mostly because our users find it much more complicated to use than Dokeos), there are two things that I really liked in the results from this report (and I’m sure there are loads of other interesting data in there if you keep your eyes opened):

  • 80% of the 10 teachers having used BlackBoard Vista *and* Moodle fin Moodle more reliable and stable when accessing a course
  • 100% find Moodle easy to use

And here I was, thinking that a huge company like BlackBoard would at least provide some value for their products by ensuring there was almost no bug… seems like I’ve been very wrong.

And to think about the fact that most people find Dokeos much easier to use than Moodle… BlackBoard Vista must be a big piece of ununderstandable software!

One more for the Blackboard Popularity Chronicles :-)

I’m glad we’re on our way to cover 50% of the Dokeos code with unit tests by the end of July (thanks to BeezNest, Dokeos Latinoamérica and particularly Arthur and Ricardo here, who are having a lot of fun making this a reality).

Blackboard Popularity Chronicles – Part 2

June 9, 2009 1 comment

Although not directly related to Blackboard’s *popularity* per se, the open letter to Blackboard’s CEO by Desire2Learn’s CEO is just one of the things I just have to note down for further reference…

I haven’t tracked the thing itself, so I don’t know what happened next, but that’s a pretty nice letter, I would say.

For the sake of information preservation, I am copy-pasting the contents of this link here, because I recently had a case of permanently loosing a link and it’s just one of these upsetting situations… If this is offending anyone or anyone’s rights, please let me know. I believe quoting its entirety (including the link it came from, the date and the author) should be enough to preserve the author’s rights and intentions.

26 March 2009

Mr. Michael Chasen
President and CEO
Blackboard Inc.
650 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20001-3796

Re: Proposal for Education

Dear Michael,

We at Desire2Learn Incorporated have a vision for a world without barriers to education. It is my hope that you share this vision. We have both built companies to meet the needs of students and educators. Our clients, educators from around the world, work with us tirelessly to put education first. There is no greater need today than for education to develop leaders, visionaries, scientists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs.

Take a stand with us to further the pursuit of education for all. Our clients want us to work collaboratively with them as they strive to provide the best teaching and learning technology, especially in these uncertain and fiscally-challenging times. If you drop your recent lawsuit, both of our companies will be saved unnecessary expense and a great deal of unproductive energy. We will also help avoid needless distraction in the educational community.

We are prepared to donate $1,000,000 to non-profit schools and other educational organizations if you stop the litigation before this money goes to lawyers. As we both know, the only winners in the last litigation were our law firms. Education lost.

Indeed, I urge you to show your goodwill and commitment to education by having Blackboard make a donation and by ceasing senseless litigation. We do not infringe, and do not want to infringe on, your latest or any, Blackboard software patents.

$1,000,000 from Desire2Learn can make a significant difference for thousands of students through the purchase of laptops, technology, supplies and other much needed educational support. Blackboard can contribute to that impact and, perhaps with matching grants, the effect can be multiplied. In fact, we commit to placing up to 50% of the $1,000,000 that we donate to schools in need within and around your head office area, Washington, D.C.

Michael, please join me in this mission. It’s your choice. Support education or litigation. By taking this immediate action together we can make a positive and lasting impact on education, while still respecting each other’s intellectual property. I await your timely response.



John Baker
President and CEO
Desire2Learn Incorporated

cc: Blackboard Board of Directors (regular mail):

Mr. Matthew S. Pittinsky, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Joseph L. Cowan
Mr. Frank Gatti
Mr. Thomas Kalinske
Ms. Beth Kaplan
Mr. Roger Novak
Mr. William Raduchel
2013 update: I found this list of know issues browsing about Blackboard:

Blackboard Popularity Chronicles – Part 1

In a recent article on a blog I just discovered (Bionic Teaching), where the topic is not really about negatively criticizing BlackBoard, I liked reading a few stuff (which are so common about BlackBoard nowadays), where the author quotes BlackBoard users:

Blackboard Inc., whose course-management system is used throughout CUNY’s campuses, has become particularly unpopular there this semester after a series of technical problems. In March the Blackboard software was offline for three days, making it impossible for students or professors to access material for many courses.


Those problems have caused many here to consider alternatives. At one point during the CUNY meeting, Mr. Ugoretz said the blog software the university is experimenting with, called WordPress, could be a “Blackboard killer.”


Mr. Powers uses Blackboard for his courses and generally likes it. “I’m not against it,” he said. “I just want it to work.”


“Blackboard was supposed to run a stress test last summer and last fall to find out how a system could work of that magnitude,” said Mr. Kuechler. “They never delivered on that stress test, and that forced us, in a way, to go to that system and keep our fingers crossed.”

“It’s the dedicated customer service and support like that,” Mr. Kuechler mused. “That helps us justify paying Blackboard such exorbitant fees. You can’t get that kind of service from Open Source providers. This is enterprise level software.”

He said that CUNY had since changed the way it manages the servers, and that Blackboard officials were now doing more to help out.

“It’s been rumored that for a mere $10,000 we may be able to get someone from Blackboard to speak to us on the phone,” said Mr. Kuechler hopefully.

And here I am, wondering if Dokeos would really benefit from better marketing :-)

How does a system up 99.9% of the time, super easy to understand and manipulate (so much that most people don’t even need help to do so), translated into more than 30 languages, with a user base of 1.5 million souls, with a proven track record of working for up to 220000 students in live environment, with a maximum limit of 32000 courses, approximately 10 times cheaper than BlackBoard sound to you? Way to go, Dokeos!

Legacy Moodle-Blackboard comparison

Although not very reliable per se, the following article, written in 2006, has an interesting set of comments (part by me) about statistics about Moodle, Blackboard/WebCT and Sakai, and Dokeos of course.

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