Cuyahoga Community College’s 2021 Transformation Plan positions the College for a successful future in the area of innovation, teaching, and learning. In alignment with the Transformation Plan’s goal to “leverage people and technology to improve course delivery, enhance our virtual infrastructure and improve support for students and faculty”, Tri-C is embarking on a learning management systems (LMS) review project. The LMS review project aims to find the best technology solution to connect students, faculty, and content as it becomes more important to integrate modern teaching technology. The overall project goal is for the Online Learning and Academic Technology (OLAT) team to collaborate with a cross-functional faculty, staff, student, and administrative team to research, test, select, and implement an LMS for Tri-C by Summer 2025.
In conjuction with the LMS Review, OLAT has begun the process of a Lecture Capture Review. The initial phase involves vendors presenting their platform to the Distance Learning Steering Committee (DLSC). Recordings of those presentations can be found on the Lecture Capture Review Mediasite Channel.
LMS Review Presentation
LMS Review Timeline
Tri-C has utilized the Blackboard Learn LMS (Learning Management System) since 2003. The last time the College undertook an LMS review was in 2013-2014 when the College was using a self-hosted version of Blackboard Learn. During that review, Tri-C evaluated three platforms: (1) Desire2Learn (D2L) Brightspace, (2) Instructure Canvas and (3) Blackboard Learn Ultra. The process for selection was based on vendor presentations, end-user tools and features checklists, reviews from faculty and student feedback on sandbox sites. According to the faculty and administrators that were present for the last LMS review, Tri-C was only hosting 800 to 900 courses overall in the LMS at the time of the last review in 2014.
Since then, our faculty and student community are now more experienced and more deeply rely on technology to support teaching and learning. When all courses moved to a virtual environment in March 2020, our Tri-C faculty and student immersion and knowledge of the LMS grew exponentially. By comparison from our last LMS review, Tri-C currently hosts approximately 8,404 individual courses in Blackboard Learn, a 950% increase from 2014. In fall 2021, OLAT is supporting 4,033 courses.
A Call for faculty LMS Reviewers went out during the fall 2021 semester. After the final deadline (1/14/22), twenty-four faculty were chosen to participate as LMS Reviewers to teach in each of the three systems – Blackboard Ultra (Summer 22), D2L Brightspace (Spring 23) and Instructure Canvas (Fall 23). To compensate faculty for participating in the review, 3 ESUs per course (only one per system) were offered to faculty to prep, teach and review one course in each LMS. In this way, the LMS review process will involve evaluating the actual teaching and learning experience in each platform. Throughout this process, OLAT is providing significant training and support resources in conjunction with organizing training directly with each LMS vendor.
The evaluation process will collect feedback from faculty, students and other key stakeholders to help identify Tri-C’s next LMS. Each LMS will be evaluated based on these criteria:
- User Experience/User Interface
The overall project goal is for the Online Learning and Academic Technology (OLAT) team to collaborate with a cross-functional faculty, staff, student and administrative team to research, test, select and implement a learning management system (LMS) for Cuyahoga Community College by Summer 2025. There are numerous key audiences with whom regular communication before, during, and after the review process (implementation of the new LMS) is vital. These include:
- Key Administrators (Provost, Deans)
- Staff Supporting the review process
- ITS (Information Technology Services)
- CLE (Center for Learning Excellence)
- Faculty Development
- Distance Learning Steering Committee
- CLOA (Committee on Learning Outcomes Assessment)
- LTI Vendors
- CBE Committee
- Representatives of the three systems
OLAT recognizes that faculty and students participating in the LMS Review will have questions about Blackboard Learn Ultra, D2L Brightspace and Instructure Canvas during the semesters they are being used for teaching and learning. It is important that both faculty and students experience each LMS so that we can accurately evaluate each one. To support these faculty and students, OLAT has prepared the following resources specifically for them to access whenever questions arise:
- Live Chat with specially trained Tri-C staff
- The LMS Review Course Support Help Desk email address
- LMS Review Faculty and Student Video Tutorial
- The LMS Review Help Page