Rationale and Process for an LMS Review

For nearly a decade, Blackboard Learn has served as the university’s Learning Management System (LMS), enabling faculty and students to share online course content, assignments and exams. Changes to the overall online environment and university policy have made a review of the university’s LMS necessary, in order to deliver an exceptional faculty and student experience.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) search committee was recently formed, comprised of faculty members, instructional designers and educational technologists. As a subcommittee of the University Council on Technology (UCT), the two groups will coordinate throughout the process. The committee held its kick-off meeting on Dec. 6th and began to discuss process, needs identification and faculty and student requirements.

This effort will take on several phases:

Information Gathering: Review current usage stats, current pros and cons, constituent requirements and requests, and market changes occurring since the last review. Collecting this information will likely involve listening sessions, surveys, and vendor reviews.

Write and Publish the RFP: Combine the results from the Information Gathering into the formal requirements for the RFP and publish. The tentative completion date for this phase is mid Spring semester.

Evaluate Responses and Determine Finalists: Review responses and begin rating them against the requirements. If there are a large number of responses, the committee may opt to narrow down the responses to a manageable size. The committee will look for opportunities to share progress and create engagement as appropriate.

Award and Implement: Once the finalist has been identified, the RFP will be awarded and the implementation process initiated. If the decision is made to move to an LMS other than Blackboard Learn, the rollout may take considerable time. Most rollouts of this type can take 18 months or more.

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