6 ways LMS providers can better serve universities

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This CIO roundup is part of the "Mobility in Higher Education" survey underwritten by Sprint Higher Education Solutions and conducted by the Education Dive editorial staff.


Learning management systems have reshaped the college experience, and continue to do so with each update and new option that hits the market. Still, for every new feature, it seems that there's always another innovation in demand by faculty, staff and students.

So what do higher ed CIOs want most from their learning management system providers? Following our 2013 "Mobility in Higher Education" survey, Education Dive interviewed several higher ed CIOs at institutions ranging from four-year public and private universities to community colleges and for-profit schools. We asked them what they'd change, if anything, about their LMS provider, and this is what they had to say.


Andy Jett of Baker UniversityAndy Jett, Baker University: "We just recently moved from a generic hosted version of Moodle to a quite vibrant relationship with MoodleRooms. We feel like this change will allow us to take greater advantage of the enumerable plugins and modules that will enhance our LMS environment. But to better answer your question, I would love it if my LMS provider could help us make those transitions to the new plug ins and modules easier and more seamless. We feel strongly that MoodleRooms will be able to do a good job of that."

Joe Mildenhall GCU CIOJoe Mildenhall, Grand Canyon University: "Without doubt it would be more robust mobile access to the LMS. That solution needs to be focused on what students want to do on these devices rather than trying to deliver everything."


Stephen diFilipo of Cecil CollegeStephen diFilipo, Cecil College: "Listen to the students more. I think Blackboard does a real credible job of listening to students; they can’t steer that ship fast enough. To make the changes for the students. Although in the newest version that just came out, they’re doing a really, really good job of making Blackboard a little more social and a little more student-friendly."

Lisa Davis of Georgetown UniversityLisa Davis, Georgetown University: "Integration. Across all platforms. And giving us the ability to plug and play content on whichever platform we choose.



Fred Tarca of Quinnipiac UniversityFred Tarca, Quinnipiac University: "That’s a good question, too. I struggle with that one. There are so many things they could provide but, see, we also benefit from having Blackboard provide our e-commerce solution as well. So we do an awful lot of business with Blackboard as a company and we know them quite well and I think they know us quite well. I wish we could have continual better dialog with them with regard to our campus in particular. In some ways it may be a rather selfish statement, but you know every campus is different and has their culture and we wish we could probably have better dialog with them for them to understand us more. In general, I would say they’re a dedicated group of people that work very hard in meeting our requirements. ...Yes, we’re generally happy. The thing is, there are always going to be issues at some point with regard to the features and functions. Some folks come up with some ideas, some faculty say 'Sakai has this' or 'Canvas has that,' and we try to meet those requirements with the LMS that we have. We’re centralized here—we have a centralized organization" 

Abouelenein portraitBaz Abouelenein, Kansas City Kansas Community College: "​As I mentioned earlier, technology is constantly evolving, and in doing so, it is changing the way we do business. If I had a magic wand to change one thing, I would add a reliable biometrics-based authentication method to verify students’ identity while attending classes online. I believe this should be a basic module in all LMS solutions."



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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology Online Learning
Top image credit: Martin Dougiamas