We have published market share data measured by total institutional enrollment instead of institutional count in several posts at e-Literate over the years, within the twice-annual reports of our LMS Market Analysis service, and for several of our premium subscribers of the same service. In July of this year we reported that Canvas had overtaken Blackboard as the market leader in US higher education in terms of institutional adoptions as well as scaled by enrollment. These last two posts got a fair amount of media and vendor attention.
What we have realized, however, is that we have not made this information on market share by enrollment easy to access in one place. LMS company revenue tends to be based on the total enrollment of adopting institutions, thus this enrollment-based measure provides a more direct connection to company finances. Given the increased importance of LMS provider business models and revenue to the future trends of the market, we are sharing the information more broadly.
In this view below we share North American (US and Canada combined) total enrollment for LMSs that are primary - that is, available for the entire institution. Total enrollment in this case means the institutional student count, but it does not imply that all students at that institution actually have courses using the LMS (see comment below from John Fritz). It is important to note that during an LMS transition there is often a period of time (6 - 18 months) where two systems overlap, with both available to the school. Therefore the total market share enrollments will be somewhat higher than actual total enrollments, as a subset of LMS-transitioning institutions will be counted twice.
You can download a spreadsheet version here.
Some notes on the data worth considering:
- Canvas has not just surpassed Blackboard Learn in this updated view, 35% to 33% - it has also expanded its lead as the most-adopted LMS in North American higher ed markets (while Moodle has clear lead worldwide in total installed base).
- D2L Brightspace has been in third place for NA HE markets since 2016 when viewing by enrollments.
- Moodle is fourth and has been dropping in recent years.
- The top view of total enrollments adds in the effect of changing enrollments - both at a national level and an institutional level.
- In the past five years, the LMS Market for North American higher ed has become increasingly dominated by "the Big Four" (Instructure Canvas, Blackboard Learn, D2L Brightspace, Moodle) for institution-wide adoptions; the aggregate market share of year's top four systems moving from 80% to 95% in past five years.
This last point deserves more analysis. There are other systems gaining new institutional clients (think Schoology here, or think CBE-specific platforms like Motivis), but they are mostly picking up either small schools or being adopted for specific programs and not for the entire institution.
Expect more coverage as we enter ed tech fall conference season.
Update 8/3: Added sentence in third paragraph to clarify usage of total enrollment terminology.