April 2017

In less than a month, May 16th marks the one-year anniversary of our e-Literate Big Picture: LMS subscription service. We can’t wait to open up those tweets and other presents. Rumor has it that the party favor will be our Spring 2017 report. And pictures with a creepy clown from the party.

We welcome our new subscribers, and we want to thank everyone for your support and interest in this work.

Data Not Just In Aggregate

As we’re preparing for the Spring 2017 report – coming out in May – something interesting started to peek out of the data. And this something has ended up shaping the key narrative to the analysis and report. We don’t have all of our analysis done, but we do want to give you an idea of what to expect in the report.

First, look at the number of new implementations for the US and Canada.

There was a peak of LMS activity in 2010 through 2012, largely driven by Blackboard acquisitions and forced or strongly-encouraged migrations from WebCT and ANGEL. Afterwards the market slowed down a bit.

But look at 2017. In just three months of data (we cut off data for April 1 for the upcoming report), the total number of new implementations is already 80 – 90% of each of the past three years. We are headed towards a new peak of LMS migration activity this year that will likely be at least as high as 2013 and possibly approaching 2010 – 2012.

But there’s another hint of a story coming through the data by looking as this chord diagram showing migrations from and to different LMS solutions since the beginning of 2015 (this data captures US, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania).

Those arrows pointing to Homegrown -> Bb Learn, LearningStudio -> D2L, LearningStudio -> Canvas, and combined itsLearning / Fronter -> Canvas come from just five specific LMS consortium or system-level selections.

Consider the green band. The University of Phoenix, even with its precipitous drop in enrollment and change in ownership, still encompasses more than 60 campuses and 140,000+ students. And as we covered exclusively at e-Literate, they are in the middle of migrating from their homegrown LMS to Blackboard Learn Ultra. Almost all of that green band comes from this one decision.

The blue bands represent the end-of-life of Pearson LearningStudio, also covered exclusively at e-Literate, and the subsequent migrations of three large for-profit systems to D2L Brightspace and to Canvas. The green / gray bands coming from itsLearning and Fronter to Canvas come from the Uninett procurement process covering the majority of universities in Norway.

And there are others not represented in the data yet. The point is, this year it is incredibly important to look beyond the aggregate data measures of the market to see the true dynamics at work. And the combined years of 2016 / 2017 are shaping up to be driven largely by very large LMS selection processes which will have long-term impacts.

Global Expansion of e-Literate Services

We’re expanding. Does our report look too large in this PDF?

Based on the great partnership we have with LISTedTECH and their rich data set and methodology, expect this service to broaden in scope and coverage.

Our initial data focused on the US and Canada, well, since e-Literate is in the US and LISTedTECH is in Canada. By November 2016 we had expanded into northern and western Europe with this European LMS market report.

For this spring we are adding coverage of Latin America and Oceania (largely Australia, New Zealand and surrounding countries). The spring report will look at combined data, as seen in the chord diagram above, as well as data for each region.

We have what we believe to be the most global coverage of the academic LMS market available. We are excited to see the analysis possible from our more global approach this spring, and we plan to continue our expansion in the future.

Until Next Time

We hope that you found this news roundup useful. We’re always open to feedback, which you can send to eLitLMS@mindwires.com.


Phil & Michael