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Academic LMS Evaluation project updates.

This article applies to: Academic LMS Evaluation

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LMS Evaluation Complete, April 2018

Cornell has concluded our evaluation of Cornell's academic learning management system. Our completed evaluation report was submitted to the Provost's office at the end of March. Due to web accessibility concerns, the report has been made available without the appendices. However, selected appendices can be shared upon request by contacting us at

Cornell's Academic LMS Evaluation Report (pdf)

Executive Summary from Cornell Academic LMS Evaluation 2018 Final Report

LMS Pilot Recap, December 19, 2017

As our pilot semester comes to a close, we would like to thank the 25 faculty members who joined us in testing our Blackboard Ultra, Brightspace, and Canvas. Their feedback is a vital component of our evaluation. Over the next two months, the evaluation team will be putting together a final report. The report consists of survey analysis for faculty and students, pilot analysis, market analysis, security reviews, and cost comparisons. This report will be given to University leadership in early February, with a decision to follow later in the Spring of 2018.   If the decision is to migrate to a new learning management system, that process will begin in the summer of 2018 and be a slow transition over several semesters.   As always, we welcome feedback and questions. Please contact us at

Information Sessions, October 16, 2017

Drop by our information sessions at any time to learn more about the project. 

  • Sage Hall Atrium: November 2nd from 10:00am – 1:30pm
  • Duffield Hall Passage: November 6th from 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mann Library Lobby: November 7th from 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Klarman Atrium: November 9th from 11:00am – 3:00pm

Request a Test Course, July 28, 2017

We are currently setting up our pilot systems in Brightspace, Canvas, and Blackboard Ultra for the Fall 2016 pilot. If you would like to take a closer look, we can offer you access to a test, or “Sandbox,” course in each system. You can use the Sandbox to explore what it is like to build a course, to experience the user interface, and to investigate the available tools. You will not be able to enroll students in your test course, but the remaining functionality will be the same. To request access, contact us at or click the “Try it Out” button on the home page.

LMS Pilot Begins, July 21, 2017

We have now reached the second phase of the academic Learning Management System (LMS) evaluation process begun in the spring of 2017. Thirty faculty members have generously agreed to participate in our LMS pilot this fall. We worked hard to recruit a diverse and representative sample of Cornell instructors, working with faculty from every college and a wide range of disciplines. We have also recruited representatives of the diverse ways in which faculty currently use Blackboard.

The project involves three separate pilot groups of 10, piloting alternatives to our current Blackboard Learn. Each faculty member will work with an Instructional Designer to help make the transition and explore what they can do with the pilot system. As part of the pilot, we will collect survey data from each faculty member on the design and creation of the course, on the use of the course during the semester, and on the overall experience of using the new system. We will follow up those surveys with an in-depth interview of each faculty member.

Additionally, we will survey the students in each pilot course and conduct a student focus group to gather feedback on how the students respond to each new system.

The results from our pilot will feed into a formal evaluation report that will be presented to the Faculty Senate and the Provost in the spring of 2018. If the decision is to move to a new system, the transition will occur over a series of semesters beginning the fall 2018 and concluding by spring 2020.

Survey Results, April 24, 2017

Our faculty survey, launched on March 14th, closed on April 17th. During that time, 723 people completed the survey, for a response rate of 28 percent. We are very pleased with the strong response rate. We are currently reviewing the responses for inclusion in our final evaluation report. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. If you did not participate and would like to offer your thoughts, or if you did participate and would like to provide additional feedback, please contact us at:

Faculty Interviews, April 17, 2017

As part of our efforts to better understand faculty LMS use and needs, we are conducting 30 minute interviews with a broad range of faculty across all Cornell’s colleges. We have scheduled interviews with more than 30 faculty members so far, and have already talked with faculty who use Blackboard extensively and those who don’t use Blackboard at all, faculty who are committed to Blackboard and those who want to try something new. All of these voices are important to our overall evaluation. If you would like to be included, you can email us your interest at

Pilot Project, April 10, 2017

We are currently recruiting faculty to pilot one of our alternative systems – Brightspace, Canvas, and Blackboard Ultra – during the Fall semester. Our goal is to have 10 faculty pilot each of the systems. We are seeking to recruit faculty from every college, from a representative variety of disciplines, and from a range of learning management system needs. It is not easy to have 30 faculty stand in for the entire campus, but we are confident our group will come as close as possible. If you are interested in piloting, you can let us know at

Survey Responses, April 3, 2017

Our Faculty survey went out to all teaching faculty on March 17, 2017. We defined teaching faculty broadly to capture as many people as possible. So far we’ve received well over 500 responses. We will keep the survey open until Monday, April 17, 2017. If you received a survey link, but haven’t responded, please do. If you weren’t emailed a survey link, you can always offer your thoughts here.

Faculty Survey, March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017 Faculty Survey: Faculty feedback is an essential part of our Learning Management System evaluation. On March 14th, all faculty received an email with a link to a feedback survey. Whether you are a heavy Blackboard user or not, we hope you will take the less than 5 minutes needed to provide us with useful insight into your LMS needs. If you did not receive a survey email, and would still like to provide feedback, contact us at:

LMS Review Project, Dec. 20, 2016

December 20, 2016 The LMS Evaluation Project is a capital project sponsored by Professor Julia Thom-Levy PhD, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation. The project team as led by JP Brannan and Todd Maniscalco is currently compiling a campus-wide Project Advisory Committee, formulating relevant research questions and identifying key stakeholders from a cross-section of the Cornell community. In addition, vendors representing the three LMS tools under review have been contacted to begin providing data, resources, features, and insights on their products. We welcome ideas, input, and suggestions from all members of the Cornell community. You can contact us directly at or use this form to provide comments and feedback.

Please check this page periodically for news and current information regarding Cornell’s LMS Evaluation Project.


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