Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Time for my post on the current state of Learning Management Systems, LMS, or my take on Blackboard buying Angel Learning. I do not believe that the purchase of Angel by BB is in any way good, especially for the poor Angel customers. I love the argument that the greater resources of BB will be beneficial to Angel, LOL. The bottom line is that the economic model of the commercial LMS vendors can only work if the customers continue to be willing slaves to the commercial dictator. And they are because of the greater pain that would be required to ask faculty to learn a new system. I believe that BB customers still do not own the software and if they do not renew the contract they must show proof that they are no longer using it. That is ridiculous and always has been. Academic institutions should be ashamed to have allowed this type of lease agreement to persist over the years. The lease arrangement is the core of the problem. LMS software is not sophisticated, I know, I watched my own student worker create 2 significant LMS products. Why can’t you buy the software and pay a typical 18% maintenance fee? Because it is not even worth the 18%. If you have an open mind there is no question that Sakai or Moodle is essentially equivalent to BB and they probably get better support because the huge user community is allowed access to the code.

BlackBoard has a large revenue appetite that it will find to be more and more difficult to quench as more customers break free of the chains. So how do you think BB will manage that appetite? Who do you think will get fed?

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith has retired. His last position was the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education came from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on May 15, 2009, in Angel, BlackBoard, LMS. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I really like it whenever people get together and share opinions.
    Great website, keep it up!


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