University of Dayton's Learning Management System (LMS) that runs on the Sakai platform. Named after St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of students and schoolchildren and recently recommended for patronage of computers and the Internet, this server is intended as a place for students to learn, share ideas, and present their work to the world. Isidore is maintained by the E-Learning Lab. Please feel free to contact the lab at any time with questions, comments, or feature requests.
In 2003, UD adopted WebCT Campus Edition 4.1 as its centrally-supported LMS. The E-Learning Lab has prepared 300 faculty to deliver over 1300 Web-assisted or distance learning courses each year utilizing WebCT. In 2006, Blackboard acquired WebCT. As a consequence, Blackboard has begun streamlining their product offerings, and has announced the phased-out support for WebCT CE 4.1.
A panel of UD faculty and administrators, from the various academic units, met during fall 2007 to make recommendations on UD’s future LMS. The panel reviewed resources gathered by the E-Learning Lab during a strategic planning process that focused on discerning academic program needs, faculty perspectives, and information technology issues associated with adopting a new LMS. After considering the choices of LMS in the marketplace, the panel unanimously recommended the selection of the Sakai Virtual Learning Environment (http://sakaiproject.org). Sakai was chosen for its community-minded design approach, vast and extensible toolset, as well as its ability to integrate with UD’s existing enterprise systems. Sakai offers significant enhancements to the way we deliver online learning experiences that will meet our current and future academic program needs.
To minimize any disruption in course delivery, the WebCT to Sakai transition will occur gradually over several semesters beginning summer 2008 and ending with the anticipated retirement of WebCT at the end of fall 2009. This transition will involve faculty training and migration of course content to the new server. We are extremely sensitive to the possible disruption involved in migrating course content from WebCT to Sakai – and so we will be working closely with faculty at every step.
The E-Learning Lab and academic programs have begun selecting an initial group of faculty to teach courses during the inaugural fall 2008 semester. We anticipate most courses and faculty switching to Sakai in spring and fall 2009. However, if you are interested in early adoption, please contact the Sakai project manager at (937) 229-5499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seminars and training workshops will begin this summer and will continue thereafter. There will be a special overview seminar at the 2008 Techno Fair to be held on Wednesday May 7th and Thursday May 8th (http://technofair.udayton.edu). Additional information about these events will be sent over the next few weeks.
Thank you for your support during this exciting opportunity to improve teaching and learning at UD.