Post-Conference LMS Market News

Educause used to be THE EdTech conference, and the LMS market news tended to deliberately coincide with the fall event – with vendors releasing news that week. The conference competition has heated up and Educause is now one among several EdTech conferences, but it does tend to remain the premier event in North American higher ed in terms of combined exhibitor booths and marketing presence. [full-page audio link]

Having seen so many LMS vendors at #Edu22 (Instructure Canvas, Google Classroom sort of, D2L Brightspace, Anthology Learn, Open LMS, Sakai, and Cypher Learning), it is worth collecting some items in one place after the conference, organized this time around market wins of significance.

D2L: First Canvas Loss (for real this time) and Major Win at CUNY

Two years ago this month I wrote about the Alabama Community College System and a major LMS milestone.

Canvas was fully introduced to the LMS market one decade ago with the December 2010 systemwide selection by the Utah Education Network, which at the time represented more than 100,000 higher ed and 40,000 K-12 students. Since that time and until today, we have not detected a single instance of a college or university – worldwide – leaving Canvas as its primary LMS for a competitive system. 10 years and more than 1,800 institutional clients. There have been a handful of K-12 clients who have or will be migrating from Canvas to Schoology, but prior to ACCS there have been none in higher ed.

There have been sub-institutional defections, where a specific program at a Canvas school chose to go with another LMS, but nothing in higher ed for an entire institution. Subsequently, the ACCS LMS win for Blackboard was reversed, and the streak continued.

With the system-wide SUNY win by D2L Brightspace, most schools were on Blackboard, but one – SUNY Geneseo – was on Canvas. I was hesitant to declare the end of the streak last year, as campus migration to the new system LMS (called a Digital Learning Environment, or DLE) was not technically mandatory. 1 This fall, however, I do feel confident based on SUNY Geneseo’s public documentation of their migration from Canvas to Brightspace that began in September.

There was much bigger news of D2L Brightspace migrations to consider than Geneseo, as the City University of New York (CUNY) and its ~275,000 students are also migrating from Blackboard to Brightspace. CUNY’s usage is much more centralized than SUNY’s, without an opt-in at the campus level, and D2L won over Instructure Canvas and Anthology (Bb) Learn.

To be precise, CUNY’s evaluation team has chose D2L Brightspace, and the CUNY board was ask to validate the decision. I am not sure if the contract signing has occured yet. From the August board meeting (page 20 of this document):

RESOLVED, That the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York(”theBoard of Trustees”) authorize the General Counsel or his designee, and that they hereby are, and each of them hereby is, authorized to execute, seal, and deliver a contract with D2L Corporation to provide an LMS, permitting the University to make expenditures and purchases under said contract not to exceed $11,608,041.39 for an initial five (5) year term, and a not to exceed amount of $14,273,787.78 for an additional five (5) year renewal option, to be exercised at the sole discretion of the University, for a total not to exceed amount for the 10 year period of $25,881,829.17 . . .

It is worth pointing out that D2L Brightspace is now beating Canvas (for the first time) in new implementations in both North America and Europe over the past year. And next year will look good for them as well with the CUNY win. Below is a combined view for North American and European Higher Ed new implementations per year, based on LISTedTECH data.

Higher Ed LMS implementations per year, North America and Europe combined

Instructure Canvas: K-12 Market Leader and ASU “100 Million Learners” Platform

While we’re on the topic of LISTedTECH, they recently published an update to their K-12 LMS market data, and Canvas is now the market leader in North America (US and Canada) based on both district counts and scaled by enrollment. For subscribers of the MindWires Market Analysis service, note that this data is updated from our summer K-12 report.

Oct 2022 update on LMS market share for North American K-12 districts

The other big news for Canvas is that it is now the LMS underlying the “100 Million Learners” initiative at ASU.

Instructure, the maker of Canvas, has partnered with Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird) at Arizona State University (ASU), to provide a platform for the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. This ambitious program is powered by the Canvas Learning Management System and aims to offer quality online education from world-class accredited institutions in 40 languages to learners across the globe. The courses will be provided at no cost to the learner with women and girls accounting for 70 percent of enrollment worldwide.

Canvas is already the ASU primary LMS, but the global initiative is run independently. I have written critically about the initiative’s claims (hence the scare quotes above), but this is a big win.

By the way, Instructure’s and D2L’s fortunes in financial markets (they are both publicly traded) do not track these big wins. That is not the focus of this blog but probably worth mentioning.

Open LMS

Rounding out the #Edu22 / not #Edu22 news, it is now public that Open LMS, in a partnership with Seidor, has won the UNED LMS evaluation to replace a self-hosted Moodle solution solution based on dotLRN. UNED is the national distance education public university in Spain.

The [Seidor] technology consultancy has recently launched the Ágora virtual educational platform, a cloud solution developed with Open LMS technology, which is being progressively implemented at the UNED and will allow active, adaptive and personalized learning for up to 200,000 students in October 2023, scheduled date for full activation

Open LMS is the former Moodlerooms, which left the Moodle Certified Partner program while under Blackboard ownership. It is based on Moodle, but Open LMS cannot use that trademarked name.

Update 11/8: Corrected that UNED was not a Moodle to Moodle migration through Open LMS, but rather a migration from aLF, which I believe is based on dotLRN.

1 That, and the stubborn refusal for anyone at SUNY to speak publicly on the migration plans, and I just didn’t have enough independent corroboration to justify a post.