Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning Management System (LMS) Evaluations Underway!

Over the next three weeks, we'll be continuing our evaluation of three learning management systems (Canvas, Blackboard, and Schoology) for purchase and use in our district in the coming years.  The LMS will not only host future online courses, but will also be a platform for professional learning delivery, student ePortfolios, and teacher's classroom resources, notifications, etc.  This trial evaluation period follows earlier investigation that involved a committee of district stakeholders evaluating each LMS based upon each company's on-site demonstration of their product.

I have finalized trial evaluation tasks and wanted to give you an overview of the process so that you can determine whether or not you are willing to participate.

Evaluators will complete a series of identical tasks in each of the three platforms, all the while considering the intuitiveness, navigability, and functionality of each for the end user.  I estimate that it will take roughly one hour for an evaluator to complete the set of tasks in one LMS and complete the evaluation for that system.  Obviously, that estimate might increase for less technology-proficient users or decrease for highly skilled users.  The tasks involve those most typical and likely of uses, from both the learner's vantage point (completing and submitting an assignment, posting to a discussion board, taking a quiz) and from the teacher's (creating an assignment, discussion board, quiz, rubric, etc.).

The window for our evaluations closes on Monday, July 21st.

All three products have impressive strengths and your assistance is vital to our selection of the best system for all our stakeholders.  Please email me at if you would like to participate in the trial evaluations.  Once I hear from you, I will send you more specific instructions.

Best regards,
Steve Simpson


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