LMS Market Updates: June and July News

Since my most recent post on LMS market updates almost two months ago, there have been a number of LMS selection projects that have been completed. This time period includes the users’ conferences for most of the major LMS solutions. Below are some of the notable selections in reverse order of number of students (a subjective measure, but one worth considering).

University of Central Florida moves from Blackboard Vista to Instructure Canvas

UCF, which touts itself as the second largest public university in the United States (58,000 students, behind only Arizona State University), selected Canvas after a 6 month evaluation process that was triggered by the end-of-life notice for Vista. The full migration should be complete by the Spring 2013 term. The UCF evaluation process looked at three solutions in detail – Blackboard Learn 9.1, Desire2Learn Learning Suite and Instructure Canvas – comparing each to the existing Vista implementation.

See information at the bottom of this post about the LMS selection website available from UCF.

Sheridan College moves from Blackboard Vista to Desire2Learn Learning Suite

Sheridan College, a Canadian “institution with over 17,000 full-time and 35,000 continuing education students”, recently selected Desire2Learn as their LMS provider, replacing Vista based on the product end-of-life. From the press release:

Following an exhaustive internal consultation that involved a working committee of 40 members including managers, IT representatives, faculty support staff, faculty members, and student union representatives, Sheridan concluded that Desire2Learn Learning Suite most closely matched the college’s criteria. [snip]

With Sheridan’s goal to have an online presence in every single course by 2014, over 2,000 courses will be offered in Desire2Learn Learning Suite, with a projected full-time enrolment of 18,000 students accessing the system. Sheridan also welcomes 35,000 part-time students over the course of a year, who will also utilize Desire2Learn Learning Suite in their courses.

University of Maryland moves from Blackboard Academic Suite to Instructure Canvas

After a two-year selection process, the University of Maryland selected Instructure Canvas as their new Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS).  From the July 16 press release:

A pilot will begin in fall 2012, and Canvas will be fully deployed by January 2013. [snip]

University officials issued a Request for Information in 2010 for enterprise learning management systems, and a faculty-led committee began exploring systems on the market. In an extensive evaluation process that spanned the 2010-2011 academic year and included representation from every college, the Graduate Student Government, and the Student Government Association, faculty and students pilot tested five systems.

Does anyone see a problem when an LMS selection process is older than the age of the winning product line? [My point is that two years is a very long time for a selection process when the market is changing so rapidly] It is interesting, however, that the migration is planned for just one academic term.

McGill University moves from Blackboard Vista to Desire2Learn Learning Suite

While this news is a few months old, I think it is worth highlighting that McGill University selected Desire2Learn this spring. From an article on the migration in The McGill Tribune:

Last Thursday, McGill’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) held an event for staff to introduce the new MyCourses software, which will replace the current system on May 1, 2012. The old software, WebCT Vista, was implemented in 2005, but its vendor will no longer be supporting the outdated program as of Jan. 2013.

Ghiliane Roquet, McGill’s Chief Information Officer, explained that this need for new software also presented opportunities to upgrade its features. A majority of the upgrades are intended to make it easier for instructors to disseminate information, from course-related materials to announcements.[snip]

Staff are working hard to ensure that the software is operational on schedule. The 4,000 courses that take place during the typical school year—fall and spring semesters—are currently undergoing migration to the new interface, at an average pace of two and a half hours of labour per course.

While technically the decision occurred before June, I include this LMS selection due to the outsized influence that McGill has had on other LMS implementations and the lack of publicity this decision had in the spring.

Seattle University moves from Blackboard ANGEL to Instructure Canvas

Seattle University, a private university with ~7,750 students, selected Canvas after an LMS selection process triggered by the end-of-life notice for ANGEL. Unfortunately, there is little information available on the process, but let’s hope that there is more internal information being shared with faculty and staff.

Saudi Electronic University selects Blackboard Learn as its First LMS

In a move based on Blackboard’s efforts to expand internationally, the Saudi Electronic University (SeU) selected Blackboard Learn. From the press release:

Following a formal and extensive evaluation process, which included functional assessment and review of vendors, SeU concluded that Blackboard Learn™, Blackboard’s flagship learning management system (LMS), is the most flexible and effective learning platform to meet their needs.

SeU found Blackboard solutions to offer advanced functionality and significantly enhanced collaborative learning opportunities compared to competing vendors. Executives at SeU determined that Blackboard solutions would be easier to implement and manage than the alternatives based on the company’s strong and proven product support and well-organized, global user community.

This is one of the most significant new customer wins for Blackboard in the past year. SeU is targeting to enroll 6,000 students in its initial program term.

CalState Online Chooses Pearson eCollege as LMS and Services Partner

California State University, a  system of  23 campuses, is in the process of creating a system-wide online initiative and has selected Pearson eCollege.

The California State University has selected Pearson eCollege as the partner to provide online course and program delivery services for the Cal State Online initiative. The announcement was made by the Cal State Online Board.

“Pearson eCollege’s expertise and demonstrated success in online education and experience with large state universities make them an excellent fit for Cal State Online,” said John Welty, president of Fresno State and the chair of the Cal State Online Board. “Their compelling case studies highlight their ability to provide a robust learning experience and support for the students that will participate in Cal State Online.”

Cal State Online is the centralized, service, marketing and outreach support structure for all aspects of fully online program delivery for the CSU system. Cal State Online will provide a comprehensive and expansive set of CSU fully online program offerings developed by faculty from the 23 campuses combined with world class student support and a variety of innovative learning technologies.

Through its partnership with Pearson eCollege, Cal State Online will use online learning technology, services and support to keep students engaged from enrollment through graduation. These include a cloud-based learning management system and data analytics to monitor student performance and learning outcomes; course development and instructional design support services; and outreach, marketing and enrollment services.

UCF – A Good Resource for LMS Selections

Beyond the size of UCF, what is notable about their LMS selection is the wealth of information on the selection website. The site hosts online demos from each of the primary vendors, video interviews with evaluation team members, comparison charts, and a project summary video. This is a good resource for other schools, although the comparison charts are organized around comparisons to Vista.

In particular, I find that the online demos are a great way to see Blackboard, Desire2Learn and Instructure in action.

Update: Fixed quote for McGill University

Update: Clarified comment on U Maryland decision process timeline.

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About Phil Hill

Phil is a consultant and industry analyst covering the educational technology market primarily for higher education. He has written for e-Literate since Aug 2011. For a more complete biography, view his profile page.
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2 Responses to LMS Market Updates: June and July News

  1. Dariusz Grabka says:

    Hey Phil, looks like the snippets for Sheridan and McGill are the same.

    Since that UCF demo, Desire2Learn has released Learning Suite 10 which pretty dramatically improves the user experience. There’s an introduction video by John and Ken here: http://demo.desire2learncapture.com/1/watch/664.aspx

    Thanks for the update!

  2. Phil Hill says:

    Oy – thanks for catching that mistake on McGill, Dariusz! Updated.

    Also, thanks for additional link on D2L v10.

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