Dear LMS Market Analysis Subscribers,

We have two items to share with you: first, a clarification on Blackboard and the podcast; second, an update on survey results touching on LMS usage.

Clarification on recent podcast

In our most recent MindWires Musings episode we shared on Sunday, we looked ahead to BbWorld and D2L Fusion conferences coming up within two weeks. As part of this discussion we mentioned:

“And I will say that we did reach out to Blackboard themselves, and they really didn’t have anything to share at this time about the roadmap.
“We also asked pretty direct questions about Collaborate, since that’s become a really important tool for video conferencing for anyone that’s using that during COVID, Collaborate. People have started really to rely on that. And because of that, the usage has gone up. It’s become a very costly solution. So direct questions to Blackboard about that was also not answered by Blackboard. They did say that, Phil, you’ve been invited to the executive session during BbWorld, and perhaps we’re going to see something on that.”

Podcasts by their nature are conversational and not scripted, but we would like to make it clear that this was not a matter of Blackboard declining to send information or being unwilling to participate. It is simply a matter of timing – no new information was shared last week, but we expect to get much better insight this week and next.

If you haven’t heard the podcast, you can access the recording here or by clicking the image below:

The Importance of the LMS

In the wrap-up to the same podcast, we had this exchange:

Phil: So there is quite a bit to watch on this market.
Jeanette: Yes. Always. Always exciting.
Phil: Always exciting? I don’t think everybody describes the LMS market as exciting.
Jeanette: But gosh, what are they missing? Last year was a soap opera.
Phil: OK. Yes. Soap operas are not always happy. But yes, we’re seeing a lot of new market dynamics.

Last week Tyton Partners released a survey on faculty experiences with the COVID transitions that backs up this point and is worth highlighting. While Zoom and other video conferencing systems have gotten the most press in terms of how faculty migrated to remote teaching, and this product category has grown the most, the LMS remains the most-used tool in remote teaching for Spring 2020.

Ithaka S+R surveyed students and got similar results – the LMS is the most-used tool, and they had little difficulty using this tool.

These survey data (which are also backed up by an upcoming survey we have seen under embargo) fly in the face of the Zoom U narrative. While video conferencing grew faster, the largest percentage of faculty used an LMS as part of their Spring 2020 remote teaching transition. It is indeed an exciting market.

We wish you the best as you deal with planning for Fall 2020 and beyond. Stay well and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you directly.


Phil on behalf of The MindWires Team