You can find the LMS Monthly Report for February 2020 here. Please note that the biggest contribution comes from Tecnológico de Monterrey as an addition to Canvas. This school, which has long been on Blackboard Learn, would represent a significant LatAm win for Instructure, but we are researching further to understand if this is a secondary system usage or a primary system replacement of Blackboard Learn. We will update you as we learn more.

Covid-19 Impact

The Covid-19 situation is changing rapidly – in just the past two days we have seen the University of Washington and Stanford University move all face-to-face courses online for at least the next two weeks. Treat the following observations as informed speculation rather than as an analysis of the data.

From the 1990s through 2011, the primary driver for colleges and universities to go online was based on the emergence of the for-profit sector along with a handful of Sloan Consortium-funded nonprofit schools exploring the modality. With the emergence of the OPM market (2U in particular) as well as the emergence of MOOCs in the early 2010s, the situation changed dramatically. Suddenly elite nonprofit schools viewed online education as a viable strategy, with other schools following. I suspect that Covid-19 will end up being a driver of online education dynamics on the same level of the OPM / MOOC emergence, as schools face existential questions tied to contingency planning.

Furthermore, the existential questions of moving online rapidly to keep schools in operation will likely make the LMS more important in the future. Schools are seeing the reliable availability of LMS move up the priority list for campus administrators and boards, and we are just beginning this phase.

In the short term (3 – 6 months), we could see LMS market activity slow down as schools focus on preparations with what they already have in place.

But beyond that time frame, I would not be surprised to see the Covid-19 situation cause increased market activity for LMS, and in particular have two effects:

  1. Make intuitive interface and reliable, scalable hosting even more important than it has been over the past decade; and
  2. Cause slow-moving markets, such as LatAm, to break through the stasis we have seen over the past two years, and have more schools realize they need their LMS to managed professionally (i.e. a move away from self-hosting Moodle as the default).

We will watch for signs of these changes, but I wanted to share these thoughts with you first.

LMS Market Acceleration?

The data on the LMS market slowdown continue to show a potential reversal of the LMS Market slowdown that we first described in September 2018.

For the T12M First Seen data, note that we had abnormally high data in February 2019 from the Blackboard Learn / Galileo Global Education, which is removed from our T12M data this month.

We should also note that while the market activity levels are changing, so are the win rates. Some of the Moodle increases are due to better data collection, but the D2L increases are due to better performance in the market.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or comments.



Phil for
The MindWires Team