Letter to the Editor: ZZUSIS and Blackboard: knowing the difference

Letter to the editor


I am writing concerning the “Zzu-sucks” column published last week. Babcock provides a wealth of information on Blackboard Learn, which I appreciate. 

It is clear, however, that the distinction between a learning management system (LMS), such as Blackboard Learn or ANGEL and a portal system such as ZZUSIS is not understood. 

Recently, ASWSU has supported Blackboard Learn as the replacement for ANGEL because of the customizable format that meets student needs and increases communication. 

Babcock mistakenly states that WSU may be considering Blackboard Learn to replace ZZUSIS. 

This is not the case, nor possible. The suggestion is similar to Facebook being replaced by a program that solely supports direct messaging. 

Blackboard Learn replacing ANGEL is comparable to Facebook updating its direct messaging system to better serve its clientele. 

ZZUSIS is a portal that focuses on “access to business applications, content and collaborative tools and web sites and is highly complex.” 

It operates with multiple partners across the university. One point I must address: Babcock declares that Oracle can only manage 4,300 student logins at one time which causes problems during registration for 27,000 WSU students. 

This is why registration is staggered: to manage all student accounts throughout the registration process. 

I recognize there have been technical difficulties throughout the implementation of ZZUSIS. I primarily want the difference between an LMS and a portal to be made clear. 

If ZZUSIS were Washington State University, an LMS program is comparable to the Communication College: an important component, but unable to replace the institution entirely. 

While side-by-side integration would have prevented the technical difficulties throughout ZZUSIS implementation, the system is too intricate to be replaced by an LMS, which better serves as a class tool for students. 

Thank you-

Devon Seymour

ASWSU Director of Academic Affairs