A learning management system (LMS) is a software platform designed for planning, developing, administrating, organizing, and distributing learning content, courses, eLearning packages, learning and collaborative activities, and assessments. Blackboard Learn is the University of Windsor's current LMS since 2016. To learn more about our current implementation of Blackboard, visit the uwindsor.ca/bbproject.
Over the last five years, the University of Windsor has enhanced teaching and learning through the use of our Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard Learn. However, a recent announcement from Blackboard has indicated that by the end of 2023, Blackboard will stop supporting the self-hosted model of Blackboard (which is what we currently use) and switching to fully cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) model for its LMS.
Given this upcoming change, the changing LMS landscape, and the University's expiring contract with Blackboard, it's an opportune time to review our LMS. The review would allow us to take stock of the tools and technologies currently available and what we would like to see going forward.
Self-hosting is the practice of running and maintaining a website, application, or software platform using institutional servers and networks. Whereas cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) delivery model provides all functions through the "cloud" or the internet, and the software itself runs on the service provider's servers. In the context of Blackboard, the University of Windsor currently uses our own privately maintained servers to install and deliver Blackboard to our end-users. With a fully SaaS Blackboard, Blackboard will control the delivery, security, and maintenance of the LMS.
The LMS Steering Committee created the LMS Project Steering Committee to make recommendations on the strategic future for a Learning Management System at UWindsor. The LMS Project Steering Committee, along with an LMS Review Sub-Committee, will have support from the LMS Team and members of LMS Advisory. Other support staff will be brought in as necessary.
The LMS Review Team will conduct an environmental scan, a thorough LMS review comparing functions and features across multiple platforms, along with extensive campus consultation through surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
The LMS review will be completed by September 2022, at which point an LMS will be selected.
This website will be updated regularly, but we will also be communicating progress through email, Daily News, and Blackboard announcements.
An assessment grid will be created based on results from the survey and other consultations, along with comprehensive analysis of common features across the LMS. Evaluation will consider cost, functionality, ease of use, and feedback, etc.