April 2010

Executive Summary:

Guided by an Advisory Team comprised of members representing educational, technical, and financial stewardship responsibilities across the Schools and Central Administration, University Information Technology (UIT) and the cross-organizational Learning Management System (LMS) Core Project Team facilitated a broadly participatory process to accomplish four strategic planning goals. These goals were articulated in the Tufts University LMS Project Charter, “A Next-Generation Platform for Teaching, Learning, and Collaboration,” which was endorsed in February 2009 by the project’s Executive Steering Committee and executive sponsors across the Schools:

1.     To define selection criteria based on the university’s goals and the requirements of faculty, students, and administrators.

2.     To evaluate leading LMS platforms to determine which best meets Tufts’ criteria.

3.     To articulate a robust, coordinated support model to ensure an effective migration process, as well as excellent continuing outreach, education, and service for faculty and other community members who will use the LMS to enrich their teaching, learning, and research at Tufts.

4.     To recommend a comprehensive next-generation LMS strategy for Tufts University.

Major Strategy Recommendations:

A. Implement and leverage a common LMS platform for Tufts University.

B. Embark on an open-source pathway by adopting the Sakai platform and participating actively in the associated community. We believe Sakai represents the best open-source strategy for Tufts based on maturity of platform, vibrancy of community, usability evaluation, appropriateness of architecture, compelling roadmap, and adoption across respected institutions similar to Tufts.

C. Plan and implement coordinated LMS service for all participating Schools.

D. Form a cross-organizational, cross-functional LMS Implementation Team, an LMS Steering Committee with representatives from UIT and the Schools, and an LMS Executive Committee, respectively designed to facilitate and enact implementation, to provide context and oversight to the Implementation Team, and to make appropriate and timely policy decisions as needed to expedite implementation.

E. Hire an experienced vendor to provide technical support, migration assistance, and other professional services during the transition.

F. Host the new enterprise system internally if UIT staffing resources allow.

G. Implement the new Tufts LMS service and migrate from legacy systems in three phases to facilitate continuity of service for those on end-of-life applications and to enable planning and technical migration time for unique Tufts-built functionality.

Download the full report:
Tufts University Next-Generation LMS Strategy Recommendations (April 2010)

Visit the Community Site for Tufts’ Next-Gen LMS Implementation Project: