Learning Management System Investigation

Blackboard Learn is Boston University’s centrally supported Learning Management System (LMS) and is integral to the university’s teaching and learning. On campus based programs (CRC and BUMC), Distance Education programs, as well as BU employee training programs leverage the LMS. That said, it is standard practice to periodically re-evaluate LMS options, particularly in light of:

  • Recent shifts in market share for legacy LMS vendors
  • The entrance of new LMS vendors into the marketplace
  • The consideration of open-source LMS solutions

Accordingly, the Learning Management Systems Steering Committee and Information Services and Technology (IS&T) is conducting an LMS evaluation to decide what Boston University’s direction and strategy should be once its Blackboard contract expires in June 2017.


The assessment and evaluation process involves five distinct steps:

  1. Background Analysis (see Intention & Background)
  2. LMS Needs Assessment
  3. Request for Information from  Identified Vendors
  4. Vendor Demos: Faculty Review and IS&T Evaluation
  5. Recommendation

The process involves more than a mere technical evaluation or tools comparison. Other considerations will include cost, infrastructure, and value delivered or added. This investigation does not reflect any dissatisfaction with Blackboard, nor should it be considered a sign that BU intends to stop using, supporting, or expanding the platform. Rather, it is standard business practice to periodically review vendor partnerships and to consider other options and opportunities.

If you have any questions about the LMS investigation process, please feel free to contact Roland Jaeckel in the Educational Technology, Training and Outreach department of IS&T.