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State of the Higher Education LMS Market: A Graphical View

        This article was originally posted at e-Literate

The transformation of the higher education LMS market continues, and I expect more changes over the next 2 – 3 years. However, it seems time to capture the state of the market based on changes over the past year or two.

I shared the most recent graphic summarizing the market in mid 2011. As with all previous versions, the 2005 – 2009 data points are based on the Campus Computing Project, and therefore is based on US adoption from non-profit institutions. This set of longitudinal data provides an anchor for the summary.

The most significant changes over the past two years include the following.

  • The data has been adjusted to include international usage and online programs in order to capture the rise of online programs, including MOOCs, as a driving force in the future market. Keep in mind that there is no consistent data set to capture the entire market, so treat the graphic as telling a story of the market rather than being a chart of precise data. Sources for this summary include a combination of Campus Computing reports, ITC surveys, company press releases, and extrapolations from Blackboard’s and Pearson’s quarterly earnings. Caveat emptor.
  • There is a new band / category for “homegrown systems” to account for a relatively new trend where organizations, primarily MOOCs for now, are opting to develop their own learning platform rather than adopt a pre-existing LMS.
  • Instructure has established itself as not just as a disruptive influence, but as a full-fledged competitor in the market.
  • Blackboardchanged their strategy, purchased two Moodle service providers (MoodleRooms and NetSpot), and cancelled the end-of-life for the ANGEL LMS.
  • Desire2Learn has grown much faster than has been represented by US-only data.
  • Pearson eCollege has a much stronger position when considering their market strength in the for-profit sector and with fully online programs.
  • The gray band representing pricing has been removed, due to the rise in open source alternatives and change in market pricing pressures.


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