LMS vendor demonstrations planned for January

Published: December 1, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Vendors who responded to the learning management system (LMS) request for proposal (RFP) have been invited to provide demonstrations to the University community in early January. Vendor representatives will each provide an overview of their platform and key features of the student and instructor experience.

The following virtual sessions will be available to the University community, and they will be recorded for those who cannot attend at the scheduled time. Participants will be able to submit additional feedback after watching the presentation. Meeting links and names of vendors will be added to a password-protected page on the LMS Evaluation website and will require an OHIO ID to log in:

  • Monday, Jan. 9, 9-10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 9-10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 9-10 a.m.

The Office of Information Technology launched the RFP process with the support of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to select an LMS platform that best aligns with the University's evolving teaching and learning goals. Based on University feedback and thorough technical evaluations, the RFP Evaluation Committee will make a recommendation to either select a new LMS vendor or transition to Blackboard’s new Ultra platform.

Why do we need a new LMS?

Blackboard has been OHIO’s LMS provider for more than 20 years, and the needs of students, faculty, and staff have evolved significantly over that time. The Spring 2022 LMS faculty survey highlighted the significant growth in LMS usage and revealed needs that could be met through an improved LMS experience. Additionally, OIT expects that the current Blackboard Learn platform will be retired in the next 5-7 years in favor of the new Ultra platform, so this is an opportune time to determine if the University should migrate to a new platform, or if Blackboard’s Ultra platform meets the needs of our community.

What are the next steps?

At the conclusion of the vendor demonstrations, the RFP Evaluation Committee will complete their analysis and make a recommendation to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. Vendor negotiations will be conducted in the spring, and an implementation timeline will be announced in summer 2023.

The implementation is expected to be a phased approach over two years, with significant support to reduce the impact to faculty as much as possible through the transition. Students will receive targeted outreach, and OIT will provide student-specific resources and training materials to support a smooth transition.

To learn more about the project, submit feedback, or get involved, visit the Learning Management System Evaluation Project page.