I think the "simply" in that opening question is misleading as it hides the rich diversity of ways the FirstClass system can be used. A quote on their website (and I'm paraphrasing slightly) says that FirstClass is about supporting a "collaborative learning community". That's one of the main reasons I like FirstClass - it's about community. However, I find myself having to justify the use of FirstClass in the faculty here because the University provides and supports WebCT. I am asked why we are spending time, money and effort on FirstClass when the university is offering WebCT - a fully featured VLE?
FirstClass ED. It looks great and seems to me to do everything that WebCT and Blackboard can do and more, but I have found FirstClass significantly easier to use. The FirstClass chap at the launch said we shouldn't compare FirstClass with WebCT and Blackboard because they are completely different beasts. I agree with him. There is no comparison - FirstClass is clearly the best!
Can you see my problem? I cannot look at this dispassionately. I find it impossible to be neutral, but I have to try and give a more balanced report on whether we should stick with FirstClass (in which case I'd have to justify the extra expense to the Faculty) or whether we can/should move to WebCT. However I've only dabbled with WebCT. I'm much more familiar with FirstClass. Therefore I'm appealing for your help again:
- Does anyone reading this blog have experience with WebCT?
- Even better, does anyone have experience with both WebCT and FirstClass?
- What are the unique selling points of each system?
- Is it possible to come up with a sensible recommendation when I am comparing apples to pears?
Tags: VLE | FirstClass | WebCT