The current learning management system (LMS), Blackboard (Bb), has served George Mason University for more than a decade. Since Mason adopted Bb, new LMS solutions have entered the market, and the university has grown, making this a great time to take stock of our faculty and students’ current and future needs in this space.
While the current version of Bb is fully supported, Blackboard is not expected to have new innovation/developments in this version. In addition, the pandemic provided valuable insight and best practices in face-to-face, online, and hybrid course delivery, and our next LMS must reflect what we have learned about the unique learning needs present at Mason. As the landscape of higher education evolves, we invite the university community to be involved in the conversation to take inventory of current practices, explore future opportunities, and document our LMS needs for today and beyond.
The Learning Management System (LMS) Project Committee gathered information from the Mason community in a variety of ways during the 2022-2023 academic year. The feedback helped shaped the request for proposal (RFP) used to find Mason’s next LMS as well as help the selection committee make their final decision.
Surveys and Polls
Surveys were sent to all faculty and students. Additional surveys were sent to targeted staff populations and Blackboard organization leaders. See the results from the faculty and student surveys. Weekly one question polls were available to students in Blackboard. See the results >
A series of ten focus groups were held for faculty. While many were general, several were topic focused such as for adjunct faculty, large enrollment courses, online programs, etc.
Committee members attended and presented at various academic department meetings.
The Advisory Committee is comprised of faculty representing each school and college, as well as students and other representatives. The committee members provided feedback on information gathering methods, the request for proposal, presentation formats, and other means to aid the project. Members kept their constitutes comprised of project updates, responded to questions, and presented updates at meetings.
LMS Presentations and Sandboxes
The Evaluation Committee selected three finalists who presented their LMS solution in May 2023. Presentations were open to the Mason community and available in person and online. Presentation recordings were also made available.
The Mason community was asked to provide feedback on the vendor presentations. View presentation feedback.
The community was also provided the opportunity to test the LMS systems and provide feedback. View sandbox testing feedback.