Wayne Mackintosh wrote:
With regards to the FUD associated with the 'desire" to have stable
- based on the unfounded notion that FLOSS is not stable, there are a
of things we can do. For example:
(1) helping folk understand the difference between stable releases of
and FLOSS software projects that are still under development.
(2) Working in a university setting myself - I have found the piloting
approach quite useful. Rather than "scare" the non-informed with an
enterprise migration to FLOSS - I have used a small piloting
on the research model. Works well - because we can't afford to buy a
different piece of software for each little research project, but using
FLOSS the possibilities for innovative research projects increase.
understand the process and value of research.
(3) Finally - Using FLOSS software in conjunction with proprietry
also works well. For example, a pilot project using eXe with
WebCT. Classic win-win scenario.
Chat to you soon.
The increased visibility of internal processes in FLOSS projects (e.g.
open Bugzilla databases) is sometimes used by FUDsters to suggest the
software is unstable but then many experienced hands don't like to adopt
commercial software until there's been a service pack or two.
Knowing what's under development and being able to play with it is much
better than trying to rely on "roadmaps" that never seem to be followed.
Our Moodle installation has been quite stable and has performed well. I
do hope that I didn't lead anyone to think otherwise. I would have
preferred a somewhat smaller pilot (perhaps just some CS classes) but
we're under some time pressure.
What I'd like to do is spin up a parallel "experimental" variation of
the software. No licensing hassles to get in the way. Similarly, one of
the benefits we've found with Moodle is that users can spin up a copy on
their own computers and do development offline which should be very
useful in places where connectivity is poor.
Sent: 15/09/2005 04:18
Subject: Re: [IIEP] Request for new introductions
Name : Bonnie Luterbach
Institution: University of Manitoba
As an instructional designer with the distance education program, I have
an interest in the topic of social software.
We do not generally use many open-source products at the University of
Manitoba. Currently we use WebCT for course delivery. As Robert
Rittenhouse from McMurry University mentioned, institutions are caught
in a dilemma between the desire to have a stable system on the one hand
and a desire on the other to try to use some of the new modules under
However, I continue to explore and use some products for interaction as
a member of different communities of practice and associations (e.g. the
Manitoba Association for Distributed Learning and Training (MADLaT) and
the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE)). Currently I
participate on a conference committee that is using NiceNet for
interaction. We also explored available VOIP software for some of our
meetings in order to keep costs down, especially this year with some of
our members working on international projects.
Senior Instructional Designer
188 Continuing Education Division
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2