Inside Higher Ed has an analysis of the impact of the merger of WebCT and Blackboard, which is already being dubbed “BlackCT.” Hee… hee… the dark-side of CMS products….
Personally, I have always thought that both Blackboard and WebCT sucked (though I have more experience with WebCT and think that it really sucks), so I am at a loss as to how these two companies are going to be able to “join forces” to make a product that is less than painful. So, the argument goes, the competition is going to be Open Source:
While Blackboard may dwarf all the open source alternatives, two of them â€” Moodle and Sakai â€” have strong support, and Sakai is attracting the participation of a number of institutions that are influential in higher education generally and in technology specifically.
That may very well be true, but, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m reasonably happy with the software I’m using for my online class, eCollege. I’d hate to see them go out of business because, knowing EMU, they’d buy into a product like BlackCT.
Regardless of the product I use though, I think the most important aspect of any CMS is local support. Really, this is the best part of eCollege: I email and/or call the local tech guys and they respond within hours or less. With that support, just about anything will work out.