LMS transitioning to Moodle: A surprising case of successful, emergent change management

Alan Lawler


During 2009-10 the University of Ballarat implemented the open-source learning management system (LMS) Moodlealongside its existing legacy LMS, Blackboard. While previous IT implementations have been troublesome at the university, notably the student information and finance management systems in 2008-09, the Moodle implementation appears to have been a success. This article reviews the key factors in the implementation and points to several features which have made it a success. The success factors may be suitable for consideration by other organisations which are implementing change, particularly as several appear to run counter to the traditional conceptions of change and project management. This case study points to the importance of trust and empowerment of high quality LMS staff, who are focussed on the end-user rather than the technical side, to implement the project in an 'organic', emergent process. Given that the managerialist project management model, which appears to put more faith in systematic procedures than the staff who have to implement them, is more typical of many LMS and IT implementations, this case study revealed a surprising and refreshing level of approval for valuing staff expertise over 'tick box' adherence to technical checklists.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.907