This coming August, DeSales University will put the final touches on a migration from ANGEL to Blackboard Learn after a well-publicized LMS evaluation at the University. They will join Hilbert CollegeNorth Central Michigan College, Bowie State University, Lindsey Wilson College, and a growing number of ANGEL schools who have completed the transition.

Dr. Tonya Amankwatia, Director of Distance Education and Instructional Technology, spearheaded the evaluation process for DeSales, which included the creation of an LMS Evaluation Report detailing results from extensive pilot programs, LMS comparison matrices and faculty / student survey results.

“Shortly after Blackboard acquired ANGEL Learning, we began a process of evaluating what our next learning system might be,” Amankwatia recalled. “By 2012, support for the ANGEL system was extended but we chose to stick to our internal timelines and move forward with our migration from ANGEL.”

With a limited set of resources available, Amankwatia and her team utilized the Upgrade Cohort Program, a free series of virtual webinars for ANGEL institutions planning to move to Blackboard Learn, and relied heavily on their ANGEL and Blackboard support teams to stay on track during their migration. Free training documentation sites like the On Demand Learning Center and Help.Blackboard were used extensively, and the DeSales IT team took advantage of self-paced online training, which was included at no charge via their participation in the Upgrade Cohort Program.

Watch DeSales University’s Announcement Regarding their Migration to Blackboard Learn:

“When you consider the time and resources required for a change like this, you quickly begin to appreciate the free resources available to the user community and the expertise a company like Blackboard can offer,” explained Amankwatia. “Blackboard experts consulted us, for free, on our SIS integrations and single sign on possibilities. They even provided a co-production license of Blackboard Learn which allowed us to migrate on our own terms and pace.”

Through participation in the Blackboard Idea Exchange (BIE), the University was able to provide feedback to Blackboard Product Management and Development, on a number of vital ANGEL use cases they hoped to see in Blackboard Learn.

“We still love ANGEL at DeSales, but we knew the time for migration was right when features like Video Everywhere, Retention Center, Inline Grading, and Item Analysis began finding their way into Blackboard Learn,” explained Amankwatia. “We were also huge users of ANGEL’s learning object repositories (LOR); so we are really looking forward to utilizing xpLor, Blackboard’s new cross platform learning object repository, to share content across our campus and beyond this coming semester.”

Want to learn more about an LMS evaluation of Blackboard Learn, and a potential migration from ANGEL? Join our Co-Production & Community Evaluation Program and receive guided step by step instructions on how to evaluate ANGEL and set up a pilot of Blackboard Learn. The program will be led by ANGEL schools that have already transitioned, along with Blackboard Support and Product Management.


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