Published: May 18, 2017

In October, we began a faculty and student-driven initiative to determine which learning management system (LMS) would best meet CU Boulder’s teaching, learning and administrative needs. That effort is now complete, and a recommendation by the project team has been provided to campus leadership. Contract negotiations are forthcoming, and an announcement will be made once negotiations are complete. 

How did we get here?
The LMS is an essential component of our academic technology ecosystem, so it is critical that, at a minimum, it is easy to use, accessible, reliable and secure. Our LMS also needs to be flexible enough to accommodate changes in how and whom we teach.

To identify the wide variety of campus needs, the initiative’s Faculty Working Group, IT Working Group and Lead Team conducted a survey of faculty and students. The results of this survey informed the development of the request for proposals (published in February), as well as the following seven criteria used to evaluate candidates: user experience design, software and technical, timeline and implementation, support and training, security and compliance, company qualifications and cost.

After reviewing supplier proposals, the working groups and Lead Team narrowed the pool to three possible suppliers: Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), Canvas by Instructure and Blackboard by Moodlerooms. 

In April, the evaluation continued and each supplier visited the campus to give a series of presentations about their LMS. Surveys were collected after each session to capture attendee’s impressions. Faculty, student and staff volunteers evaluated sandbox test environments in each LMS and took part in user experience studies. Working group members also validated whether each LMS would meet our detailed requirements. All of these data, along with a myriad of discussions, working team meetings and campus presentations culminated in a final recommendation. 

We appreciate the effort and dedication the many faculty, students and staff took to participate in this process. 

Have a wonderful summer. We are diligently working to ensure that the original goal of providing the best LMS for CU Boulder’s teaching, learning, and administrative needs is realized. If you have any comments and questions, use the Contact Us form.

Best regards,

Mary Kraus,
Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education

Larry Levine,
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer