Choosing the Right Course Management System for Distance Education Courses

Choosing the Right Course Management System for Distance Education Courses

Zafer Unal (University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, USA) and Aslihan Unal (Usak University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1936-4.ch012
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Abstract

In the current market space there are many commercially available Course Management Systems (CMS) from which to choose, such as BlackBoard and Desire2Learn. The open source community has also been active in creating alternative course management system choices that are free of licensing costs (Moodle, Sakai). Institutions now have the choice between these competing CMSs, and it is not enough to just pick a package based on its price or feature list. Institutions considering implementing a CMS must carefully evaluate it before putting it to use with a student population. A trial was undertaken to consider whether Moodle warranted a more formal consideration as an alternative to the institution’s current CMS (BlackBoard) at a southeastern university. This report documents a detailed comparison of BlackBoard and Moodle CMSs based on students’ experiences that used both systems during the same course and investigates if Moodle warrants consideration as an alternative to the institution’s current course management system.

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