LMS Replacement Project – Student Survey Summary

In order to gauge student opinion of the two LMS candidates for the LMS replacement project, the Student Technology Center set up two test courses, one in Blackboard Learn and one in Moodle, which contained identical content. All students were invited to join these courses and evaluate the LMS products. Students were asked to read a short article and complete the following tasks:

·         Take a quiz

·         Turn in a homework assignment

·         Participate in discussions

·         View grades

·         View calendar entries

Students then completed a short survey about their experiences. A summary of the results follows:

Students were allowed to self-enroll in both Blackboard Learn and Moodle. Blackboard Learn tracked the number of students who originally enrolled, and Moodle did not.
Therefore, the number of students enrolled in Moodle has been left blank in this summary.

Students enrolled in Blackboard Learn: 139
Students enrolled in Moodle:
About half of the students who took the survey had used Blackboard Learn, Moodle, or both before while the other half had not used it.

Students that took the survey: 72

Please select the learning management system that you would like to see NAU adopt.



Blackboard Learn




Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements:


The LMS is easy to use


Blackboard Learn

Strongly Agree












Strongly Disagree




Moodle fits my learning style


Blackboard Learn

Strongly Agree












Strongly Disagree




I had an positive overall experience using the LMS


Blackboard Learn

Strongly Agree












Stongly Disagree




If you are using assistive technology to take this course, such as screen reader software, how satisfied are you in your ability to navigate to everything in the course?


Blackboard Learn

Strongly Agree












Stongly Disagree



Student Comments

Please describe any additional information about your overall LMS experience.


 “I enjoyed using Moodle and there were some interesting extras, like generating a report for your grades, I have never seen something like that on Blackboard.”

“I thought that Moodle was very basic and did not have the features of blackboard. Also, it didn't have the visual appeal.”

“As stated before, it was very bare bones.  Some items didn't seem to format correctly either.  It felt very well below the standard of the University.”

“I did not like the lack of navigational abilities once you were away from the home page. You must first return to the home page before accessing any other sites in the course. Also, the setup of the grading page was a little hard to read/understand.”

“Do not switch to Moodle.”

“I really don't like the setup, it seems a bit disorganized. If I had all my classes I am taking now on Moodle, I would be stressing that I did not get all the assignments done. Also how good is the protection on Moodle? Would someone be able to hack it and steal personal information? I have never even heard of Moodle till tonight.”

“I loved the widgets on the homepage, I loved the look/feel and really liked the calendar with mouse overs. The ability to minimize them is really nice as well. Other parts such as the bulletin board(?) seemed chunky, using too much real estate and I really did not like the smilies. The use of pop-ups is also a problem for me. I really liked BB better in the respect for [discussion] posts as I could see the entire thread. I LOVED the ability to edit my post, this [functionality] is critical in my opinion, as we all have ‘those moments’...”

“Overall it was easy, I liked the feel, just too plain for me. [I really didn’t like the name Moodle, either].”

“Since it is so new it would take a while to get used to the differences from BB”

“I like being able to edit discussion board posts and that email will go to my NAU Gmail account.”

“Confusing at best.”

“Will definitely be more of an adjustment than to Bb learn

“Difficult to understand.”

“Navigation was time consuming and required many clicks. Instant feedback for the quiz on a per-question basis was nice.”

“My overall Moodle experience was terrible and I will be repeating the class I took this semester that used Moodle.”

“Doesn't appear to be as user-friendly as Blackboard.”

“It was overall a good experience. I love the formatting of the site. It makes me feel more at ease.”

“Test taking and turning in assignments was strange, I had to click back onto the NAU homepage, then go back into the course.  It was too many steps in my opinion.  Some of the verbiage I don't remember exactly, but it said things strangely about how I got a few right on the test and the submission portion of the test, it was just odd. The colors and the design were nice.  It was very bright and easy to see.  I didn't feel like the test was going to time out on me.  I do worry about that sometimes with the current blackboard.”

 “Moodle looks like it was built more for elementary school students.  However, it is very straight forward and easy to use.  Just not very good for online only classes.”

Blackboard Learn

“This is very similar to VISTA but it is a little more cluttered and harder to navigate around. Other than that it was, as I said, similar and understandable.”

“I like it.”

“It was incredibly easy to switch from Vista to Bb Learn.  I felt very modular, so I could customize it exactly to how I would like.   I felt new and more professional.  It also had many features I could see myself using in the future, such as the To Do list with notifications and Early Warning system.”

“I loved Blackboard Learn! It is very similar to Blackboard Vista, is easy to use and navigate (has a side bar that doesn't go away) and I liked the formatting of the quizzes and assignments. The writing blocks were especially useful.”

