Brightspace selected as Carleton’s next LMS

Following a comprehensive review and extensive consultations and evaluations with our teaching and learning community, Carleton has selected Brightspace by Desire2Learn as its new Learning Management System (LMS) to replace cuLearn in May 2021.

The switch to Brightspace will provide several key advantages to our community of educators and learners, including substantial improvements in performance, responsiveness and reliability.

With the selection, Carleton’s LMS review process is complete. To learn about next steps for the transition from cuLearn to Brightspace, visit the new Brightspace website.

Brightspace implementation timeline

Background on the LMS review process

In the first phase of the LMS review process (mid-late 2018), we surveyed faculty, contract instructors and staff about their experiences with cuLearn, and hosted a townhall to review the data gathered through the survey and present the roadmap for the coming years.

In the winter 2019 term, we hosted five campus-wide listening sessions open to anyone who used the LMS, followed by 11 sandbox sessions (10 face-to-face and one online), to collect additional feedback prior to drafting the Request for Proposal (RFP). In total, 275 people from across the institution participated in the sandboxing sessions:

  • Faculty and contract instructors – 74
  • TA’s – 11
  • Students – 41
  • Staff (including TLS/ITS) – 149

The university did not receive a proposal from any service provider that offered a Moodle solution, on which our current LMS is based. As a result of the RFP process, three vendors – Blackboard (Learn Ultra), Instructure (Canvas), and D2L (Brightspace) – were shortlisted.

Once the shortlisted vendors were selected, we moved into evaluations. Participation in the evaluation was open to all faculty, contract instructors, teaching assistants, staff and students. In total, 37 evaluators provided their feedback on the three shortlisted vendors:

  • Faculty – 12
  • Contract Instructors – 2
  • TA’s – 2
  • Library – 2
  • Students – 9
  • Staff – 10