Entries by Phil Hill

Updates To LMS News Around Educause 2022

We’re approaching the end of the year and the annual LMS Market Analysis report, and the recent coverage of LMS vendor news around the Educause Conference has generated some useful conversation and feedback. Let’s do some updates.

Correction – UNED Not On Moodle

In the public blog post I initially described the Open LMS win at UNED, the national distance education university in Spain with roughly 200k students, as a Moodle to Moodle transition. Open LMS as you recall is the rebranded Moodlerooms that Blackboard sold to LTG in early 2020, augmented by subsequent purchases of eThink and eCreators. Their base LMS is Moodle, even though they are not a Certified Moodle Partners and cannot use the Moodle name.

What UNED is transitioning from, however, is not self-hosted Moodle despite that being used in one program. The university LMS is aLF, based on dotLRN (I apologize for the mistake).

ALF reboot: Warner Bros. TV explores bringing back the cat-eating Melmacian.

Not that ALF, aLF. The significance here is that this does indirectly represent a new Moodle adoption.

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LMS Vendor Notes From Educause 2022

I recently attended both the WCET and Educause conference in subsequent weeks in Denver, which was nice given that my youngest daughter lives there. Honey, pack the dog – we’re going on a road trip!

Jeanette joined me for Educause, which used to be THE EdTech conference, and the LMS market news tended to coincide with the fall event. The conference competition has heated up and Educause is now one among several EdTech conferences, but it does tend to remain the premier event in terms of exhibitor booths and is worth exploring further. Read soon before Educause serves a cease & desist letter for daring to share non-official photos from the event.

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MoodleMoot Global Conference Notes

July is typically the busiest month for LMS user conferences, and we’ve already shared notes from Anthology Together in Orlando (for Blackboard Learn), InstructureCon Online (for Canvas), and D2L Fusion in Boston (for Brightspace). Today we’re going to add notes from MoodleMoot Global in Barcelona (for Moodle).

Dealing With The Obvious Issue

Let’s admit it – Moodle wins for best conference location among the major providers. Nothing against Mickey Mouse or Paul Revere, but Barcelona is a great city to visit, and for Moodle it provides a nice global location outside of the US, which is appropriate given the location of most Moodle institutions. It turned out that the city was having one of its first major festivals in three years, La Mercè, in honor of the patron saint of Barcelona, and there was a wonderful yet busy atmosphere in the city . . . 

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K-12 Market Consolidation: The Itslearning Departure

Thanks to Justin Menard and his LISTedTECH team’s alert eyes (or more precisely, their massive use of alerts), we are seeing how North American K-12 school districts are handling the departure of another LMS option. This year Edmodo pulled out of the LMS market with the exception of bundled nationwide deals outside of North America, and we are also seeing the effects of Norwegian LMS provider itslearning leaving the market.

The News and Reaction

Unlike Edmodo with its 5-week notice, itslearning gave customers more than a year to migrate – essentially until the end of existing contracts. Last summer came the news in a post titled “itslearning will exit the US market over time and strengthen its position in Europe.”
 

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Clarifications On Ohio Room Scanning Case

I had debated whether to weigh in on the recent Ohio court case about room scanning, initially planning to wait until the case was closed, but an email marketing campaign I received changed my mind. There are some important clarifications about the case that are important for colleges and universities to understand.

The Case and Coverage

A student at Cleveland State University (CSU) sued the school for violating his privacy due to his professor’s usage of room scanning during an online test in General Chemistry II in the spring of 2021. The judge ruled that CSU violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable government searches and seizures by requiring him to use his webcam to show whether there were any materials available for cheating purposes, with the school using Honorlock to store the video. See EdSurge and HigherEd Dive for more thorough descriptions of the case, and see the Chronicle for commentary from legal professionals.

But make sure to ignore the headline and intro paragraph at the Chronicle, which are wrong:

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D2L Fusion Conference Notes

July is typically the busiest month for LMS user conferences, and over the past few weeks we’ve attended Anthology Together in Orlando (for Blackboard Learn), InstructureCon Online (for Canvas), and D2L Fusion in Boston (for Brightspace). Today’s newsletter will focus on D2L Fusion. 

D2L Fusion Context

D2L Fusion, held July 20-22nd in Boston, was an interesting, upbeat conference that was the first user conference after the company’s big win with the State University of New York (SUNY, selected in late Spring 2021, announced publicly in Oct 2021, with implementations in 2022 and 2023).  I noted at the time of the the announcement:

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InstructureCon Conference Notes

Dear LMS Market Analysis Subscribers,

July is typically the busiest month for LMS user conferences, and over the past few weeks we’ve attended Anthology Together in Orlando (for Blackboard Learn), InstructureCon Online (for Canvas), and D2L Fusion in Boston (for Brightspace). Today’s newsletter will focus on InstructureCon, to be followed by D2L Fusion later this week and Global MoodleMoot in Barcelona in late September. 

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Anthology Together (Bb Learn) Conference Notes

Dear LMS Market Analysis Subscribers,

July is typically the busiest month for LMS user conferences, and over the past few weeks we’ve attended Anthology Together in Orlando (for Blackboard Learn), InstructureCon Online (for Canvas), and D2L Fusion in Boston (for Brightspace). The nature of user conferences has changed over the years, as vendors often used to release major product news either at these meetings or at Educause in the fall. These days you get less  product news, but the conferences are still excellent ways to get a sense of current customer sentiment, likely new clients, and cultural views of the vendors.

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About The HBCUv LMS . . . Or Course Exchange . . . Strategy

There has been a lot of chatter about the effort of nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), led by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), to develop a new online platform called HBCUv (the v is for virtual).

There was a flurry of reporting in March when the news was released, but most of it was ‘let’s rewrite the press release’ journalism. And it was difficult to figure out what this platform is designed to be – a new LMS or a course exchange initiative. Within the past month there has been additional reporting that at least goes beyond PR rewriting and is giving some additional insight, which is good. What is bad is that there is still the question – is this an LMS or is this a course exchange initiative? – and unfortunately the answer appears to be Yes. It is both, and that is a troubling strategic choice.

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US Provosts: Expect Increased Post-Pandemic Emphasis On Online Offerings

Some insights into the post-pandemic world of education . . .

Inside Higher Ed Survey

Inside Higher Ed puts out an annual survey of chief academic officers from US colleges and universities, and the 2022 data were just released. The findings are valuable even with the low number of responses – in 2018 Gallup collected 516 responses for a 19% response rate, whereas in 2022 Hanover Research collected 178 responses for an 8% response rate.

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