“It is great.”

“I like using Blackboard Learn because it is very similar to Blackboard Vista which I am already used to using. I did not care for Moodle because I did not find it to be very organized.”

“It seemed closer to Vista in terms of usage. I really liked the posting area and how i could minimize or see the parent post. i loved the limited use of pop-ups as they are a genuine nuisance especially when replying to posts.”

 “It is most familiar so is easier for me.“

“Like that I can access my course using my android phone”

“Blackboard is smooth and seamless.  It works with MSWord, and seems to be well thought out and organized well.”

BBLearn is a great upgrade from Vista.  It was intuitive, but that may just be because it's similar to the original Vista interface to which I'm accustomed.”

“Blackboard learn offers a more user friendly environment.”

“I prefer over Moodle.”

“There were small things that bothered me. I could not find assignments, error messages popped up, and other weird stuff. I do not like the formatting of Blackboard Learn. I think it would be hard for me to do my work in. I would not want to do my work there.”

"It was very hard to find what I was looking for, and I kept clicking on certain links and they didn't really take me anywhere.  I finally figured out I had to go on the far left and get into what I needed there.  Plus the test and how it moves when you are taking it, is strange.  The colors are better than blackboard now, and as busy as the current blackboard is, it seems more functional than this version.  The writing on blackboard learn is very small, and that gray colored ok button on the very bottom is weird.  It is so small and hard to see."

“I like it.  It seems like a "finished" version of the old vista!  Switching over to it would be very easy.“

“Bb Learn was easy to learn because it is similar to Bb Vista.  At first I was thrown off by the set up, but I learned fast and I liked the appearance and functionality.”

Please explain why you selected this particular LMS



I like change every once in a while, however, this one is a little more simplistic and less cluttered. I felt it was easier to use and navigate.

It seem like you can do much more with Blackboard.

It was easier to navigate and did not seem to have all of the fluff that Blackboard had.

First off, it is the most similar to Vista.  For existing students, this is a huge plus, allowing them to simply have to adjust to a slightly different layout and format.  It is also very friendly for widescreen setups.  For long pages of text, the toggle at the top of the page to 'dock' the tabs at the top is also an amazing plus, allowing for an easy way to navigate to another section of the system without a lot of scrolling.

Loved the discussion board and quiz formats, navigation not spectacular, but worlds better than Blackboard learn.

I see little significant difference between the two programs, and Blackboard is most like the program I currently use, so I anticipate few problems navigating it.

Things in Moodle were overall easier and more 'friendly' toward students.

I liked the formatting, and it was easier to navigate. The new features are definitely an upgrade from Blackboard Vista.

I liked using it for a summer session pilot class

Some features of Learn allowed better ease of uploading assignments, a similar interface to Vista, among other things. Also, Learn seemed to be an [upgrade] over Vista, rather than being a direct replacement. There were some very nice features in Learn that would be of assistance to me.

It has a better look & feel. It's user friendly.

I choose Blackboard learn because I am used to using blackboard at it looks very similar to the LMS we use now.

Cost Savings as well as a less complex interface.

I chose Blackboard Learn because I find it very user friendly and am familiar with the layout because it resembles Blackboard Vista.

Very easy to use.  Open source=low cost

It is organized, I have used it before at Yavapai College, no glitches, and I trust the security level of the site.

Many reasons. I listed most of them above.

Overall, i preferred the more direct ability to access course materials, etc.

It was easier to understand, easier to use, and it's even easier to navigate.

It was most similar to VISTA, and it had more features that I liked overall.

Blackboard [has] more issues

Newer looking, better appeal and more user friendly with many options for the teacher.

I like it better than Blackboard Learn. I feel that I would want to check my online classes more. Moodle is a positive site to me.

Most familiar, less of a learning curve.

Ease of use is the most important thing.

It is a bit more familiar and seems to have tools that I'll be more interested in using readily available.

Seems easier to use. More information on the front page.

can access on my android phone and i can use word 10

It’s easier to use and better organized

Again, very well thought out and seamless.

Familiar with blackboard from my previous school.


This is what I feel comfortable [with], I just like it. It's a lot easier to use.


It will be an easier transition for students--Bb Learn is very similar to [Vista].


BB seems to work the best for me. I had no problem navigating and it is the most similar to the vista system so when the switch occurs I won’t have problems adapting to the new system.


It closely resembles Vista, but is an upgrade in several important ways.  It feels refined and professional. 


I have had to use Moodle before and it was very difficult to use.


Blackboard is a more user friend and easy to learn system.


It is easier to navigate and accepts Word 2010.


Only one I used and it’s simple.


