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I'm trying to produce a list of opensource alternatives to Blackboard and webct


please provide user experience and recommendation. I'm not looking for a google search on the products out there; rather, I was wondering about your personal input

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Could you please add links to the two programs you wanna replace, might help. –  Bobby Jun 24 '10 at 15:20
Wikipedia has some: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  msw Jun 24 '10 at 15:24

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

We run Blackboard in a pretty high-availability environment. It's absolutely line-of-business for us, and since we have over 20K students it gives you an idea as to what can go wrong when its down. We've had pressure from many sides to go Moodle since Blackboard is so expensive.

And we've looked at Moodle, because Blackboard IS so expensive compared with free. We decided that a transfer would not suit us for a couple of reasons.

  • Every penny we'd save in licensing costs would be spent in programmer time adjusting the Moodle environment to be what we need.
  • There still isn't 1:1 feature parity between the two environments. Yes, BB makes sure of this, but it's a fact off life.
  • We'd need 1 to 2 more people on our Blackboard team to handle customizations and programming above and beyond what we have now.
  • Due to legal requirements we'd have to have both Blackboard and Moodle stacks in operation for at least two years. The BB stack would be dormant, but we'd have to maintain some licensing. So there would be little in the way of cost-savings from the move, and in fact it would be more expensive (see also, programmer time).

And the final reason, fear of change (this was never listed in any official way). We KNOW how Blackboard works, and Moodle is completely different on the back end. This magnitude of change is equivalent to migrating from Lotus Domino to Exchange 2010.

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We've faced this issue with lots of other programs; and eventually we end up sticking with proprietary. Thanks for input :) –  dassouki Jun 24 '10 at 16:40


Open source runs on LAMP, really easy to set up and admin. Active development and active support forums.

We are a medium size school board with grades k-12. We rarely have more then 100 concurrent users. It does everything we could need it to, it is so far scaling well as more and more teachers and students start using it. Though on Moodle.org there is very very large schools using moodle exclusively so it does do big well.

We have so far had done nearly zero customization. But I've developed for it in the past and found the codebase easy to work with. The active forums, and goodish documentation make necessary customization easy.

There is no way we would ever have the money to pay for licensing of blackboard, and I am the sole administrator for our moodle website and I spent less then an hour per week with it.

Overall I think it looks "open sourcie" compared to BB/WebCT, it just doesn't look as polished. Though I think bottom line it is as stable and usable as BB.

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.LRN is the world's most widely adopted enterprise-class open source software for supporting e-learning and digital communities.

Originally developed at MIT, .LRN is used worldwide by over half a million users in higher education, government, non-profit, and K-12.

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