Month: November 2010

About Blackboard

Michigan Tech currently employs Blackboard Campus Edition 8 (CE8) as its enterprise-wide learning management system. Blackboard is slated to end support for CE8 in 2013. Blackboard offers the product “Blackboard Learn 9.1” as an upgrade path. This path is not an upgrade in the traditional sense, rather a migration to a very different software solution.

Blackboard Learn Bb 9.1 Pilot course at:

Time line for LMS migration

LMS Pilot Phase I

  • Summer 2010: a working group consisting of Educational Technology Services, IT and the CIO attended certification sessions, installed and configured the new Bb 9.1 services in a test environment.  They also conducted informal surveys of other institutions concerning their choice and strategy for LMS.
  • Fall 2010: a group of instructors were invited to migrate courses (or develop new courses) to utilize Bb 9.1 as an LMS for teaching fall semester.

LMS pilot Phase II

  • Fall 2010 – Fall 2011: continue utilizing CE8 while LMS options are more fully explored
  • Spring/Summer/Fall 2011: expand Bb 9.1 pilot to include additional instructors
  • Spring/Summer/Fall 2011: expand pilot to include other LMS options

Fall 2011: final report for LMS migration to be submitted

2010 LMS Migration Path Summary for Provost

LMS Pilot Participants

The LMS Pilot Group was formed in Summer/Fall 2010 to participate in an evaluation of LMS products Bb9.1 and then open source products Sakai and Moodle.  The LMS pilot groups charge is to establish a core group to function as a decision-making and communications team. The group and its work will issue a report in Fall 2011.

The team will:

  • Assist in the selection our next generation LMS
  • Advise Provost and CIO
  • Contribute to communication efforts to keep campus informed and involved

Members of the LMS pilot:


Amber Kemppainen (Engineering Fundamentals)
Catherine Tarasoff (SFRES)
Dana Johnson (SBE)
James DeClerck (MEEM)
Linda Wanless (SOT)
Michael Meyer (Physics)
Paul Charlesworth (Chem)
Todd King (Math)


Chad Arney (ETS)
Deb Charleswoth (Graduate School)
Emmette Golde (IT)
Jeff Toorongian (ETS)
Matt Buss (IT)
Margaret Phillips (Library)
Patty Lins (ETS)
Rebecca MIddlebrook (SBE)
Tom Freeman (ETS)
Walt Milligan (CIO)
William Kennedy (CTLFD)


Jeannie DeClerck (RTC grad student)

What is a Learning Management System?

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application designed to support teaching and learning.  An LMS offers one integrated online site where instructors can create and deliver course content; provide a collection of tools for online testing, assessment, collaboration, communication, submission of assignments, and administration of grades. This software tool is critical for our initiatives in delivering blended and online learning.