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LMS Evaluation

Evaluation Update (Fall 2018)

Throughout the Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 semesters UNIT worked with a group of faculty to evaluate Desire2Learn’s Brightspace product as an alternative to Blackboard.  Subsequent to the evaluation, and after multiple opportunities for faculty feedback, UNIT  – in partnership with VITAL – generated a report on the results of the evaluation (For more details, including access to the full report and an updated timeline, please view the following:  This comprehensive report has been reviewed by the Office of the Provost and UNIT leadership and will continue to be shared with additional governance committees, college deans, and the Villanova community.

After much consideration, it has been determined that though D2L Brightspace has slight advantages over Blackboard, it also presented significant challenges in the areas of grading and student assessment (making it more time-consuming and complex). Therefore, to ensure the best path for the future LMS of the university, we will extend this evaluation to include a trial of the Canvas LMS by Instructure and a deeper evaluation of Blackboard Ultra, Blackboard's next generation LMS product.

The university is additionally preparing its next strategic plan, including aspirations for innovation in teaching and programs.  We feel it is best to also align the results of these discussions to the LMS evaluation process.  This will help ensure that we are considering both the immediate need of an easy-to-use, adaptable LMS for faculty and students, as well as choosing an LMS that will support the University's future academic goals. 

Canvas Participation - Spring 2019 Semester

We strongly believe that your thoughtful participation in the LMS evaluation and selection is invaluable when considering the impact of an LMS change to yourselves and your faculty colleagues.  We hope that your continued support can be counted on moving forward, including your participation in a Canvas evaluation in Spring 2019.  If you are interested in participating in the Canvas evaluation in Spring 2019, please fill out this form:

Participating in the extended evaluation means full commitment from you, as our faculty, to teach one Spring 2019 course in Canvas.  Content from previous semesters in Blackboard can be migrated into Canvas. Our team will work with you to migrate content into your Canvas course for the extended evaluation.  If there is a 3rd party tool that you currently use that is vital to running your course, please include it on the confirmation form so we can investigate whether it can be made available in the test Canvas environment during the extended evaluation (our long-term strategy includes migrating all of our 3rd party tools).  Third party tools are applications built by another company that are linked within Blackboard, and are not built-in “Blackboard Tools.”  If you have a question whether an application is a 3rd party tool, please ask us through the form. 

If you have any questions about the LMS evaluation or participation for the spring semester, please email

Vendor Day Presentations 2017

For those of you who were not able to attend our LMS Vendor Days in September 2017, you can view the presentations online here (Please enter your Villanova userid & password to watch)

After watching the presentations, we invite you to share your feedback via the following surveys:

D2L - Brightspace Survey:

Instructure - Canvas Survey:

Blackboard Survey:   

Your thoughtful feedback will be carefully considered in the decision-making process regarding Villanova’s future LMS selection. 

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