An academic-driven process is in place for LMS evaluation, decision and rollout, which will heavily involve the CTL Academic Council, the UAB Online Academic Council and the Instructional Designers Consortium. All three groups will be needed to ensure broad and deep participation throughout the UAB community in this important decision process. Sequential steps in the process are provided below:
a. Needs assessment will be conducted to poll all interested faculty, students, and instructional designers (i.e. “UAB Online stakeholders”) for features/tools that must be present in the LMS, whether the current is selected or a new one is adopted. The poll results will be posted on the UAB Online website (a special web page will be dedicated to this process and available for the entire campus to view).
b. Next, a comparative study of LMS technologies, which meet the features and functionality needs reflected by the needs assessment, will be conducted. Also, candidate systems must integrate successfully with other required UAB systems (e.g. Banner) and provide appropriate, ongoing support, both technically and functionally. A comparison chart will be published on the UAB Online website. The LMS candidate pool will be narrowed to the top 2-3 contenders, which meet the features and functionality needs of UAB Online stakeholders. The costs associated with the license and use of each of the final candidates will also be included in the comparison table.
c. Formal usability studies will then be conducted through the CTL to allow UAB Online stakeholders to score the final LMS candidates through a structured, hands-on exercise. This technique, which is used by many other large universities, will provide critical, objective data for decision-making.
d. The UAB Online Advisory Council will analyze the data from the three studies described above and then vote on a prioritization of the final LMS candidates and a recommended rollout plan. A summary report and recommendations will be generated for the Provost. She will make the final decision for LMS selection and implementation.