Product Review

Course demos:  The L21 project team invited faculty and instructional designers from peer institutions to show some of their course web sites, implemented with a variety of LMS solutions. The goal of these sessions was to experience different Learning Management Systems in a “real life” context, with an opportunity to ask questions. These sessions, held from mid-October through mid-November, were open to all Dartmouth faculty.    We appreciate the perspective from representatives of the following institutions:  Sakai   Presenter:  Duke University,Blackboard 9.1 SP8   Presenter:  University of Maine, Moodle   Presenters:  Clark University and Smith College, Canvas   Presenter:  Brown University  Desire2Learn   Presenter:  University of Wisconsin-Madison

Vendor demos:   We held brief (1 hour) vendor demos in mid-November 2012. The sessions were open to all faculty.      

Test accounts:  Would you rather try out an alternate LMS, rather than just hear about it? Here is information on how to test drive the three systems.

  • Blackboard: Blackboard makes free course web sites available to the world at large at – visit the site to sign up for a free user account and course site. This site  is currently running Blackboard 9.1 SP9 (one functional version ahead of Dartmouth). It is slated to be upgraded to SP10 on November 12. SP10 will contain many significant functional and interface enhancements and additions.
  • Canvas: Canvas allows you to register for a 3-week trial account, or to build an actual trial course in Canvas. Go to to sign up for either.
  • Desire2Learn: To sign up for a D2L trial account, fill out the form at