NMIT uses Moodle as its LMS so that is what I am most familiar with. Some support is available on using Moodle, however my experience is that tutors are pretty much left to their own devices to set up their courses. There is a generic course shell available these days or else the previous year’s course can be copied over (which is handy because all of the resources come across as well). I must admit that I haven’t experimented much with what is available – really because of the time required to explore it properly. Since being involved in this course I have been introduced to Blackboard as well and I think from what I have seen of that I am glad I use Moodle!! If found the Moodle Tool Guide impressive and I intend on printing it off so I can refer to it more regularly.
To investigate a different CMS, I went off and did the good old Google search to see what I could find. First I thought I would have a look at Blackboard but I didn’t find it easy to figure out how it works and couldn’t find out if I could have a play with it. When I went to the Moodle site I was able to easily work out what Moodle was capable of doing. I found an article which provides a brief comparison between the Blackboard and Moodle markets which provided some interesting background about the development of these CMSs. In this article there was mention of the Sakai cms which I further investigated and set up a free account at Unicorn site. The free account gave me access to test drive course set up which allowed me to see what the student can see/do as well as what the tutor can do. I used the help function for one part to see how to set up the options for the poll function but other than that I found the system easy to use. Below is the Jing presentation I put together of what I did with my test drive. My test drive has also given me a desire to have a closer look at what is available with Moodle. Maybe I will have look into some of it for my presentation for week 23!!