LMS Review

NSU LMS Review


For the past 18 years NSU has partnered with Blackboard for its online learning platform needs, but it has come time for NSU to review the online learning platform field and determine if Blackboard continues to be the solution for our online learning. To this end, Academic Affairs has coordinated a Learning Management System (LMS) Review Task force to review NSU's needs and how the LMS market currently meets those needs. 


Since NSU moved to Blackboard in 1999, the LMS market has changed dramatically, and NSU has not conducted a review of its learning platform options for at least ten years. Given the significant developments in online tools, the consistent growth of online learning over the past decade, and online learning’s role in NSU’s long term plan, it’s time for NSU to determine if our current system is best poised to move NSU into it’s future.

Who’s involved?

To ensure all academic areas are represented while keeping the task force small enough to move rapidly, each college was asked to recommend two faculty to serve on this team. Additionally, representatives from Faculty Council and NSU libraries were requested to ensure both units had voice in the process. In addition to these faculty are academic administrators, LMS support personnel, instructional designers, and other key stakeholders and purchasing agents to ensure the process is complete and thorough. Finally, the NSGA Academic Affairs subcommittee represents the student voice in this process.

13 Faculty representing each college and NSU libraries

  • Dr. Alesha Baker, Assistant Professor, College of Education
  • Dr. Bill Rosener, Professor, College of Business & Technology
  • Dr. Christine Hallman, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts
  • Dr. Renee Cambiano, Professor, College of Education, Faculty Council President
  • Dr. Spence Pilcher, Professor, College of Science & Health Professions
  • Dr. Luke Foster, Assistant Professor, College of Science & Health Professions
  • Kin Thompson, Assistant Professor, College of Business & Technology
  • Dr. Scott Pursley, Assistant Professor/Auditorium Manager, College of Liberal Arts
  • Dr. Sherry Been, Assistant Professor, College of Education
  • Sarah Burkhead Whittle, Instructor, Library
  • Dr. Erica Argyropoulos, Instructor, Library
  • Dr. Earlena King, Instructor, Optometry
  • Dr. Neal Whittle, Instructor, Optometry

3 Academic Administrators

  • Dr. Vanessa Anton, Interim Dean, College of Education
  • Dr. Janet Buzzard, Dean, College of Business & Technology
  • Dr. Chavez, Dean, College of Extended Learning

5 LMS Support Staff

  • Dr. Richard Reif, Chief Information Officer/Director of IT
  • Harrison Dragoo, Application Developer II, IT
  • Chad McLane, Director, CTL
  • Stacy Goad, Instructional Designer, CTL
  • Jerol Skinner, Academic Service Coordinator, CTL

Other key stakeholders

  • Richard Hoenes, Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
  • NSU Student Government Association Academic Affairs subcommittee
  • Johnny Johnson, Purchasing Agent
  • Kim Coffman, Purchasing CoordinatorLauren Cole, Purchasing Coordinator

What’s the process?

Phase I:  
Needs assessment: January-February
In this phase, the task force will collect information from LMS users regarding their needs and expectations for the online learning platform through surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions.

Phase II:
Request for Proposals (RFP): February-March
After our needs are prioritized, we will develop a RFP, inviting qualifying LMS solutions to submit a proposal for services. After reviewing the proposals, the group will determine if there are any services they would like to view and demo.

Phase III:
Pilot: April-July
After demos, the group will determine if there are any options we would like to pursue further in a pilot. This pilot will ideally occur over the Summer 2018 semester. Faculty interested in participating in the pilot over the summer will be invited to do so.

Phase IV:
After the summer pilots are complete, the team will submit a recommendation for NSU to pursue one of three actions:
1.  Remain with Blackboard because there is not sufficient reason to warrant a change.
2.  Delay decision on this matter for another contract cycle with specific plans for further review.
3.  Migrate to a new LMS because there is compelling reason to do so.
This recommendation will then be shared with councils and committees for feedback and approval where necessary.

Over the coming months, this team will invite the NSU community to share its experiences with Blackboard and its needs for the future through surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions. Please consider participating in these outreaches as they will help the team ensure they are representing all of NSU's interests in online learning.

We will update this page with information as the team progresses through each phase.