Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Briefly Mentioned: The makings of a Blackboard alternative

Each year, predominately during mid-terms and finals test schedules, Blackboard users experience log-in problems and sluggish processes.

Last Thursday, Instructional Technology Services hosted a seminar to introduce the faculty to a Blackboard alternative, Moodle.

“It’s been up almost two years and a handful of faculty members are using it,” Software Support Analyst Ali Haider said. “We did not advertise on campus as we do with Blackboard, so a majority of faculty members are not aware of it.”

The session covered ways to set up course content, upload multiple files with one click, view grades, and add assignments.

“UMKC Moodle course sites are set up automatically at the beginning of each semester, and enrollment is also automatic,” Haider said. “This database synching helps the enrollment process go smoothly, especially at beginning of semester when lots of student are doing add/drop courses.”

Those interested in using Moodle for their courses or organizations should contact Informational Access- Instructional Technology Services.

Formally, Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System, also known as a Learning Management System or a Virtual Learning Environment.

All of its information is set on one page, unlike other programs. Therefore, faculty members and students don’t have to scroll through layers of pages.

The software may also create continuity for upcoming enrollees, since it’s already used for K-12 students.

Available at http://moodle.umkc.edu/, there is no cost for UMKC courses. However, there is a fee for non-UMKC courses.

Recently, H&R Block used the site for its 2011 Leadership Program. Likewise, Cerner Corp. registered its 2011 Certificate Program in Health Care Leadership.

ltrigg@unews.com

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