Whether you are considering moving courses from Moodle 1.9 or another Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard Open LMS has options to assist in the migration. There is more to think about when migrating courses however than how to transfer the content from one site to another. Even if you have storyboarded your course and it contains great instructional design strategies when the content is moved from one site to another these items need to be re-analyzed.
Items to consider when converting courses
1. The layout of your course will have different parameters depending on the LMS’s course formats. Blackboard Open LMS offers six different format types: Folder View format Single Activity format Social format Topics format Weekly format and Flexpage format. Each of these formats will help shape the look of your course. Themes can also have a bearing on how the course format displays. One of the newest themes available from Blackboard Open LMS is Snap. Snap is a responsive design theme that displays a Table of Contents and makes content previews accessible on the front of the course page. Each of these layouts will inform the design of your course and you will want to take into consideration what changes need to be adjusted to align with your instructional design strategies.
2. During and at the end of the delivery of a course instructors should review course surveys and analyze what worked and what could be improved upon. As many instructors schedules are very busy this review often times gets put to the side. During course migration is a great time to update review and proof read course content. Consistency in language and design will assist students to be successful within the course.
3. Each gradebook has similarities and differences. The Moodle gradebook has a large number of options that can make it work to fit your needs but also can be a little overwhelming at times. During the migration process it will be important that Site Administrators and Lead Instructors have discussions about gradebook policies and ensure that the appropriate settings are set at the site level. Remember to update your syllabus with the new gradebook aggregation to help students understand how their grades will be calculated.
4. Each LMS has its own set of activities and resources available to display course content. Many of these features are similar to one another between each LMS but have different names. There are also activities and resources that are proprietary to the LMS you are currently using. When moving content to the new LMS you will want to review what types of activities and resources you will want to migrate the content into. Often times when an automated migration occurs these resource and activity types are mapped for you however it is important to review all of the options available and make adjustments as necessary. This not only allows you to refresh your course but gives additional functionality and variety to the course work.
5. In addition to the core Moodle features for displaying content Blackboard Open LMS features such as Personalized Learning Designer Joule Reports Joule Gradebook Joule Grader and Conduit just to name a few add functionality to enhance the core LMS. Since these features are available to Blackboard Open LMS clients only be sure to learn about these augmentations and use them to create an engaging course that works on your behalf and supports student in their continued success.
Don’t expect the course to look exactly like it did in its previous LMS and remember this can be a good thing! You will be amazed at how quickly your students will adapt to a well-designed course. As well if your institution would like to create consistency between courses it is a best practice to create a course template where each course can be restored into where the layout of the gradebook and other basic course designs are outlined as a starting point.
~Janelle Gieseke, Senior Corporate Trainer
Blackboard Open LMS Learning Solutions