Today I received a question about the comparison between Blackboard CS and Harvest Road Hive I have written more then 2 years ago. The question was if the comparison is still applicable and the conclusion are still valid.
I had the pleasure of reading you very objective and informative report on this subject. I was wondering if your summarised findings still apply in the context of having past some time in using HIVE? Have your opinions changed or has the system met your needs as you intended.
We are just in the installation proces of the new versions of Blackboard CS (7.2) and Harvest Road Hive (3.0). If I compare both version, I must say that Harvest Road has made the most progress. The most important progress they have made are:
- OAI-PMH support
- much improved user interface
- new Customizable Interface Pack (CIP)
- improved workflows
These improvements are a significant improvement for the results of Hive in the comparison. Blackboard hassn't made much progress to become more of a repository. So I would say that Blackboard is even less of a competitor as repository for Harvest Road then before.
Next to the product improvements there are also some market changes, such as the open-source competitors in LMS-market (Sakai and Moodle) and the merger of WebCT and Blackboard. A lot of institution are interested in the open-source initiatives and if you choose for Hive this would make this change easier, because you can already move your content from Blackboard to the repository (Harvest Road is working on a tool to do this for you). Hive can serve the content to Blackboard and to any other LMS (such as Sakai and Moodle), so the transition would be less complex.
We are very satisfied with Hive as an independent educational repository and are further investigation how to extent the use of it. We like to work on the cutting (bleeding) edge of a product.
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