Many institutions are still running Collaborate Classic while evaluating Collaborate Ultra's functional grow, until their key requirements are deliverable by Collaborate Ultra. Moodle Open Source is the leading LMS in Europe's schools, universities and corporate academies. A working Moodle integration is therefore a key requirement for any such institution* decision making on virtual classroom solutions.
This product enhancement idea is dedicated for all those institutions willing to migrate from Collaborate Classic to Collaborate Ultra - not now, but after April 2017.
This idea is also related for any prospect looking for a virtual classroom /webinar solution wir requirements currently served by Collaborate Classic only.
Use Case 1:
By information from Blackboard support, there will be no further development of the Classic Moodle plugin (v 3.1.7). which is tested with Moodle up to version 3.0, but not compatible with Moodle 3.1. In May 2017, both Moodle 2.7 and Moodle 3.0 will reach end of security support, which is a strong condition to upgrade each productive Moodle site to Moodle 3.1 at least.
The conditions lead to the situation , that effective May 2017 the usability of Collaborate Classic end up, where Moodle integration is mandatory.
Anyone is forced to move to Ultra at it's current "April" state, as upgrading Moodle to 3.1 must be executed during the next weeks..
I got reports from customers, that this double enforcement may cause a leave from Blackboard's Collaborate Classic moving to other vendor's, but not Ultra.
A Collaborate Classic integration plugin compatible with Moodle v3.1 will remarkably extend the time frame for Classic users to evaluate further Ultra enhancements, as Moodle 3.1 is a LTS ("long term support") version getting some security upgrades for another full year.
Use Case 2:
We at Innovation Campus Xtended Learning Solutions, Germany are still using Moodle 2.7 LTS with integrated Collaborate Classic as Collaborate demonstration server and Collaborate training instance for the community of German Collaborate trainers and admins. Joining a "train-the-trainer" course on our Moodle site let trainers come in touch with Blackboard's Collaborate Classic, which usually let them react enthusiastic on Classics huge didactical toolbox.
Of course, we did try to evaluate Collaborate Ultra's direct Moodle integration in parallel by adding the appropriate Collaborate Ultra plugin to our Moodle site. This would be a convenient way to let any Classic user, who joined our trainings, getting a nice look into Ultra.
Unfortunately, the Moodlerooms/Collaborate Ultra developers never provided a Collaborate Ultra plugin branch for our Moodle 2.7.
Considering a Moodle upgrade to 3.0 did not make much sense, as the support ends up in May 2017 as with Moodle 2.7.
We therefore did not have a chance at all, to provide both Collaborate Classic and Ultra integration at the same Moodle installation.
Bottom line: There was no LTS Moodle version serving both Classic and Ultra. The migration overlap for LTS-users was zero
In this situation, another single improvement step for the Classic Moodle plugin makes much sense:
It would enable us to provide a Moodle training server with both Classic and Ultra integration for another long year.
We are sure, that this will keep any Collaborate Classic enthusiasts on board, until Collab Ultra satisfies them completely.
Use Case 3:
Anyone interested to become a customer of MoodleRooms service will face the situation, that Collaborate Classic is no longer available as an option..
If Collaborate Ultra at it's current state does not meet prospect's live-classroom requirements, the MoodleRooms integration will be limited to what a basic LTI-integration may provide.
This enhancement request was posted in the Developer's Discussion section by Jan, 31 2017 according to an advise from Blackboard support.
Any comment from the Collaborate product management team is welcome, both Classic and Ultra, as this idea is related to Ultra sales also.
In addition, I welcome any hint from PHP developers, which part of the latest Classic Moodle plugin might need improvements to run with Moodle 3.1 in particular.
Thanks in advance
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