Over the past several years, Morehead State Universitys online
course adoption (both hybrid and fully online) has grown
considerably. In fact, nearly every course has an online component
and purely online courses grew from 17 percent to 28 percent during
the last five years.
With the success of its online program, coupled with a limited
budget, Morehead had to consider the most appropriate learning
management system (LMS) for the university. The overall goal was to
find a solution that would help faculty create interactive and
engaging learning environments while remaining cost-effective.
Choosing a system
When Morehead started the evaluation process, it was using
Blackboard Learn 7.3. The university considered either upgrading to
Blackboard Learn 9.1 or adopting open source alternative Moodle.
The overall goal was to find a solution that would help faculty
create interactive and engaging learning environments while
remaining cost-effective. Morehead spoke with other institutions
and faculty about their experiences using both solutions. Feedback
highlighted the overall simplicity of the updated Learn 9.1
interface, the inclusion of SafeAssign (the plagiarism detection
solution), as well as the ease of the upgrade.
Making the upgrade
Based on prior experience, university developers were dreading the
typical upgrade headacheand the onslaught of helpdesk calls,
faculty concerns about learning a new system, and unanticipated
bugs. The upgrade experience to Learn 9.1, however, proved both
smooth and well-received. Support from the Blackboard Managed
Hosting team kept the university on schedule, meeting the launch
date. Also, by participating in the Cohort Program, the Morehead
team gained upgrade strategies and additional resources.
When Morehead considers the upgrade experience, it concluded that
that Learn 9.1 saves faculty a great deal of time, students find
the user interface intuitive, and the product does exactly what it
is supposed to do. The dreaded upgrade was a huge success. Other
advantages with the upgrade:
- helpdesk call volume is at about one-third the typical rate for
the back to school time of year
- students are satisfied with cutting-edge features such as
mash-ups, blogs, and wikis
- faculty members have actually stopped administrators on the
sidewalk to talk in-detail about the Learn 9.1 features they really
Im thrilled to say that Morehead University is extremely happy with
our decision to upgrade to Learn 9.1.