Archives For Online Learning

LMS Market Share
Source: State of Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Spring 2017 Edition

While this type of data may be useful to the newcomer to the Learning Management System (LMS) marketplace or it may even help an organization start their exploration of LMS options, to the long time LMS user this picture reminds us there really are very few options when it comes to creating online learning environments. Having used most of the major listed products I can confirm we really haven’t made much progress since those early days back in 1996-97 when the researchers at University of British Columbia (UBC) presented their groundbreaking idea for a Content/Course Management System (CMS) or what we now refer to as the LMS. I recall stating back then that the UBC system had great potential to enable us to use technology to enhance the learning…if we could focus on building learning environments, not just content delivery. I used all these LMS and a variety of institutions and have also dabbled in the “Other” or “Homegrown” space and confirm except for a very small handful of active learning innovators most institutions are using their LMS as content delivery systems. The feature lists have grown the interfaces have become more polished but we really are still just using these systems to collect, store, and deliver course content, give students online exams and provide convenient places for students to check their grades.

It also really doesn’t matter who has the biggest market share or who is growing the most because we have reached a saturation and consolidation point in the LMS industry comparable to the North American Pickup Truck market. All the LMS listed can be compared to pickups. Whether you prefer the Dodge Ram, the Ford F150, the Chevy Silverado, the Nissan Titan, or Toyota Tundra all these trucks will work great if you want to pick up and deliver stuff. Most choices are a matter of preference and personal experience with previous models. Similarly, all these LMS will work great to collect, store and deliver content…it is just a matter of familiarizing oneself with where the typical controls are located and then getting comfortable with the way the tool handles. If you want to do much more then just deliver the content you have look beyond the delivery vehicle to consider how you Create Significant Learning Environments and how you give your learners Choice Ownership and Voice through Authentic learning opportunities.

Read the full post…


Keep in mind that Blackboard (BB) growth has been through acquisitions. This has proven to be an effective strategy for BB because changing from one LMS to another is one of the most challenging IT task an institution can take on. The chart above points to % of LMS implementation and shows just how quickly Canvas has grown and continues to grow.

The chart below reveals the total market share and provides a better perspective the dominant players in this space. While BB is still the market leader their growth has almost stopped and ask Moodle and Canvas continue to grow it will more than likely be at the expense of BB market share.

If I were D2L I would be very concerned about Canvas and Moodle because D2L no longer is a compelling alternative to BB. Having worked with all these LMS at a variety of institutions I am not surprised to see Canvas grow. It really does provide a genuine alternative to the traditional LMSs BB, Moodle and D2L.

For a learning theorist and Professor there are few things more invigorating than working with a group of highly motivated learners. My long time colleague and friend Dr. Craig Montgomerie often asks me to join his online Athabasca University class MDDE 610: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications to provide his students the opportunity engage with a professional like myself who has extensive experience in promoting the use of Educational Technology.

In the MDDE webinar for November 3, 2015 titled Leading learning and technological change we focused on the most difficult challenges in any organizational change — dealing with an organization’s culture and implementing strategies that require a cultural shift. Through examining a case study of the ACU Connected Mobile Learning Initiative we explored how addressing the following four key principles increase your chances of success significantly:

  1. Start with Why
  2. Identify and engage key influencers
  3. Install an effective execution strategy
  4. Enlist and empower self-differentiated leaders

We also analyzed how ignoring even one of these principles can contribute to failure and how these principles are currently being used in the BCIT School of Health Sciences Future of Learning initiative.

Webinar slide deck – MDDE 610 Nov 2015.pdf

The following resources were mentioned or briefly discussed in the webinar and can be used to gain a deeper understanding:

The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been
This post stresses that:
If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.

People who like this stuff…like this stuff
Includes a short annotation and links the books Start with Why (Simon Sinek), Influencer, Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and Freidmen’s Failure of Nerve.

Connected The Movie by the ACU Connected Initiative
Link to the ACU Connected mobile movie that started and provided the fundamental Why or vision for Mobile Learning at ACU.

Additional resources on Change and Innovation:

The State of Online Courses [INFOGRAPHIC]
Even though the number of people who have actually built an online course is very small (14.6% – 165 out of 1128) the data does confirms one of the biggest mistake people make when building an online course or information resource. Most experts believe that people want to buy them and their expertise. This isn’t the case.

People don’t want to buy you and your knowledge, they want to buy a solution or an outcome to their problem. It’s not about you and your expertise it is about them and the solution they desire.

Give your audience what they want and they will come.


Red the full report/analysis…

The Accenture Higher Education Will Never Be the Same! The Digital Demand on Campus and Beyond survey of 1,500 students in Australia, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States found:

Eighty-five percent of high school seniors, 81 percent of higher education students and 72 percent of higher education graduates say that how well a higher education institution embraces innovation is an important factor in deciding which institution to attend.

Because Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics still control the parchment (degrees, diplomas and certification) we haven’t seen the same sort of external disruptive forces taking students away. What we are beginning to see is a shift in where students choose to attend within higher education. Institutions that have gone digital and provide fully online, well designed blended programs, or other innovative and flexible approaches to learning are drawing students who are looking for flexibility and relevance in their learning experience. The Accenture survey revealed that just over 50% of students are still considering a traditional education, so if your institutions is part of the Ivy League or other highly regarded brand then you may still have a strong draw. If you are offering the same traditional courses as your competition across town or across the state or province then you may be in trouble.

The report authors suggest that to remain competitive higher education must engage, satisfy and sustain relationships with always-on students by doing the following:

  • Delivering on-demand learning. As digital natives, students expect on-demand, self-led learning with access to content and instruction online at any time. Institutions must enable a type of learning via mobile and social tools that involve video and content curation that make learning highly engaging.
  • Working with new teaching partners. Education innovation such as on-demand learning models requires different educational delivery systems. No higher education institution will have access to a variety of models without building partnerships and strengthening its ecosystem by collaborating with other universities, the private sector and government.
  • Cultivating lifelong learning. By using digital tools, higher education institutions can extend and strengthen alumni relationships through online and on-demand learning.

This is a very positive opportunity for higher education. Institutions that are proactive and use digital technologies to enhance learning are going to find that to do this well they must focus the learners needs and create significant learning environment rather then just deliver content.

Read the full report – Higher Education Will Never Be the Same! The Digital Demand on Campus and Beyond