The Spring 2013 semester is the last that students and faculty will see Blackboard.
Pearson’s OpenClass is the new learning management system that will be in full use by the Fall 2013 semester.
ACU’s contract with Blackboard ends June 1 of this year, which caused the Adams Center to start searching for a new learning management system that could replace Blackboard and be more functional. OpenClass was just one of many learning management systems considered for full use in ACU classes.
OpenClass made its debut on campus two years ago through beta testing in a small number of ACU classes. ACU has spent these past two years working with Pearson to give feedback and develop the learning management system into what it is today. Students in classes that participated in the beta testing were able to give feedback to their professors about what they wished to see changed in OpenClass.
Mindi Thompson, director of Instructional Design for the Adams Center, said, “A lot of the things we see in the new versions are features that we recommended.”
This unique partnership between Pearson and ACU has allowed OpenClass to be more personalized for ACU as well as more functional for other schools who choose to use it across the country. “We have been able to see from the ground up the ways that it was moving and developing,” Thompson said.
While there has been some negative feedback, the Adams Center looks forward to the new opportunities that come with this learning management system. “It’s easy for us to forget back to when Blackboard was new, how hard that was to learn,” Thompson said.
John Weaver, dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies, said, “Uniformly what I have heard from faculty is that OpenClass is easier to use than Blackboard.”
This ease of use, among other things such as administrative use, features offered and cost were all things that the Adams Center considered while making the decision on what new learning management to system to use.
Like Blackboard, there is an OpenClass app available in the Apple App Store through which student accounts can be reached without having to first access the myACU homepage.
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