Amid Blackboard’s purchase of Moodlerooms, fear and loathing set in

Blackboard said Moodlerooms would not raise its prices.

The decision had been made, student information had been transferred, and faculty had been trained to use the Moodle learning management system (LMS) hosted by Moodlerooms. Loyola University-Maryland had finally broken away from Blackboard, the LMS goliath. Until March 26, that is.

That’s when many campus technology leaders who had for years railed against Blackboard and advocated for open-source LMS options heard the news that, had it been announced April 1, would have made for an excellent April Fool’s joke.

“I was shocked, I was in disbelief, and I could not believe what I was reading,” Louise Finn, Loyola’s chief information officer (CIO), said of Blackboard’s acquisition of Moodlerooms, a longtime favorite of campus technologists that helps colleges establish and maintain an LMS based on the open-source Moodle platform. “We spent a considerable amount of time and effort getting away from Blackboard, as have many schools. You get to a place where you think they can’t touch you, and lo and behold, you’re right back in their camp.”…Read More

Librarians: Many faculty members embrace digitization

Librarians remind students that some valuable literature isn't yet avaiable online.
Librarians remind students that some valuable literature isn't yet available online.

The sentimentality that college faculty members have for the old-fashioned campus library isn’t the norm at some institutions with vast digital libraries, higher-education librarians and technologists say—countering recent research that lists faculty resistance as a roadblock in digitizing library collections.

Research that refers to the “wistfulness” for the days of wooden bookshelves and massive piles of literary works was released June 2 by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Library and Information Resources, a nonprofit group that advocates for greater access to information.

The study, titled “The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship,” charges that entrenched professors and staff members have slowed the creation of digitized book collections. The study also cites the conflicting ideas about whether information should be commodified or made freely available online as a persistent impediment to library digitization.…Read More