20 responses

  1. Larry lambert
    July 19, 2014

    I agree, where were the jump-ups-and-cheers!! .?

  2. Julie Rorabaugh (@rorabaughj)
    July 19, 2014

    It wasn’t a “show.” I’m not saying I’m missing Chasen, but I DID miss Ray.

  3. pmasson
    July 19, 2014

    Bundled Products: “This should deliver more value to customers with less hassle.”

    (I can’t believe I am going to use a Time Warner Cable advertisement to make a point, especially one that arguably does not genuinely reflect TWC’s business strategy, but…)

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z78RU7_zbbg&w=560&h=315

    For institutions with centralized IT/online learning support, that are trying to support multiple organizations/campuses/departments, a bundled approach may not offer the flexibility in service and cost benefits that a shared service model could.

    Ideally different units/campuses all working through a centralized support group can choose the specific systems they want to use as part of their courses/programs, contracting (and paying for) only those systems then want. Many small programs may only want the LMS and not other services (Course assessments, grading, and plagiarism prevention through SafeAssign Enterprise surveys Social learning and Blackboard’s Global Learning Network, Global Learning Object Repository, Portfolios ), or might already have in place preferred solutions. These organizations will now be paying for unused capacity if they choose to partner with centralized services.

    I think this model is great for Bb (reduced internal costs and increased adoption–albeit forced) and campus administrators who are looking for a “turn-key, out-of-the-box solution” and ease in procurement and contracting, but at the cost of teaching and learning tools that might better align with campus/faculty/pedagogical/program goals.

    Also, I thought we were moving to a distributed model of tool integration and interoperability (think IMS), not bloatware?

  4. Michael Feldstein
    July 19, 2014

    Patrick, I suspect we’ll start seeing increasing differences between Instructure on the one hand, which is trying to be a lean, mean, LMS machine, and Blackboard on the other, which is trying to move up the value chain by becoming an integrated solutions provider. Which is better will depend on your institutional needs.

  5. Michael Evans
    July 19, 2014

    And what on earth IS going on with D2L? I’m awaiting your comments with much anticipation!

  6. kevin dowin
    July 19, 2014

    Excellent synopsis of the event. Although I was sceptical of Blackboard supposed focus on the learner, I thought that they are headed in the right direction.

  7. Clint Brooks
    July 28, 2014

    I wasn’t able to be at Bb World this year, so I certainly can’t judge the specifics, but my colleague was and his reaction seems mixed at best. My first thought is to wonder how many of these proposed UX changes were run by the broad user base for feedback, BEFORE deciding on a direction. When I read that these changes are major and surprising, it suggests to me that a very limited part of the user base was clued into them. This is exactly the attitude at Blackboard that needs to change. Interface changes need to be developed through broad interactions with the user base, and with as much feedback as possible. This feels like the kind of change Microsoft made when they went to Windows 8, and we all know what a disaster that was.

    The problem I have is not change, but the idea a software company can significantly and successfully redesign their product without consistent and broad input from users. That’s a rare bird.

  8. Michael Feldstein
    July 28, 2014

    Clint, I suppose it depends on what you mean by “consistent and broad input from users.” In my experience, it is possible for a company—especially a company the size of Blackboard—to do very substantial usability and user acceptance testing and still have the majority of customers not be aware that they are doing it. There’s a big difference between doing a lot of controlled testing with a significant but limited number of users, which can often yield good results, and putting something out for what amounts to a referendum by the entire user base, which rarely works.

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