New LMS Coming – Angel’s Successor?

The LMS RFP committee has selected the three vendors that will move forward in our selection process for an enterprise learning management system.

The top vendors are Blackboard, Desire2Learn and Instructure (Canvas).

The vendors were selected based on scoring of an extensive list of functional requirements and on vendor pricing. My personal thanks to the members of the committee for wading through over 1200 pages of vendor materials in order to score the proposals. The technical requirements were developed with the ELC, ITC and informed by a faculty survey last fall.

For more information on the process and a list of committee members: http://www.sbctc.edu/college/_e-elearningprojects.aspx

Next steps:

USER TESTING

The top vendors will provide opportunities for user testing, which will include the following:

  • Training webinars for testers
  • Faculty, staff and student accounts for testing
  • Both empty and populated classrooms for testing SBCTC will provide each CTC with $1000 to compensate faculty who test all three products using a standard rubric. We will pay $500 for one completed rubric; $1000 for two. Some colleges are adding their own funds to increase the number of faculty testers. We welcome as many as will fill out the complete rubric for all three vendors.
  • The vendors will also supply generic accounts for faculty, staff and students to test without going through the whole rubric. That feedback will be gathered separately.
  • College staff will be able to test administrative functions.
  • We will have dedicated testers for accessibility issues and mobile technology functionality.
  • This testing will begin as soon as we can set it up and continue for approximately four weeks. We strongly encourage wide participation in the testing. Please help us reach everyone who has an interest.

Vendor References and Live Demos

During March the committee will continue checking vendor references. At the end of the month the vendors will do live demos, and after that the final vendor will be chosen.

Contract Negotiations

In April we will begin negotiations with the apparent successful vendor. We will negotiate for the optimal price based on active users aggregated by participating colleges and universities in Washington and premium hosting. If we cannot reach an agreement on price with the apparent successful vendor, we will begin negotiations with the next vendor.

Contract and Implementation

The new contract will begin on July 1, 2012. We have planned two full years for implementation to coincide with the end of our ANGEL contract in June 2014. The successful vendor will be integrated with both our current SMS and the ctcLink. We do anticipate that colleges will be able to move to the new product earlier if they choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are any of the top vendors open source?

A: None of the proposals we received relies completely on open source software. All responding vendors use some proprietary programming to provide all of our requirements for an enterprise system.

However, all top vendors do have some features or provisions for using and sharing open content.

 

Q: Are colleges required to use the LMS chosen through this process?

A: No. We hope all colleges will participate in order to save money and to maximize our programming, our open content development and sharing, and our professional development efforts.

 

Q: Will the cost model still be $4 per active user?

A: We don’t know yet. The more colleges that participate, the better deal we will be able to make.

 

Q: What happens to other elearning tools that are integrated into current LMSs?

A: SBCTC has extended the contracts for ANGEL and Bb Collaborate (Elluminate) and Bb Student Services (tech support) through June 2014. We are in year two of a three-year contract with Tegrity, and our current plan is to extend that contract. SBCTC’s intention is to continue to provide these services as long as colleges use them. Blackboard tells us that Collaborate and the help desk will continue to be available to non-Blackboard LMS clients (as they are now). However, we might choose as a system to make changes based on the functionality of the new vendor product.

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