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  #1  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:22 PM
CAMathMom CAMathMom is offline
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Blackboard, Moodle, online courseware...

I am not a college professor, but because these systems seem more common in higher education, I thought I'd ask here.

I am a math teacher and have a "stand alone" subscription to support my course with Blackboard as part of a pilot project in the high school where I teach. I had a one day training session and feel comfortable with the product overall, but I have struggled with the online assessment tools. Students have gotten frustrated by being timed out of testing sessions and by the formatting of mathematical expressions in the automatic grading of assessments. Any tips or experiences that would help me.
My school's tech dept seems to think that as a school, Blackboard should be adopted to provide students with the full variety of options available, but I have my doubts. After the first year of piloting, only 4 of the 9 faculty are using it for a second year.
I am just looking for reactions and feedback from experienced users.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2009, 03:17 PM
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chemteach55 chemteach55 is offline
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I used Blackboard for 6 years at my last school and did minor assessments using Blackboard. I now use Moodle. There are programs that can be used to prevent students from using other materials on the computer, copying the questions and e-mailing them. I did not use Blackboard or Moodle for major tests because like you said the formatting was a pain. I would not pay for nor recommend anyone pay for Blackboard when Moodle does exactly the same thing for free. At my new school, several teachers are also doing a piolet of Blackboard. I did not do it because my principal already knows how I feel about it.

Last edited by chemteach55; 05-18-2009 at 03:22 PM. Reason: hit send too soon!!
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:54 PM
CAMathMom CAMathMom is offline
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Thanks. Do you find Moodle as easy to set up and maintain? The main reason that our tech department favors Blackboard is the support of a company - not that I have found it that impressive. I just can't see how the expense can be justified, especially in these economic times.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2009, 06:17 AM
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chemteach55 chemteach55 is offline
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Moodle was so easy to set up and it is very easy to update. I cannot justify the expense of Blackboard when there are many other programs that are much cheaper or free and do the same thing. I know that LSU (closest university to me) switched from Blackboard to Moodle to cut costs last fall.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2009, 05:00 PM
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silverspoon65 silverspoon65 is offline
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Pennsylvania
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Does Moodle have something like the Safe Assign feature on Blackboard that scans the papers for plagiarism, and compares them to other students' papers that have been submitted for cheating?
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2009, 05:25 PM
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Mamacita Mamacita is offline
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College writing, hands-on science
We've used Blackboard at the college for years, and the faculty voted to go with Moodle starting next fall. However, someone UPSTAIRS had other ideas and we're now going with some obscure program none of us has ever heard of. Sigh. Moodle would have been so cool.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2009, 09:55 PM
CAMathMom CAMathMom is offline
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Well, we're pushing for Moodle. We use TurnItIn.com for papers and lab reports because the version of Blackboard we're piloting doesn't have all if the add-ons like SafeAssign.
Mamacita-What were the main reasons to switch to Moodle? Don't you love it when the educators get overruled by the powers that be (the ones who don't use the products.)
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2009, 10:50 PM
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Mamacita Mamacita is offline
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College writing, hands-on science
For me, the main reason I wanted Moodle was that it was just so easy to use.

Yeah, it reminded me of how, back in the public school, the administration had the teachers vote on three or four different schedules for the upcoming year, but in reality had already decided and it was already carved in stone. I've been on lots of textbook committees that submitted preferences, but it was obvious that administration had already decided what they wanted to use.

And they wonder why so many experienced teachers won't be on committees any more! I hate to see the younger teachers "wise up." It makes me sad.

And I also know that some schools really do let their teachers make such decisions. If you're lucky enough to work in one of those, cherish it. Not all schools give two hoots in hell what their teachers want, in ANY capacity.
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2009, 12:19 AM
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futureiowateach futureiowateach is offline
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We use Blackboard at the college level and I hate it! Where I recieved my AA in Nursing used a different program, called "Hills" and it was a lot more functional!
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