OU’s Survey and Pilot Reports

Rise of Mobile

OU Digital Initiative Student Survey (Spring 2013) found that:

  • 87% of OU students owned Smart Phones, 41% tablets
  • 80% wanted to access Learning Management System
  • 75% wanted to check grades
  • 97% reported that the LMS was important to their academic success

Lead to the question: Could we find an LMS that could increase Grades usage and provide a Mobile experience for students?

OU Digital Initiative Student Survey – Download Infographic

One University Student Technology Survey –  Download Infographic


OU 2013 CMS Faculty Survey


In Spring 2013, OU Advisory Committee on Course Management System led by Dr. Mark Morvant, Executive Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, formed a sub-committee to design a survey to collect faculty feedback on Desire2Learn. In November 2013, the survey was sent to 1,882 faculty and instructors.

  • 46% response rate, 859 respondents completed the survey
  • 65% respondents reported using D2L for more than uploading their syllabi
  • Over 60% of respondents reported using Content, Grades, and Roster
  • D2L overall and some features in particular, such as grade book, are very hard to use.
  • Faculty expressed a strong preference for no upgrades and a need for effective training and support

Faculty Survey Report on Desire2Learn –  Download Report


Pilot, Usage Testing, and Roadshow


In Spring 2014, Canvas and Schoology were piloted along side an enhanced instance of D2L. Since the Features were in the current instance of D2L were not comparable to those in Canvas or Schoology, a cloud-hosted instanced with the added learning object repository and ePortfolio products were tested in the pilot, D2L+.

In addition to the ‘real-world’ pilots, IT Learning Spaces team had campus-wide “LMS Roadshow” and usage testing.  CEDaR also conducted an independent study incorporating students and instructors from the pilot courses.

  • 71 courses sections, 41 instructors, and over 2200 students were involved in the pilot
  • 68% of Students participants in the ‘LMS Roadshow’ preferred Canvas over D2L+
  • 88% of Faculty participants in the ‘LMS Roadshow’ preferred D2L+ over Canvas
  • 60% of students in the pilot preferred Canvas over current LMS


LMS Business Case (Full Report) –  Download Full Report

CEDaR Report: An Evaluation of the LMS Pilot Experience –  Download Report

D2L vs. Canvas Mobile Experience –  Download Report


Decision in Summer 2014


Although the survey indicated significant concerns with the usability of D2L, the pilot results were not as decisive between Desire2Learn and Canvas.  Students preferred Canvas, but most instructors preferred D2L.  Desire2Learn announced a name change to Brightspace in June 2014 and had voiced a desire to meet OU’s concerns with the usability of the LMS in meetings with D2L’s leadership. In addition, the Learning Management System market was in flux with new products coming on line, changes announced by Blackboard, and the Unizin collaboration announcement. Therefore, the prudent decision was to continue to use D2L (Brightspace) as the campus-wide Learning Management System for at least two more years and to re-evaluate the LMS in 2015-16.

  • Stay with D2L for 2 years (extended to Summer 2017)

  • Add top tier support package from D2L to provide 24/7 support

  • Re-evaluate the Learning Management System in 2 years, 2015-2016