Moodle vs Blackboard. Some early data.

In Term2, 2009  CQUniversity conducted a pilot of the Moodle learning management system with a group of more than 30 courses from various disciplines. The following are academic analytics comparisons between this group of courses in Moodle and the same group of courses in Blackboard. To reduce the influence of face-to-face teaching, the sample only includes the students who are pursuing their studies via distance.  A more detailed explanation on how the online environment can influence the number of clicks students make can be found in a recent post. As David alluded to in his comment on this post, my use of the term ‘online students’ was an over-generalization that reflects  how I separate out the student cohort in the various databases. So while I describe these students as online or distance students this may not necessarily be the case in all situations.

The Blackboard figures are taken from the activity of 410 distance students while the Moodle figures are taken from 631 distance students. Note that these are preliminary results and should be fairly accurate however I’ve yet made no attempt to interpret meaning from the data. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments if you have any thoughts or comments about the data.

Figure 1. Total clickcount comparison between Blackboard 6.3 and Moodle 1.9

Figure 2. Grade distribution percentages.

Figure 3. Average forum posts for each grade group

Figure 4. Average forum replies for each grade group

Figure 5. Average forum reads for each grade group


One thought on “Moodle vs Blackboard. Some early data.”

  1. G’day Col,

    I know your simplifying for a blog audience but I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate to use the description
    “students who are pursuing their studies online”
    as the institution, regardless of what some folk say, doesn’t really offer online only courses.

    Realise this is a fairly small sample size in terms of student numbers, so that colours things a bit. But might be interesting to divide the student body up more finely. For example, on the basis of
    – level of staff participation in the course sites;
    – an examination of the online versus other resources.

    Both of these are an attempt to gauge how “online” the student experience is. If the students don’t get any print resources and now f-t-f sessions, then it must be mostly online. Do “mostly online” have different usage to DE and online?

    Also, the forum replies graph in Blackboard reminds me of some of the graphs for low staff participation – lots of action from lower performing students. I wonder if that explains some of the differences.

    A related, but obvious one, would be whether the teaching staff in the Moodle courses are the same for the Blackboard stuff.


    PS. How’s the BJET paper going?

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