8 thoughts on “why e-learning and learning are different

  1. I’ve yet to see a really good one. (FSU uses Blackboard, and it’s a usability train wreck.)

    Shame on people who don’t archive their stuff outside “the system,” though.

  2. My school uses WebCT. I hate it. I could set up a better online learning environment with a Yahoo! Group.

  3. Man, I took a few classes through WebCT at UNT, and let me tell you: losing your work is a minor problem there. More important is the fact that, WebCT is so clunky and user-unfriendly that it makes it very difficult to actually exchange ideas with people. When the courses use the ol’ memorize-and-regurgitate method of “learning,” you start to wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth out of that school, even if it’s close to free…

  4. I’ve done WebCT through Marshall (hated it, clunky, CONSTANTLY crashed) and Blackboard through Mansfield (a little better, IMHO). It stinks that they’re moving to a new system, but apparently either can’t figure out or can’t be bothered with finding a better solution.

  5. Heather, the two companies merged recently, or one bought the other, I don’t know the details. So it has even less incentive to improve. Unless we keep reminding it about Moodle, Sakai, and other open source courseware applications. I was told that one of the features that recommended WebCT was its integration with the Registrar’s database. But when people withdrew from my Reference class, the instructor didn’t know about it, so I don’t think it was really all that well integrated.

  6. Sharon,
    Thanks for the heads-up re: the merger. I’ve heard good stuff about Moodle, and I don’t know why more schools don’t use it. I know some high schools have used it for their distance education purposes with pretty good results. I’ve never heard of Sakai, but now I’ve got something to look for, just to satisfy my own curiosity!

  7. I too have taken many WebCT courses at UNT. Contrary to Doug’s experience, mine has been alright. I believe WebCT facilitates the exchange of ideas far better than a face-to-face class. The system is sluggish at peak hours, and yes, you MUST save your work outside the system or risk losing it. But I can’t imagine anyone not doing that anyway. WebCT, and any other web-based instructional system I suppose, forces participation. Students cannot fake it the way they can in most conventional classes.

  8. Tsk,tsk, WebCT, I cannot yet grasp why on the world with free and open source systems available out there like moodle (www.moodle.org) or claroline (www.claroline.net), educational institutions keep insisting in wasting their money and time with WebCT!!!

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