News and Events
Pepperdine University Adopts Sakai as Official Learning Management System
Pepperdine University has announced the adoption of Sakai, an open source learning management system (LMS), to replace Blackboard as the University’s official learning management system.
"With the adoption of Sakai, the University will benefit from a tool that is more aligned with our needs, that provides a better user experience for our faculty and students, that is easier to administer and support, and that is far more cost-effective," says Timothy Chester, vice provost for academic administration and chief information officer.
The University's decision to adopt Sakai came as a result of a 13-month pilot study conducted by Information Technology. Throughout the study, faculty and students across all Pepperdine schools were invited to participate in focus groups, surveys, and question-and-answer sessions to compare the features and usability of Blackboard and Sakai. During the study nearly 100 faculty members participated in a Sakai pilot study.
The study’s results concluded that faculty and students preferred Sakai's versatility and infrastructure to Blackboard's offerings. An executive summary of the study has been published on the University’s website.
"Sakai has some great tools that help me expand and develop my pedagogy…blogs, wikis, podcasts, and simple integration with outside sites and co-authors,” says Michael Williams, assistant professor of information systems at the Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Pepperdine's version of Sakai, named "Courses," offers common LMS features such as posting online syllabi in addition to a variety of features including photo class rosters, increased storage space, and improved ease of use over Blackboard for commonly used features.
Courses will officially replace Blackboard in December 2010. Information Technology is offering several workshops throughout the fall terms as well as multiple individual support opportunities for faculty who want to begin using Courses or need to migrate course content from Blackboard to Courses.
For more information about the transition to Courses, please visit the Technology and Learning website.