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West Chester U Finalizes Blackboard Cutoff, Moves to Desire2Learn

West Chester University in Pennsylvania has cut off campus access to its Blackboard learning management system (LMS) as of last week. The university announced the move off of Blackboard in February 2010 after the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education awarded a system-wide contract to Desire2Learn. At the same time, the state system also signed contracts with Learning Edge for content management functionality and Perceptis to provide an LMS help desk. West Chester U is one of 14 campuses that took part in the evaluation process.

The IT staff at the institution has been working with faculty since the spring 2010 semester to perform content migration to the new system. The university chose not to copy student-generated content over to the new LMS but did provide directions to students on how to save their personal data.

In a document on its site, the university cited several key benefits of the new LMS:

  • A gradebook interface that's friendlier;
  • A schedule tool that provides integrated calendaring to help users stay on top of course work and deadlines;
  • A user progress and attendance function that lets an instructor view all the interaction a student has had in a course and to do comparisons across students; and
  • An exam function that lets a test-taker know which questions have and haven't been answered.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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