I feel that Blackboard Learn is just much more polished.  It's simple, but attractively designed and is very quick.  There seems to be a lot of customization available to students.


It’s similar to Vista but is better.


It's a lot nicer and I think I would actually take advantage of the calendar.  I didn't before. 


It seems more appropriate for college and online classes.  It felt and looked more mature.  It was dynamic and allowed for easy communication.  It seemed more like it was committed to learning and discussions rather than just a place to receive and submit assignments.


Please explain why you didn’t choose this particular LMS


Blackboard Learn

I didn't like how Moodle is setup....

I am not sure why I didn't I think it was mostly that I felt the pages were a little more full than they needed to be. I am also not a big Blackboard fan [because] my community college used it too. But I would be able to use either one and would adapt and enjoy using either LMS.

I definitely did not like the navigation problems, and the formatting was quite different from what I am used to (thus also making it harder to use). I would rather have the problems of Blackboard Vista than use Moodle.

Navigation was very confusing.  Couldn't even find the discussion board, if there is one.

Moodle seemed very similar to Vista - i.e. it wasn't an improvement, just a replacement. Although, there were some parts to it that would be preferred over Learn, such as the clean main page, easy guide through the windows within Moodle and others.

I remember what difficulties I used to experience when I was a freshman starting out on Vista and Learn seems to be very very similar.

I didn’t choose the other LMS because you can see who was online in the last 5 mins. Also, it is different and would have to learn how to navigate to everything.

I have not ever utilized Blackboard Learn so do not have enough information to comment

I did not choose Moodle because I did not like the layout and did not find it very organized. I like the way Vista is organized because it has everything when you click on the class. For Moodle there were class links in one section and grades in another which was not in the class section.

It has some of the same drawbacks as regular Blackboard.

Don't trust security level, glitches, unorganized, and I can't believe how many issues I ran into just testing it out I can't imagine what would happen if you adopted this cranky system.

Clunky.  Hard to navigate even though it is a direct replacement.

I would not be disappointed with this LMS but I believe BBL is the best option of the two.

Again listed above in dislikes.

Too old looking, they need to update big time, it’s still in the early 00's... Come on its 2010. Let’s get advanced a little.

It's a lot like the old system, and that one was confusing and not condusive to new students.

It seemed a bit difficult to navigate in comparison plus I didn't see many tools that I would actually use.

Blackboard [has] more issues

Can’t use Word 2010 to copy and paste

I did not like it as much as Moodle. It is much like Blackboard Vista that we use now, and I don't like Blackboard Vista!

Not up to par with current technology.

Terrible, confusing UI.

Um... its name is kind of "mood"y  (get it? mood-le, mood-y? eh? get it?)

It’s too complicated and time consuming and not user friendly

Moodle is harder to use, Plus, it's hard to use Word.


It's nice, and it will work, but it will probably take getting used to by teachers and students.


Moodle seems to work fine and appear to be less cluttered, but without the menu on the side bar I felt a little lost at first.


I hate to judge solely on appearances, but in this case it seems important enough to do so.  Moodle had a very minimalist interface, but rather than seeming like a design choice, it just looked empty, as if the designers didn't know what to do with the space.  Navigation was very unrefined, requiring numerous clicks for even the simplest actions.


Moodle is completely counter-productive to the learning process in my opinion.


Not as user-friendly


have to teach myself all over again.


I liked Moodle, but I felt it was a bit simplistic and didn't feel as full-featured as Blackboard Learn.  There was nothing wrong with Moodle, I just didn't like it as much as Blackboard Learn.


It was actually a hard choice and I liked Moodle as well.


It was clumsy and very different from what I'm used to.  Change isn't bad, but I didn't like Moodle. 


The appearance of Moodle was very simple and immature.  It was almost like an online learning environment for dummies, which isn't always a bad thing.  But because of this it also felt like I could only do the simplest of things in the simplest of ways which limited what I could do.  How do you communicate with other students or with your teachers in Moodle other than discussions?


Additional Comments:

"I noticed while in Bb Learn that there was an option for a mobile app.  I tried to access it via my iPhone (which is now just a glorified iPod touch since I have a newer phone) and my Samsung Captivate (Android, AT&T).  Both failed, stating that I can only use the app if the institution licenses the mobile app, or I have Sprint. If Bb Learn is adopted, I would love to see that feature licensed.  Since many students either have a device comparable with the app, it would be an extremely helpful tool, since not everyone has access to a computer all the time.  Being able to check on my courses on the go would be an amazing plus for Bb Learn."

“If I would have fully understood the lack of compatibility that Moodle offers, I would have never tried to complete the ANT class that I am taking this semester. If NAU adopts Moodle, I will probably not be continuing online classes.”