The Learning Management Systems (LMS) is a core component of delivering courses to UVM students. At a minimum, the institution’s LMS functions as a repository for course documents, allows students to submit assignments and tests, allows faculty to provide feedback and grade student work, facilitates communication between faculty and students, and provides a space for dialogue among students and faculty. That said, the LMS can serve as a platform for a robust suite of applications, such as (but not limited to) the following:
- Provide analytics to inform teaching choices and help faculty track student progress
- Empower students to contribute course content and shape discussions
- Provide ways to meet learning needs of both credit and non-credit students (an increasing percentage of students seeking to further their education)
Since adopting Blackboard in 2008, UVM has regularly convened a multi-stakeholder group to review general satisfaction and use – first in 2015 and again in 2018-19 (see an archive of this group’s work). The latter effort integrated stakeholder feedback and developed a detailed features criteria list, containing ~130 items. This group’s work was interrupted by the COVID 19 crisis and they concluded that continuing to explore changing the LMS was not appropriate during remote instruction. Recognizing the need for a more thorough analysis of our current and future needs, we renewed our Blackboard license until September 2023.