Workshop 8: Selecting and Implementing a new Learning Management System: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Patrick Devey, Algonquin College, Canada
Thursday, October 18 10:15 AM-12:45 PM
Location: Las Vegas Ballroom 2
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Abstract: This session will recount a College’s two-year journey to select and implement a new Learning Management System (LMS). This project included migrating over 40,000 courses from multiple systems
onto a single platform over a 6-month period. Participants will be provided with several resources that they can reuse or adapt.
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Explain the process for selecting a Learning Management System (LMS)
Design tools to assess stakeholder needs
Differentiate between functional and technical criteria
Recognize the main components of a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Diagram a project plan for the selection and implementation of a LMS
Formulate selection criteria to evaluate the LMS
Discuss the importance of a communication plan
Use change management techniques to implement the new LMS
After months of complaints and connectivity issues with the current system, your president has declared
that a new Learning Management System (LMS) will be selected and implemented in your organization
within 2 years. Assuming that resources will be made available to support this project, and given the
timeline provided, this promise seems quite achievable. But hang on…
This project would involve migrating over 36,000 courses currently hosted on six different platforms
onto the same solution. It would also require training for over 20,000 learners and 1,500 employees,
integrate with core organizational systems (e.g., Student Information System), and it must adhere to
strict procurement guidelines given that this is a public educational institution that is funded by the
Despite the fact that the selection and implementation of software follows a logical, systematic process,
picking an LMS poses several unique challenges in post-secondary institutions. Considering the diversity
of the stakeholders, the existing infrastructure, and the organizational culture, the success of the LMS
project depends on the team’s ability to properly capture and respond to the needs of all major
stakeholders within their unique environments.
This workshop is intended to guide and inform individuals who are about to embark on their own LMS
journey. It will leverage the lessons learned from the aforementioned project, share best practices from
the industry, foster the exchange of your stories, as well as share templates and guides to use in your
own LMS selection and implementation projects.
Previous experience with a Learning Management System (as an instructor, student, or manager) is an
asset, but not a requirement.
Dr. Patrick Devey is Dean of the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning at Algonquin College (Ottawa, Canada). At Algonquin, Patrick oversees a team of over 30 employees and 150 online course facilitators who deliver over 100 online programs and 1,000 online courses annually. Under his guidance, annual course enrolments have surpassed 35,000 for the first time in the College’s history this past last year. Recently he led Algonquin College’s successful transition to a new Learning Management System. Patrick has over 15 years of experience as a senior executive in digital learning in higher education and in corporate training. He earned his doctorate from Concordia University (Montréal, Canada) where he studied the retention patterns of undergraduate students in online courses using learning analytics. He is passionate about instructional design in eLearning, building and managing online learning teams, and is a fervent advocate of eLearning as a strategic priority for post-secondary institutions. He continues to design, develop, and teach online courses as a faculty member at McGill University (Montréal, Canada), and is a board member of OntarioLearn, the province of Ontario’s consortium that oversees the collaboration of its 24 colleges in sharing online curriculum and services.
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