Phase 1 (July – December 2012): Needs assessment and market analysis

  • Create questionnaire/survey and other tools and methods to conduct local needs assessment: what information technologies and services, whether or not they are LMSs, are used to support education; current use of Blackboard; and faculty, student, and staff needs, desires, and aspirations
  • Develop first draft definition of functional, technical, and Dartmouth-specific requirements
  • Research peer institutions directions; hold focused conversations with peers
  • Conduct market research of learning support tools, product market shares, and vendor support offerings and structures
  • Outcome of phase 1: list of up to three finalist products that have strong potential to meet Dartmouth’s needs, the products’ associated support offerings, and implementation partners or hosting services.

Phase 2 (January – June 2013): Comparison and selection

  • Finalize definition of functional requirements
  • Finalize definition of technical (backend) and integration requirements
  • Finalize definition of other requirements (including Dartmouth’s strategic direction, financial considerations, support considerations, community of practice)
  • Draft implementation budgets
  • Request formal RFP responses from finalist vendors, their associated support partners, and implementation partners or hosting services; conduct vendor demos for finalists
  • For each finalist product, talk to 3-5 peer institutions that have implemented the product
  • Ratchet up community review, including via sandboxes, usability tests, and general community input concerning finalists
  • Make recommendation to executive sponsors.
  • Outcome of phase 2: executive sponsors select product

Phase 3 (July-December 2013): Pilot and confirmation of decision

  • Once a recommendation has been made and an LMS selected, it is critical to pilot it for a term, and with multiple courses; the pilot needs to be thorough and realistic
  • Assess pilot outcome, refine project implementation budget, detail support structure
  • Outcome of phase 3: confirmation of decision based on pilot outcome and supporting documentation