Learning Management System Review team studying evaluations, preparing final report

Purdue’s Learning Management System Review team hosted 27 open demonstrations by vendors on Purdue’s three campuses in March, and received more than 1,000 evaluations from faculty, staff and students.

So what’s next in the process leading to a replacement for Blackboard Learn?

“Since the review started in 2018, we’ve been focused on gathering input,” says Jenna Rickus, associate vice provost for teaching and learning and the chair of the review’s steering committee. “The second phase is really focused on digesting what everyone has told us and coming up with a final evaluation, based on that feedback, of the best option for the University’s next learning management system.”

The Learning Management System Review is an effort to find a replacement for Blackboard Learn, the system currently used on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses, which is nearing the end of its life.

In the fall of 2018, taskforces of faculty and staff on each campus and at Purdue Global were formed to evaluate the academic requirements of a new learning management system, while a systemwide technical taskforce investigated the technology requirements.

The taskforces solicited feedback via a survey and listening sessions to learn what was wanted in a new system. Those sessions led to the creation of a request-for-proposal that generated bids from three potential replacements – Blackboard Ultra, Brightspace Desire2Learn and Canvas – who presented their systems at the on-campus and online demonstrations.  

Faculty, staff and students who attended the demonstrations or tested temporary accounts available for each system were invited to provide evaluations, which are now being reviewed and compiled by the review’s taskforces. 

Rickus says the review’s executive steering committee will use the taskforces’ evaluations to create a final evaluation report for the review’s senior sponsors – Provost Jay Akridge and Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online – who will ultimately make a recommendation for a new system.

Although a timetable has not been finalized, Rickus says the likely scenario is that the selection of a new learning management system would be announced in fall 2019, with an implementation plan to be announced at a later date. There is no planned disruption of Blackboard Learn for the 2019-20 academic year.

“Faculty and staff planning for next semester need to know that Blackboard Learn will continue to be our learning management system for the 2019-2020 academic year,” says Rickus, “and when a new system is selected, we’ll work with everyone to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”

For more on the LMS review process, visit www.purdue.edu/lms-review.

Writer: Dave Stephens, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue, 765-496-7998, steph103@purdue.edu.

Last updated: April 5, 2019