Vendor Demonstrations

A critical aspect of the review process is inviting vendors to provide demonstrations to our campus community. With "Blackboard Original" gradually being phased out, we have the opportunity to compare "Blackboard Ultra" with other vendors' platforms. Our goal is to provide everyone with an opportunity to see the capabilities and provide feedback as to which systems offer the functionality and user experience desired moving forward. 

Scheduling Vendor Demonstrations

We have reached out to vendors of the leading higher education LMS platforms to learn more about their offerings: Blackboard (Learn Ultra), D2L (Brightspace), and Instructure (Canvas) and have scheduled vendor demonstrations, available to all NIU faculty, staff, and students. Each vendor is providing two virtual demonstrations on the functionality of their system for teaching and learning. Demonstrations will be conducted online via Zoom and recorded for those who may be unable to join live. All demonstration participants will be asked to complete a follow-up survey to rate the system's functionality.

We're also asking each vendor to provide a separate virtual demonstration of shopping cart features for outside learners and external programming. Participants of these separate demonstrations will likewise complete follow-up surveys on shopping cart system functionality.

Schedule of Vendor Demonstrations

Below is the confirmed schedule of vendor demonstrations for NIU faculty, staff and students with Zoom links to participate in each. Recording links will be added once available after each session. Recordings will be captioned.

Demonstration Schedule by Date

All times listed are Central Time.

Demonstration Schedule by Vendor

All times listed are Central Time.

Blackboard (Learn Ultra)

Date Day Time Product Session Link Recording Link
3/2 Tue 1:00 - 2:30pm Blackboard Learn Ultra 3/2 Zoom Session with Blackboard
3/11 Thu 9:00 - 10:30am Blackboard Learn Ultra 3/11 Zoom Session with Blackboard
3/17 Wed 12:00 - 1:00pm Blackboard Training and Development Manager 3/17 Zoom Session with Blackboard

D2L (Brightspace)

Date Day Time Product Session Link Recording Link
2/23 Tue 1:00 - 2:30pm D2L Brightspace 2/23 Brightspace Demonstration Recording
3/4 Thu 9:00 - 10:30am D2L Brightspace 3/4 Zoom Session with D2L
3/9 Tue 12:00 - 1:00pm D2L Course Merchant 3/9 Zoom Session with D2L

Instructure (Canvas)

Date Day Time Product Session Link Recording Link
2/25 Thu 12:00 - 1:00pm Instructure Canvas Catalog 2/25 Canvas Catalog Demonstration Recording
Captions still being revised
3/3 Wed 1:00 - 2:30pm Instructure Canvas 3/3 Zoom Session with Instructure
3/16 Tue 9:00-10:30am Instructure Canvas 3/16 Zoom Session with Instructure

Demonstration Agenda

  1. Introductions
  2. Vision/philosophy
  3. Demonstrate key teaching and learning workflows (such as building content, assessments/grading, interaction/engagement, faculty/student level analytics or reporting)
  4. Roadmap – share some upcoming plans for development

Demonstration Feedback

Teaching and Learning Platforms

D2L Brightspace Demonstration Feedback Survey


Shopping Cart / External Programming Platforms

Instructure Canvas Catalog Demonstration Feedback Survey

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