Update: D2L Brightspace selected as next learning management system

In August 2019, Purdue’s Board of Trustees approved an agreement with Desire2Learn (D2L) for its product, Brightspace, to become the University’s next systemwide learning management system.

The switch will offer both improved functionality for students and faculty and an expected $2.3 million in savings for the university over the next five years.

D2L Brightspace was selected after a comprehensive systemwide review and case study-based request for proposal process. The yearlong review incorporated input from over 1,200 faculty, staff and students to evaluate three RFP respondents. The new learning management system will replace Blackboard Learn, Purdue’s current system, beginning in the fall of 2020. There will be no disruption to Blackboard Learn in the 2019-2020 academic year.

With the selection, Purdue's LMS Review process is complete. To learn about next steps, including the implementation plans for transitioning from Blackboard to Brightspace, visit www.purdue.edu/learning-management

An end-of-review report, providing detailed insight into the review process and the selection of D2L Brightspace can be found here


Project Overview

The roles of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in higher education, and the technology they rely on, are constantly evolving. In 2018-2019 Purdue initiated a system-wide, comprehensive review of its Learning Management System (LMS) needs, with a focus on the changing and diverse needs of the university’s courses and programs, such as large and small residential courses, online classes, and non-credit and massive open online courses.

The LMS Review, initiated by Jay Akridge, Purdue’s Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, and Gerry McCartney, Executive Vice President for Purdue Online and Oesterle Professor of Information Technology, will explore the opportunities for the entire Purdue system.


Currently, Purdue’s West Lafayette and Northwest campuses are under contract with Blackboard Learn; Purdue Fort Wayne has a separate contract with Blackboard Learn, and Purdue Global uses Brightspace Desire to Learn, also known as D2L.

Purdue has no centralized LMS for non-credit offerings and a wide variety of technologies are used at the program and course level to serve specific learning management needs. Although the University has had a long relationship with Blackboard Learn, that management system is being upgraded to Blackboard Ultra, meaning if Purdue stayed with its current LMS provider, significant changes are likely.

Purdue’s West Lafayette campus last reviewed learning management systems during the 2014-2015 school year; Purdue Global last reviewed its LMS needs in 2016. Unlike previous reviews, the current effort will not be a comparison between two competing LMS’s, but rather a comprehensive review of both the University’s needs and the options available, which have significantly changed both in scope and technology.

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