By Anna McFadden, Director of the Coulter Faculty Center (CFC)

This past spring, Provost Carter appointed a task force to make a recommendation on which Learning Management System (LMS) WCU will select since our contract with Blackboard expires July 1, 2011. This group has begun meeting and is conducting forums during the fall semester to get faculty input in order to make a recommendation by the end of the semester.

The group is looking at Moodle or Blackboard 9. Either one will require migration and training. A group of faculty is piloting Moodle this fall. Anna McFadden has developed a simple sample course in each platform for faculty to assess from both a student and a faculty view. These demo courses will be available all semester.

CIO Craig A. Fowler, CFC Director Anna McFadden, Task Force member Carlie Merritt, and WebCat System Administrator Chris Baxley briefed the Faculty Senate on September 2 concerning plans for gathering faculty input. Opportunities include the following:

1. Review sample courses and send feedback to John LeBaron.

To view the sample Moodle course, go to If you are a MAC user, use Firefox, not Safari.

  • Click on login in the upper right hand corner.
  • The username is wcudemo and the password is wcudemo.
  • You will see “Experiencing Moodle from the Student View” and “Experiencing Moodle from the Faculty View” (the faculty view allows you to see the gradebook and other features).

To view the sample Blackboard 9 course, go to

  • Log in using wcudemo as the username and wcudemo as the password.
  • Click on the My Courses tab. You will see two courses, “Experiencing Blackboard 9, Instructor view” and “Experiencing Blackboard 9, Student View.”

2. Review and contribute to the Task Force Wiki at

3. Talk with a Task Force Committee Member.

  • John LeBaron (Chair), CFC and Education and Allied Professions
  • Carlie Merritt,  Health and Human Sciences
  • Chris Baxley, CFC
  • Peter Savage, Fine and Performing Arts
  • Sharon Dole, Education and Allied Professions
  • Bill McDaniel, Kimmel School
  • Michael Caudill, Arts and Sciences
  • Michael Thomas, College of Business
  • Regis Gilman, Educational Outreach
  • Anna McFadden, CFC
  • Zack Phillips, Student

4. Attend an Open Campus Forum conducted by the LMS Task Force on Wednesday, September 30 at 2 p.m. in FPAC 223.