We piloted Moodle
for two semesters. We found Moodle
refreshing and easy to use and comparable to Blackboard. The first initial reaction to Moodle
was that "free" price tag that open source software has however after using it there were a few snags.
1. Although Moodle
is "free", it requires someone knowledgeable in programming to install it on a server, set it up and maintain it. You still have the cost of the server and the labor to set it up and maintain it.
2. There is virtually no technical support other than forums for Moodle
where as Blackboard has a team of people who are easily accessible. For our campus, I am the only software engineer. If we had Moodle
and something happened to me, our college would be in trouble.
3. Blackboard is very robust and has a lot of bells and whistles. Although Moodle
has most features, it is still lacking when you compare the two.
4. I am on a state wide distance education committee. We have pooled our resources together and get discount pricing for the state. This makes Blackboard very affordable for all colleges in West Virginia since we use a hosting company through our state committee.