Search for a new Learning Management System (LMS)

Stonehill last selected a LMS in the spring of 2009 when Angel was chosen over Desire2Learn and Blackboard.  Within days of signing a contract, Blackboard announced the purchase of Angel.  After careful analysis of the situation, Angel was confirmed as the best product for Stonehill.  Blackboard committed to maintain Angel for at least 3 years, so our new LMS was named eLearn and we began using it in the fall of 2009.

As of this writing, we’re beginning our fifth academic year with eLearn.  Blackboard’s flagship LMS is now Learn 9.1, a product in which they have incorporated many ANGEL features and design elements. Blackboard Learn is the recommended upgrade path for Angel customers, which for Stonehill would involve substantial change and effort. Given the situation, Joe Favazza, the Provost, and Tammy Anderson, the CIO, charged an LMS Evaluation Team last spring to evaluate our options and recommend a learning management system to replace eLearn.  The membership of the team includes faculty and key staff who are listed below.

  • Brendan O'Sullivan, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Co-Chair
  • Fera Karakaya, Director, User Support Services, Information Technology, Co-Chair
  • Nathaniel P. DesRosiers, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
  • Todd Gernes, Assistant Dean of General Education and Academic Achievement
  • Jan Harrison, Manager of Instructional Technology, Information Technology
  • Mary-Joan Leith, Associate Professor, Religious Studies
  • Pamela Lombardi, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Jennifer Macaulay, Systems Librarian, Library
  • Eugene Quinn, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
  • John Schatzel, Professor, Business Administration
  • Bettina Scholz, Assistant Professor, Political Science
  • Maura Tyrrell, Professor, Biology

The LMS Evaluation Team reviewed the LMS market and chose to focus on four top products. The team created a rubric to guide its evaluation and the on campus demonstrations.  Faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to participate in the open demonstration sessions and provide feedback using the rubric in either paper or an online format.  The product demonstrations will be held as listed below with time reserved for Q&A.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Monday, September 30 3-5pm  Martin Institute Board Room Canvas by Instructure
Monday, October 7 3-5pm Cleary Dining Room Desire2Learn
Monday October 21 3-5pm Cleary Dining Room Blackboard Learn
Monday, October 28 3-5pm Cleary Dining Room Sakai by Asahi Net Int.

The final recommendation for our next LMS will be based on analysis of feedback on the features and functionality of the systems  as well as strategic considerations including business viability, vision, product licensing terms and cost.  The LMS Evaluation Team plans to make its recommendation by the end of the Fall 2013 semester.  The target implementation date for the new LMS is during the summer of 2014 for use in Fall 2014 courses.  Questions about the process can be emailed to the co-chairs of the LMS Evaluation Team Brendan O'Sullivan or Fera Karakaya, and feedback may be provided to any of the team members.