In a surprise move, Ellucian has decided to end support for Brainstorm, the competency-based education (CBE) platform it acquired from Helix Education two years ago. All Brainstorm customers are being notified of the end-of-life and aggressive measures are being used to help these customers quickly migrate to alternative platforms.
Ellucian staff contacted me to share the general news of ending Brainstorm support. The stated reason for this change is that Ellucian perceives that there is insufficient market demand for full CBE programs, with many schools looking to ease into CBE in a minimalist fashion (I’m paraphrasing here). Brainstorm was designed primarily for non seat-time courses that are fully based on a competency framework and self-paced student access. We have covered Brainstorm / Helix on these issues here, including this observation:
One educational model that is becoming more and more important is competency-based education (CBE). One of the challenges for this model is that the traditional LMS – based on a traditional model using grades, seat time and synchronous cohort of students – is not easily adapted to serve CBE needs.