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Learning Management System Evaluation Project

Project background 

OIT has launched a request for proposal (RFP) to evaluate the LMS market and select a technology that aligns with the University’s teaching and learning goals. With support from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the process will engage students, faculty, and staff to clarify their needs and wants for the preferred LMS for OHIO. The desired outcome for this project is to establish whether the University should migrate to a new platform, or if Blackboard’s new Ultra platform meets the needs of our community. 

No change will occur to current courses in Blackboard Ultra or Original during the RFP process.

Update: Vendor demonstrations January 9-11

Vendors were invited to present an overview of their platform and key features of the student and instructor experience January 9-11. All members of the University community were invited to attend virtual sessions, which have been recorded. Log in to view vendor names and watch recordings of each demonstration.

Planned RFP timeline  

  • Summer 2022: Notify campus community about forthcoming RFP  
  • Early Fall 2022: Form LMS Evaluation committee with faculty, student, and staff representatives  
  • Fall 2022: Launch official RFP  
  • Spring 2023: Award RFP  
  • Summer 2023: Announce implementation timeline for either a new LMS company or Blackboard Ultra. Implementation will be a phased approach over the two years following the award of the RFP.  

RFP Evaluation Committee

The RFP Evaluation Committee will finalize requirements based on campus feedback and guide the request for proposal process. They will review vendor proposals and make a recommendation to the Provost’s Office. 

Members of the RFP Evaluation Committee are listed below.

Name Title Representing
Michelle Donaldson Learning Systems Analyst III Office of Information Technology 
Aimee Edmondson Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research and Creative Activity

Scripps College of Communication

University Curriculum Council 

Tobe Gillogly Assistant Clinical Professor/Chair, Interdisciplinary Health Studies College of Health Sciences and Professions 
Michael Greene Learning and Development Administrator University Human Resources 
Kennedy Huntsman Honors Tutorial College student, Political Science major

Athens Campus students

Student Senate 

Shantelle Jenkins Assistant Professor of Instruction and Associate MPA Director Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service 
Jennie Klein Associate Director and Graduate Director, School of Art + Design, Professor of Art History College of Fine Arts 
Kari Lehman Vice Provost for OHIO Online OHIO Online
Peter Lim  Application Support Analyst & IT Coordinator Regional Higher Education
Eszti Major-Rohrer Manager, Enterprise Learning Systems & Academic Technology Services Office of Information Technology 
Yza Melvin Senior Technology Analyst Office of the University Registrar 
Shawn Ostermann Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Renee Perry IT Acquisitions Manager Office of Information Technology 
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo Executive Director, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Sarah Rist Assistant Professor of Instruction, Marketing College of Business 
Jay Ryu Professor, Political Science College of Arts & Sciences 
Paul Shovlin  Assistant Professor of Instruction and Director of Composition College of Arts & Sciences
Becky Simons Instructional Designer and Team Lead Office of Instructional Innovation
Jennifer Smith Assistant Professor of Instruction, Music Theory

College of Fine Arts

University Curriculum Council 

Mike Snavely Senior Director, Instructional Operations, Technology and Learner Success, Graduate and External Programs College of Business
Nick Stanley Ohio University Chillicothe student, Middle Childhood Education major Regional Higher Education students
Jesse Strycker Assistant Professor, Educational Studies Patton College of Education 
Marjorie Vogt Clinical Professor, Nursing College of Health Sciences and Professions
Lindsey Ward Academic Technology Team Lead Office of Information Technology 
Allison White Associate Professor, Chair of Applied Sciences and Professions

University College

Regional Higher Education 

Andria Williams Director, Medical Education Technology Solutions Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine 

How to get involved 

Watch vendor demonstrations

All members of the University community were invited to attend demonstrations of various platforms and key features of the student and instructor experience January 9-11. Sessions were recorded, and participants invited to submit additional feedback after watching the presentation through January 20. Participants are encouraged to review all three sessions.

Watch recorded vendor demonstrations


Join the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community 

To learn more about the RFP process, share your feedback, or ask questions, consider joining the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community. The group meets monthly to collect feedback from stakeholders and to discuss trends in teaching and learning.  

Join the Advisory Community


Review LMS Feedback

OIT has conducted several surveys to obtain feedback from faculty, staff, and students to inform the selection of the next Learning Management System. The LMS Feedback Summary includes the most important features identified by users and additional open-ended feedback. This report is automatically generated. To request an accessible version, please contact Lindsey Ward.

The results of faculty surveys focused on Blackboard Ultra and Blackboard Learn prior to the RFP are also available from January 2020 and January 2022..

Review LMS Feedback Summary


Frequently asked questions

Why do we need a new learning management system?

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, Blackboard is expected to increasingly shift Blackboard Learn users to Blackboard Ultra in the next several years, so this is an opportune time to determine if the University should migrate to a new platform, or if Blackboard’s new Ultra platform meets the needs of our community.

When will I have to switch to the new learning management system?

The RFP process will determine whether the University will migrate to Blackboard Ultra or transition to a different LMS vendor. The selection process is scheduled to conclude in Spring 2023, then a multi-year timeline is expected to be announced in Summer 2023. Faculty should expect to move to the new solution by 2026.

What support will you provide instructors for the transition to a new LMS?

The Office of Information Technology will provide a transition timeline soon after a vendor is selected to give instructors as much preparation time as possible to make the switch. Most vendors offer significant support to reduce the amount of hands-on work required, and OIT will maximize that support and supplement as necessary with training, guides, and individual consultations as necessary.

How will you support students during the transition?

Students will receive targeted outreach about the transition and OIT will provide student-specific LMS resources and training materials to support a smooth transition.

What should I do if I’m already using Blackboard Ultra?

Instructors using Blackboard Ultra can continue to use the platform and can still opt in during the 2022-2023 academic year. Please be aware that if the RFP process results in the selection of a new vendor, any courses created in Ultra will transition to the new LMS.

How can I share my feedback?

Faculty, staff, and students were invited to share feedback through multiple methods during the evaluation process, including a completing a feedback form, participating in interviews, trying out test environments, and attending demonstrations from potential vendors. If you have additional feedback to share, you may join the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community to participate in monthly discussions about teaching and learning technologies, include the learning management system.