Sakai might kick Blackboard off campus faster than expected.
The number of courses that have switched to Sakai is more than double what leaders of the project expected.
The goal for this semester was to have 650 courses using Sakai, but a recent report showed that 1,372 courses have begun using the new online learning management system.
“It’s going a lot better than expected,” said Larry Conrad, vice chancellor for information technology. “We’re all shocked but the numbers are incredibly encouraging.”
Sakai’s lower cost is also a welcome change in light of recent budget cuts, but Conrad said the change isn’t based on finances at all.
The cost of maintaining Blackboard is about $620,000 per year, while Sakai will only cost about $332,000 per year, according to a study the University conducted before choosing Sakai. UNC is paying for both services right now.
“We’re not changing it to save a few bucks,” Conrad said. “We’re changing because we genuinely believe Sakai is a superior product and if we save some money along the way, that’s great.”
Administrators have planned to require all professors to switch to Sakai by December 2012. While the move is proceeding faster than expected, some students are irritated by the transition.
“(Sakai) is not as organized as Blackboard, and the school being partially on Blackboard and partially on Sakai is irritating,” said Sara Lust, a junior from Denver, Colo.