Letter to the Editor: Reports of Blackboard’s demise greatly exaggerated

While Blackboard is currently under review, the system has yet to be deemed unfit for MU.

Currently, the MU campus is undergoing a formal evaluation of the learning management system (LMS) tools to support teaching and learning at MU. This evaluation is being led by Kevin Bailey, Director of Customer Service & Support for the Division of IT, and Danna Vessell, Director of Educational Technologies at Missouri (ET@MO).

It is not a foregone conclusion that Mizzou will be moving away from Blackboard. It is our intention to conduct this evaluation with an open, transparent process and to arrive at the best recommendation possible for the MU campus by the end of the fall semester.

It is essential that this process has community-wide involvement. Everyone in the Mizzou community; faculty, staff, and students will have multiple opportunities for input and feedback. We are facilitating this project not just because of our recent challenges with Blackboard but because it is time. The LMS market has changed significantly in the past few years, and we would like to make sure we are using the best tools possible to support teaching and learning at Mizzou.

Beginning in September, we launched a coordinated effort to gather as much feedback as possible from interested parties across the campus. This process includes focus groups, surveys, test drives and vendor demos (from Blackboard, Instructure Canvas and Brightspace) which are open to all students, faculty and staff. The calendar of events is at the LMS Review site: lmsreview.missouri.edu. If you have questions about the LMS Review process or its findings, please feel free to contact Danna Vessell (vesselld@missouri.edu) or Kevin Bailey (baileyks@missouri.edu) directly.

Kevin Bailey, baileyks@missouri.edu

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