System-wide LMS review underway


All four Purdue campuses are partaking in a system-wide learning management review.

PNW is partaking in a system-wide learning management system review, with plans to recommend a new learning management system in Summer 2019, according to Heather Zamojski, assistant vice chancellor of Learning Technologies.

Zamojski said PNW’s current learning management system, Blackboard, is no longer being updated as the company has unveiled a new system, Blackboard Ultra.

Faculty, administration and staff from all four Purdue campuses — Northwest, West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Global — are partaking in the review centered around three LMS systems: Blackboard Ultra, Desire2Learn and Canvas. The review is currently split up into two task forces: the academic task force and technology task force.

Zamojski said members from each campus will be reviewing the systems to find out which one best fits the campuses specific needs.

“The directive is not to go through and find one learning management system for the Purdue system,” Zamojski said. “It’s to find what the best options are. So that may be one learning management system, or it may be multiple.”

The review will utilize faculty, staff and student input in the way of listening sessions and surveys to build case scenarios to send to the LMS vendors in November. The three vendors will then make campus visits in March, where they will present and be evaluated based on campus-specific cases and general system-wide cases, according to LMS review documents.

Zamojski said an implementation plan will be announced in Fall 2019, and that some courses may be taught through the new LMS in Spring 2020.

Zamojski said Faculty have voiced concerns surrounding archiving information and the amount of effort that went into building their courses on Blackboard. She added that a training module will most likely be available by Fall 2019.

“Learning management systems do not look like what we have now,” Zamojski said. “So we will have to figure what will be the best way to transition those courses over and work with the Faculty.”

Zamojski said that so far Faculty has voiced support for a system that is more “intuitive” and “streamlined” than Blackboard and that students want a system that is capable of sending notifications to mobile devices. She added, however, that they want more feedback from the campus community.

“We really want to hear student input,” Zamojski said. “It’s valuable because if this is something that you use every day, [we need to know] what you are looking for.”