Learning Management System Evaluation Working Group

Update - 2013

After completing the evaluation process in Spring, 2012, the LMS Evaluation Working Group recommended that we extend our ANGEL license by another year (taking us to September, 2014).  This recommendation was mainly due to our dissatisfaction with the ANGEL file conversion capabilities of the tested LMS software (Blackboard, Desire2Learn and MoodleRooms), and we wanted to give them more time to refine their conversion engines.  In fact, we were displeased not only with the file conversion capabilities of Moodlerooms, but also with its overall feature set, so this product was dropped from the finalist list. 

Our evaluation group was reconvened in January 2013, with a majority of the same members. We used much of the data and knowledge that we gathered/gained last year and spent more time testing in the vendor-provided sandboxes.  This year we evaluated Blackboard, Desire2Learn and Instructure Canvas.  The latter two vendors have signed AJCU consortium agreements in the summer of 2012, giving us even more reason to consider them in this evaluation session.   

The final report of the LMS Evaluation Working Group can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

2013 University of Scranton LMS Evaluation Report

Background

In October, 2011 IT Development and Applications (ITDA) began working with the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) to formulate a plan to establish an LMS Evaluation Working Group, with a purpose of evaluating alternatives to ANGEL and select our institution's next learning management system.

The LMS Evaluation Group was charged by the University’s VP for Planning and CIO, Jerome DeSanto with researching available LMS systems and providing recommendations for the purchase of the next learning management system.  Recommendations were to include the group’s top 2-3 choices for a new system accompanied by rationale, including the pros and cons for each choice.  Results were to be presented to the VP for Planning in May, 2012. The recommendations would then be reviewed with the Provost before a final decision was made.   The group began to meet monthly, beginning December, 2011 and continued through May, 2012.

About mid-way through our group's process, Blackboard, Inc. announced that it acquired Moodlerooms, and even more significant, announced “indefinite” support for the ANGEL LMS.  After consideration of the situation, and consulting with the VP for Planning/CIO, we decided to carry on with our evaluation process, with one caveat:  we would also consider staying with ANGEL LMS beyond the original termination date of fall 2013.

Final Report of the 2012 LMS Evaluation Working Group

angel blackboard mobile logo

The group unanimously recommended that we stay with ANGEL for two more years (through Spring, 2014), and re-look the LMS market in Spring 2013.  Doing so will allow us (1) to see if LMS products’ course conversion capabilities improve to the point of being acceptable to our faculty; and (2) to determine if any of the newer LMS products (such as Canvas by Instructure) evolve to a point where they could be considered as possible replacements to ANGEL at that time. 

The group also unanimously recommended that if we stay with ANGEL we purchase Blackboard Mobile Learn for ANGEL.  We are pleased to tell you that we have followed through on that recommendation and have licensed Blackboard Mobile Learn for ANGEL for use by The University.  This mobile application is free for our students and faculty, and can be downloaded for a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone/iPad, Android, and Blackberry.  For more information, visit the FAQ page for Blackboard Mobile Learn.

Below is a link to the final report of our group, containing details of the evaluation and decision-making process.

Final Report of the 2012 LMS Evaluation Working Group

LMS Evaluation Working Group Membership

Co-Chairs: Connie Wisdo, Director of IT Development & Applications, Planning and Information Resources
Eugeniu Grigorescu, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
CTLE: Aileen McHale, Brian Snapp
Faculty: Maureen Carroll (Mathematics), Teresa Conte (Nursing), Tara Fay (Biology), Julie Nastasi (Occupational Therapy), Sandra Pesavento (Education)
ITDA: Anthony Gazoo, Bob Klem
Students: Kristin Alfieri, Linda Scherer, Josh Rogan
Systems/Operations: Lee DeAngelis