Appellate Court Overturns Blackboard Patent

Blackboard’s patent on learning management system technologies has been overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The court ruled Monday in favor of Desire2Learn and invalidated some claims in patent No. 6,988,138, also known as the “Alcorn patent” or the “138 patent.”

[…] Blackboard made concessions to the open source community, releasing a legally binding pledge that it would never assert its patent claims against an open source developer, among other things. The pledge fell short of the SFLC’s demand for Blackboard to renounce the patent, however, and the move was greeted with a mixture of relief and continued outrage at Blackboard’s unwillingness to drop its suit against Desire2learn and unwillingness to renounce the patent claims.

Glad to see that an appellate court overturned Blackboard’s patent of Learning Management Systems. It will be interesting to see how Blackboard’s patent for “technology used for Internet-based education support systems and methods” is finally resolved.

Read the full Campus Technology article by David Nagel

Creating a Collaborative Syllabus Using Moodle

Creating a Collaborative Syllabus Using Moodle

Creating a Collaborative Syllabus Using Moodle

2/27/2008

By Emmett Dulaney
A “collaborative syllabus” is one in which the students have the ability to help determine the specifics of a course. Those specifics can be any element that a professor is willing to be flexible with (such items as the objectives, grading, attendance policies, types of assignments, and so on). The logic behind this tool is that by actively participating in the creation of the syllabus, students are able to signal what they want to learn and how they want to learn it and then (potentially) set the standard by which they will be accountable.

An instrument that has been successfully used before, the collaborative syllabus suffered in one crucial area: It required too much class time to create it. Being unfamiliar with the concept, students first had to have it explained to them in one class period. Following that, there would be several sessions where they would discuss their thoughts, vote on what to incorporate/exclude, and edit the existing document. Given the constraints of the typical 15-week semester, every session is dear, and it is difficult to lose one to such a process, let alone three or four.

In pursuit of a better approach that saved class time, we at Anderson University turned to Moodle for an experiment. The more input students could have in the process outside of class, the more class time could be saved for covering the material. Given that, the creation of the collaborative syllabus was then approached in a three-step process. This article details the steps taken, and the results of walking through this process.

For the complete article visit http://campustechnology.com/articles/58847/

Blackboard Wins Patent Suit Against Desire2Learn

Posted by kdawson on Monday February 25, @06:58PM
from the that’ll-learn-’em dept.

Patents Education

edremy writes “Blackboard, the dominant learning management system (LMS) maker, has won its initial suit against Desire2Learn. Blackboard gets $3.1 million and can demand that Desire2Learn stop US sales. (We discussed Blackboard when the patent was issued in 2006) This blog provides background on the suit. Blackboard has been granted a patent that covers a single person having multiple roles in an LMS: for example, a TA might be a student in one class and an instructor in another. You wouldn’t think something this obvious could even be patented, but so far it’s been a very effective weapon for Blackboard, badly hurting Desire2Learn and generating a huge amount of worry for the few remaining commercial LMSs that Blackboard has not already bought, and open source solutions such as Moodle (Blackboard’s pledge not to attack such providers notwithstanding).”

LMS Town Hall Informational Sessions and Vendor Demonstrations Coming Soon!

The upcoming town hall informational sessions and vendor
demonstrations of the new LMS candidates (the potential replacements
for WebCT) are coming soon.

You can find the dates/times/locations for the town meetings and vendor demonstrations at the project’s website http://www.cofc.edu/it/tlt/lms/.
This site also includes sections for the project overview, Q & A,
timeline, and updates.

I am including both the town hall and the demonstration dates, times and locations below.

Town Hall Informational Sessions

4 individual sessions have been scheduled to accommodate faculty’s teaching schedules

February 11 (Mon) Tate 202 11:00-12:00 and 12:00-1:00
February 12 (Tues) Tate 202 10:50-11:50 and 12:15-1:15

Vendor Demonstrations
Feel free to come and go as schedules permit.  All sessions will be held in in Beatty Center, Wachovia Auditorium

February 18th from 2-5: Moodle – Moodle 1.8.4 demonstrated by MoodleRooms
February 20th from 2-5: Sakai  – Sakai 2.4.1 demonstrated by Serensoft
February 26th from 3-5: Blackboard – Blackboard Learning System
February 28th from 3-5: ANGEL Learning – ANGEL Learning Management Suite 7
February 29th from 2-4: Desire2Learn – Desire2Learn Learning Environment

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15 Minutes a Day: Moodle vs. WebCT

Some of you might be Moodle-savvy, but if you aren’t or would like to know more about it, you can take a closer look  with these free Campus Technology Tutorials.

Moodle Primer Part 1: Creating a Class

Moodle Primer Part 2: Administering a Course

If you are not familiar with Moodle, (www.moodle.org), it’s an open source course management system based on social constructionist design.   Cal State, Humboldt uses it for a number of collaborative projects as well as courses.  You can see Moodle in action at http://learn.humboldt.edu.  Click the login as guest button.

Curious about the differences between Moodle and WebCT?  Review and compare the differences at:
http://www.d.umn.edu/~hrallis/professional/presentations/cms/cms_compare_monganrallis.pdf

Fall 2006 Courses Will Be Deleted Next Week!

via Email | Sue Dowd | WebCT Support| Attachments: End of Semester Procedures for WebCT

We are quickly running out of disk space on the WebCT server, so I have to start deleting the courses in WebCT for Fall of 2006.

If you have any course information that you will be needing from the Fall of 2006, please download it to your personal computer. That way you will be able to access it when you need it. If you don’t download it to your personal computer, it will be deleted with your course. If you have an old backup you will have to delete that one first before you can create another backup. There is not a lot of extra disk space on the server right now!

I will be deleting these courses next week, so don’t put this off until a later date! If I can delete your courses for Fall of 2006 now, please let me know. We are really short on disk space!If you have any questions, please contact Sue Dowd – 953-6556.

Sue

WebCT@cofc.edu
Information Technology


IMPORTANT! 2006 Maymester and Summer WebCT Courses are being deleted. Please Backup Your Courses.

via Email| WebCT Support | August 23, 2007
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now that the Maymester and Summer terms of 2007 are over, WebCT Support will be deleting all the courses that were taught in WebCT for Maymester and Summer of 2006.

If you have any course information that you will be needing from the Maymester/Summer terms of 2006, please download it to your personal computer. That way you will be able to access it when you need it. If you don’t download it to your personal computer, it will be deleted with your course. If you have an old backup you will have to delete that one first before you can create another backup. There is not a lot of extra disk space on the server right now!

Courses will be deleted next week, so don’t put this off until a later date! If you have any questions, please contact Sue Dowd at 953-6556.