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USG Learning Management System Transition Task Force

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Learning Management System Task Force Recommendation Accepted by Board of Regents

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) approved (on August 10th, 2011) the selection of Desire2Learn as the next learning management system (LMS) for the University System of Georgia.

The learning management system is the most time-sensitive and widely used faculty/student enterprise system for learning. Faculty and students use it daily. The LMS software application is designed to manage online classroom activities and includes functionality such as a learning repository for course content, assignments, discussion boards, messaging, assessment, grades, and communications between faculty and students. The LMS is used extensively in face-to-face classes as well as distance education classes. The Board’s approval of Desire2Learn was based on a recommendation of the Learning Management System (LMS) Transition Task Force. The LMS Task Force was charged with recommending a Learning Management System to replace the current system (Vista 8) which will no longer be supported by Blackboard effective January 2013. The task force was comprised of USG faculty, students, learning specialists, and technology administrators. Task force members also included representatives from The Georgia Department of Education and Technical College System of Georgia. The University System Office provided limited support.

Following today’s approval, the next steps include:

  • USG will enter into a procurement process with the goal of obtaining a contract with Desire2Learn.
  • In September, pending the signed contract with Desire2Learn, USG Information Technology Services will begin collaboration with USG institutions.
  • Additional information about Desire2Learn will be available at the 12th Georgia Summit Conference, September 28 – 30 in Augusta, Georgia and the 40th University System Annual Computing Conference October, 26-28 at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton Georgia.

Once the contract is finalized, an announcement will be sent with details of the implementation and training timelines.

Learning Management System Transition Task Force Final Report

The Task Force delivered their final report to Dr. Susan Herbst on April 30th, 2011. Read the Final Report here

LMS Sandbox Evaluation (March 24th - April 15th)

The sandbox evaluation period has concluded. We would like to thank the many students and instructors that spent much of their time evaluating the different LMS sandboxes.

LMS Sandbox Guidelines

  • The LMS sandboxes are for evaluation purposes only. No actual teaching should be conducted
  • No information of a personal or sensitive nature should be used in the sandbox environments
  • All information generated in the sandbox environments will be purged after the evaluation period
  • The LMS Sandbox maintenance window is reserved for 11pm – 7am

Current Status and Next Steps

The task force recommendation process is expected to conclude by April 2011.

The task force has now narrowed their review to the five recommended candidates listed below. In the related documents section (see menu at the left) is an explanation of the criteria that have been used to guide the decisions to this point and those that will be used as we continue our work.

Platforms under review (in alphabetical order):
* Blackboard 9
* Desire2Learn
* Moodle
* Pearson Learning Studio
* Sakai

Guiding Principles for the Task Force

  • Recommend a product that meets 21st century needs of students and faculty supporting the improvement of retention and graduation rates
  • Recommend a product that will be used for multiple purposes (e.g., academic instruction/research/training/continuing education/economic development)
  • Recommend a student focused minimum LMS suite to maintain affordability and increase efficiency
  • The task force will partner with IT to recommend an enterprise solution with an architecture that provides optimal performance/stability and supports increased enrollments of 100,000 additional students by 2020
  • The work of the task force will be an open and transparent process to include all stakeholders