Blackboard Education Open Source Services – a personal view

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – JFK

Over the last four years I’ve been very lucky. Lucky enough to be part of a company which grew from 12 people when I started in 2008 to become one of the largest financial contributors to the Moodle project in the world in 2012. Lucky enough to become part of a global community of educators in an open source community that has grown to over sixty million users. Lucky enough to meet and work with so many awesome people as we’ve deployed Moodle in many Universities, TAFEs and other organisations around the country. And lucky enough to use Moodle through all of this, watch it grow as a product, watch the Moodle HQ team evolve in size and maturity, as has our own maturity in all aspects of using and supporting Moodle.

But, as always, the only constant in life is change, and now NetSpot, Moodlerooms, Blackboard and the Moodle project as a whole are about to enter a new era. You can read the official announcement here and here, but in this post I want to talk more about how I see this change from my own, more personal, perspective.

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Mahara – as a content repository?

As you may know, I’ve been a bit like a dog with a bone about two topics in particular over the past year or so.

The first has been Moodle’s new file management system since the introduction of Moodle 2. The second has been the use of Mahara in partnership with Moodle, and in particular the integration points (like I showed in my last post) that will make the combination more of a winner.

My focus with Mahara has usually (and predictably) been on using it as an ePortfolio tool – until now.

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Mahara Assessment in Moodle 2

It seems like far more than a year or so ago that I wrote my previous post on how Mahara views could submitted for assessment in Moodle 1.9. Since then we’ve had the long awaited release of Moodle 2, a few releases of Mahara, and a whole bunch of other things which have distracted my attention from making noise about how much I wanted this feature to be updated for Moodle 2.

At last, the wait is over.

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