The survey results are in and CMS products pretty much stink

See this, “IT Issues & Strategic Viewpoints in Higher Education” which was forwarded to the tech-rhet mailing list by the ever-wise and useful Nick Carbone. It is a report/summary of a survey conducted “among selected IT executives and professionals of director level and above from 52 colleges and universities across the country: doctorate-granting institutions, master’s colleges and universities, baccalaureate colleges, and associate’s colleges.” They list the “key results” on this web site; the two that struck me were:

* While 93% of colleges surveyed buy commercial CMS products, on average only 30% of their faculty use CMS to create Web sites, manage their courses, and integrate the Web into teaching and learning.

* CMS products from the vendors Angel (, Desire2Learn ( and eCollege ( were uniformly praised by their users. In contrast, WebCT ( and Blackboard ( were routinely criticized for skyrocketing prices, bugs, and ease-of-use problems.

There’s something here about how this was among the 14 universities, so I’m not sure that means that they talked to 52 people at 14 different places, or if these conclusions only have to do with the university people and not the community college people, or what.

They also talk here about the Sakai Project, which is an open source CMS tool being put together by a bunch of different universities, including that quaint liberal arts college over in Ann Arbor. Interesting stuff.

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