Let's Talk LMS

Learn about the Learning Management System (LMS) Renewal project. An LMS is an online service used to post learning content and conduct learning activities (like submitting and grading assignments, or posting in discussion boards) for formal courses and other learning activities.

About the Project

Why change?

Blackboard (also known as Course Tools) has been USask's primary LMS for more than 10 years. As our current Blackboard contract is up for review, it is the right time for us to assess other options on the market to ensure that our students have the best possible online learning experience.

In the 10 years since Blackboard was first launched at USask, university teaching and learning has evolved, and so too has the learning technology marketplace. We want to ensure that our LMS will meet both our current and future needs, which we will do through an extensive consultation process with students, faculty, and support staff. In other words, we need your help!

What's happening?

In November 2019,  interested vendors responded to our Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Learning Management System. In their responses, the vendors explained how their solution might meet USask’s needs.

We have successfully narrowed our search down to two LMS solutions:

  • Brightspace, created by Desire2Learn
  • Canvas, created by Instructure

Get Involved

For students

We want your input. Between January and April 2020, you can contribute to the selection of the best LMS for USask by

  • Taking part in the LMS student survey (take the survey)
  • Testing Brightspace and/or Canvas for yourself and giving feedback (sign up)
  • Participating in usability testing to help determine which LMS is easier to use (sign up)

For faculty and staff

Participate in the following:

  • Testing Brightspace and/or Canvas for yourself and giving feedback (sign up)
  • Participating in usability testing to help determine which LMS is easier to use (sign up)

Project Timeline

Phase 1: Selection

June to August 2019

Consultation, needs assessment, and requirements gathering.

September 2019

Request for Proposal (RFP) distributed to market.

November to December 2019

Proposals evaluated, short-listed vendors prepare for product demonstration phase.

Phase 2: Evaluation

January to April 2020

LMS evaluation phase (full term course pilot, usability testing, vendor demonstration days).

May 2020

LMS solution selected

Phase 3: Implementation

June 2020

Transition to selected LMS solution begins.


Other Engagement with the Project

How can I stay informed?

We will be communicating regularly with the campus community to ensure that people are as aware of what's going on as they'd like to be. Keep an eye out for articles in newsletters, targeted emails, PAWS announcements, and more.

Who should I talk to?

Following are some of the leaders of this project, who are driving this change forward and who you can reach out to with additional questions:

  • Amanda MacKenzie (Manager), Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
  • Wendy James (Manager, Professional and Curriculum Development), Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Amanda Dahl (Senior Project Manager), Enterprise Project Management Office

Additional background information

Although student, staff, and faculty consultations will be used to inform decisions made throughout this project, it is all done in support of high level strategy documents and in alignment with current research about post-secondary teaching and learning. Please explore the links below for additional contextual information.