Project Overview

Northern Illinois University (NIU) is in the final year of a three-year contract with Blackboard, the current Learning Management System (LMS) vendor. While faculty usage and overall satisfaction with Blackboard remains high, the university hasn’t conducted a formal evaluation of other LMS systems in many years.

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) and the Division of Information Technology (DOIT) will be coordinating a review of learning management systems during this current academic year. The evaluation will be broad in scope with input from faculty and students on not only their current satisfaction with NIU’s current LMS (Blackboard Learn) but also what features, etc. are desired in an LMS moving forward. This review will include in-depth feature comparison and demonstrations of the leading learning management systems used in higher education today.

The evaluation will supply the data to prepare a recommendation that will influence whether an alternative LMS should be considered at this time.

Review Process and Scoring

Task Force Roles and Responsibilities

Responsible for execution of the review, including the solicitation of feedback, development of a communications plan, and presentation of final report. The executive committee will meet weekly and consist of the project co-leads, project manager, one member from the technical team, co-chairs of the advisory committee, and procurement representative.

Executive Committee Members

Responsible for providing input into the evaluation process and establishment of review criteria. Representatives from across stakeholder groups who may meet regularly on an as-needed basis and collaborate via Microsoft Teams during fall 2020 and into spring 2021. This group is responsible for seeking and incorporating campus feedback on the process, responding to draft reports, and supporting the communications plan. The technical committee will serve as a subgroup of the advisory committee.

Advisory Committee Members

Staff from CITL and DOIT responsible for operationalizing the review of systems, engagement with stakeholders, and collection of feedback data. Technical committee members will also serve as members of the advisory committee.

Technical Committee Members

Additional Internal Engagement

Beyond the aforementioned individuals who would be serving collectively as the LMS Review Task Force, the following internal stakeholder groups will also be engaged throughout the review process and provided with status updates along with opportunities for feedback.

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