Cal State University, with its 23 campuses and 250,000 students, has signed contracts with Moodlerooms and ANGEL, according to Campus Technology. (I’ve known this was in the works for some time now, but I guess it just went official.) These are statewide pricing contracts; individual campuses still get to choose whatever system they choose. Still, it’s a big deal for both vendors, as well as for the Moodle community. Word on the street is that both Moodle and ANGEL got particularly high marks because of their strong accessibility; California has strict accessibility laws and regulations.
I have been blogging a fair bit about the IMS LIS standard. I want to point out that LIS makes this sort of adoption more meaningful. Generally speaking, individual campuses tend to be reluctant to move off of whatever they have because of high migration costs. With LIS, one substantial portion of that migration cost—namely, integration—is very substantially reduced. It also becomes much more economically feasible for campuses to run more than one of these systems at the same time. Interoperability standards may not be thrilling from a pedagogical perspective, but if they lower the barriers for IT staff to provide alternatives to faculty and students then they have a strong impact on teaching and learning at the end of the day.