Here’s a video highlighting some of the features in Moodle 2.o, which is expected to be released some time in the next couple of months:
You can see a video of Blackboard 9.1 highlights here. (Sorry, it’s not embeddable.) Note that neither of these videos are “official”; they are both made by adopters.
It’s interesting to note that the highlights list of the Moodle 2.0 release has a fair bit of overlap with the highlights of the Blackboard 9.0 and 9.1 releases:
- Both tout improved usability
- Specific improvements in test creation usability
- Both now support searching for and embedding external media (e.g., YouTube videos, Creative Commons-licensed photographs, etc.) within their UIs.
- Both now support mobile clients
- Wikis (new in Blackboard 9.0, improved in Moodle 2.0)
- Improved support for blogs
Developing a good LMS is hard and I happen to think that both development teams have done some good work on improving their respective platforms. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel a little bit of that frustration of the edupunks when looking at these highlights. For example, I have been able to search for and embed videos and images inside of WordPress for years now. There is a balance that needs to be struck between creating a coherent, supportable environment and getting out of the way of the unbelievable pace of innovation on the consumer web. We’re making some progress toward that balance, but we’re clearly not there yet.