The prepare phase of the LMS Review Process includes questions and considerations when deciding whether or not to conduct a formal LMS review.
Use the tabs below to review institutional, support, and administrative considerations.
Before making the decision on whether or not to conduct a formal evaluation, it would be helpful to test your institution's readiness for change. In addition to the technical and pedagogical aspects of an LMS, consider the socio-political aspects of:
Change is difficult, even if for good reason, and is often met with resistance. To help this situation, consider the following:
The decision to conduct a formal LMS review could come from a variety of factors present on campus. It is standard practice to review the LMS every five to seven years in an effort to determine what is in the marketplace and how your institutional needs are being met, or unmet, by your current system. Key questions to consider:
If a decision to investigate a change is made, consider the following questions before you embark on the evaluation:
Various support considerations may be present including, but not limited to hosted/non-hosted systems, on-site/home-grown/non-vended systems, etc. Support time, software development, and developing training materials to support students, faculty, and staff are areas to keep in mind. Here are a few questions to consider asking:
Even if you choose not to conduct a full evaluation, an inventory of how your institution is using the LMS, as well as key resources such as developer time, training, documentation, and support is extremely useful information for allocating resources.
Additionally, a LMS review does not have to require a change in systems. While a bias toward change is common in LMS reviews, there are numerous cases of institutions conducting reviews only to affirm their current LMS.
Both surveys offer example questions asking how faculty & students currently use the existing LMS.
Lang, L. & Pirani, J.A. (2016). The 2015 enterprise application market in higher education: Learning management systems. Educause. Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2016/12/cdsm816d.pdf
Ryan, T.G., Toye, M., Charron, K., & Park, G. (2012). Learning management system migration: An analysis of stakeholder perspectives. International Review of Research In Open & Distance Learning, 13(1), 220-237.
University of Buffalo. (2017, February). Trends and the future of learning management systems (LMSs) in higher education. Center for Educational Innovation. Retrieved from https://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/ubcei/reports/CEI%20Report%20-%20Trends%20and%20the%20Future%20of%20Learning%20Management%20Systems%20in%20Higher%20Education.pdf
It is important to ensure a plan for addressing communication is in place prior to beginning work on a formal review. Areas to consider in developing a communication plan are:
Additionally, it is important to consider the evidence that will be needed to justify the time and expense of a review. Here are a few questions you may want to consider in this preparation phase:
Above all, communicate the decision and process early and often to faculty, staff, and students. Consider the following:
Any avenue available to be transparent in process and decision-making will pay dividends in the future, no matter what eventual decision is made.