State of the US Higher Education LMS Market: 2015 Edition

I shared the most recent graphic summarizing the LMS market in October 2014, and thanks to revised data sources it’s time for an update. As with all previous versions, the 2005 – 2009 data points are based on the Campus Computing Project, and therefore is based on US adoption from non-profit institutions. This set of longitudinal data provides an anchor for the summary.

The primary data source for 2013 – 2015 is Edutechnica, which not only does a more direct measurement of a larger number of schools (viewing all schools in IPEDS database with more than 700 FTE enrollments), but it also allows scaling based on enrollment per institution. This means that the latter years now more accurately represent how many students use a particular LMS. This post at Edutechnica provides the most recent data for Fall 2015.

A few items to note:

  • The most important recent feature of the market – the rapid rise of Canvas, surpassing D2L and quickly closing in on Moodle – is quite visible now.
  • Blackboard Learn appears to have stopped its well-documented losses in US higher ed and has even risen in the past year. Its market share is far smaller than at its 2009 peak, but the company is no longer losing large numbers of clients each year.
  • D2L, Sakai, and Moodle have risen ever so slightly, but in effect have hit a plateau.
  • ANGEL and eCollege have lost market share.
  • There is a growing area of “Alternative Learning Platforms” that includes OpenEdX, 2U, Helix and Motivis (the newly commercialized learning platform from College for America).
  • While the data is more solid than 2012 and prior years, keep in mind that you should treat the graphic as telling a story of the market rather than being a chart of exact data.
  • Update (10/16): Removed “Curtin University as origin of Moodle based on Martin’s comments. Mea culpa – should have caught this earlier.
  • Update (10/23): Changed graphic title to refer to US and not North America.


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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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