January 27, 2014

As part of an effort to ensure that Oregon State University is using a learning management system (LMS) that will keep us well-positioned to adopt innovative solutions for teaching, learning, communication, and collaboration, OSU instructors, students, administrators and IT staff are currently evaluating options for a next generation learning management system.

This project is the result of inquiries completed by OSU in 2012 and 2013 to assess teaching and learning needs for effective learning environments. The goal of the LMS evaluation is to investigate viable systems and ensure that OSU is using the one that best meets our communities' diverse needs. Our current system, Blackboard, may be selected as the best solution, or OSU may select another system.

An OSU-wide task force is reviewing proposals from different LMS providers now. The goal of the proposal review is to identify strengths, weaknesses, and distinguishing features of each candidate in order to determine which system best fits our teaching and learning community. OSU's priorities are usability, accessibility, security, performance, and the ability to integrate the LMS with critical data systems.

In spring term, students, instructors, and staff will have opportunities to test features and functionality in candidate systems, ask questions, and provide feedback. A final decision is expected in late June, 2014, and will be publicly announced.

Currently, OSU uses Blackboard as the primary LMS. Ninety-five percent of OSU students and approximately 75 percent of OSU instructors use Blackboard. OSU's use of Blackboard has increased rapidly over the past few years, and it serves as the exclusive "classroom" for hundreds of Ecampus classes, including all online degree programs.

More information on the background work that has led up to the current evaluation, as well as details on the selection process, is available on a blog: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/elearnosu.

eLearn@OSU is an initiative to review, connect and optimize technologies for teaching and learning at Oregon State University. Learn more about eLearn@OSU