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Summary and Rationale


This fall, the UMSL campus underwent a bidding process for a new contract with a learning management system (LMS) provider as the current contract with Blackboard (MyGateway) was nearing expiration. IT leaders from each campus collectively identified features that were important to the various campuses for this bid process. Two vendors (Canvas and Blackboard) met all requirements and the campus sought feedback via the following means:

    1. The campus hosted demonstration sessions from each vendor that were open to the campus. Feedback from attendees was gathered at the conclusion of each session.
    2. The campus hosted three open-forum sessions where faculty, staff, and students could ask questions, discuss pros and cons, and learn more about each system from representatives of ITS and the CTL. Feedback from attendees was gathered at the conclusion of each forum.
    3. The CTL distributed a survey to faculty, staff, and students to determine the most important features for each stakeholder group. 
    4. Faculty, staff and students were surveyed regarding their preference and strength of that preference for the next LMS at UMSL.

Results from feedback gathered were shared with the Faculty Senate, University Assembly, Student Government Association, Provost’s Council, Department Chairs in early November.

Based on the feedback from all stakeholders, the campus selected Canvas as its learning management system moving forward. The campus will maintain its contract with the Blackboard learning management system for the 2017 calendar year as courses are transitioned from Blackboard to the Canvas system.


The rationale for making Canvas the campus LMS selection can largely be summarized into the categories below: