Spring 2014 LMS Pilot Update from Dr. Mark Morvant


First, I want to thank the 859 Faculty and instructors who completed the D2L Faculty Survey last Fall and the 35 Faculty and instructors who participated in the LMS Pilot in the Spring. The survey gave us valuable information about the state of usage of D2L and insight on ways to improve the faculty experience with the technology. The pilot with D2L, Canvas, and Schoology allowed the full evaluation of these systems in a classroom setting. I want to thank you for the time and effort you put into assisting the OU IT Learning Spaces team and the team in the Center for Teaching Excellence in this process.

Based on the LMS Pilot evaluation, OU will continue to use D2L as the Learning Management System for the 2014-15 academic year. The recent revisions in the D2L platform have improved the user experience and the instructors in the pilot preferred to stay with the current LMS over changing to one of the other systems.

The Learning Management Systems have been changing quickly over the past few years and will continue to transform in the near future. Desire2Learn announced on July 14 that it will be changing its name to D2L and rebranding its learning platform to Brightspace. It will maintain the system that we have been using as D2L Learning Environment and there do not appear to be any major changes planned in the next year.  In the near future, D2L will be moving to an automated version upgrade process similar to many online systems such as Facebook and Twitter. In general, most LMS companies are moving towards social learning, learning analytics, and personalized learning. It is not certain what an LMS will be in five years, whether Brightspace, Learn, Canvas, or other. It is certain that changes in the LMS will be much more rapid than we have experienced in the past five years.

I want to encourage you to use the grade book feature in D2L this next year if you have not done so in the past. Students need to receive feedback on their performance in their courses and most rely on D2L to keep track of your feedback to them.

Again, I want to thank everyone that was involved in the LMS evaluation process. This process was important to enhancing the learning experience for our students.


Jeremy Hessman