Announcing LMS Demo Week

Should Ryerson replace Blackboard? If we do, what should we replace it with?

We invite everyone in the Ryerson Community to join us for a series of learning management system (LMS) demonstrations from April 2nd – 9th. We are calling it LMS Demo Week and it is your chance to see how some of the competition stacks up against Blackboard. We have scheduled demonstrations from Desire2Learn, Blackboard (a new upcoming release), OpenClass by Pearson, Canvas by Instructure as well as demonstrations of Sakai and Moodle. The format will be 1 hour of live demonstrations followed by 30 minutes for audience Q&A. The focus is on seeing how each system helps to facilitate learning and teaching.

We have also scheduled special presentations featuring guest faculty and staff who will discuss their experiences using various LMS solutions at their Universities. Whenever possible we plan to record the demonstrations and make them available on this site later.

These events are part of the Learning and Teaching Systems and Services consultation process. For more information on the consultation please visit:

We welcome your comments and suggestions.

The complete demo week schedule is below.  We encourage you to drop in and see as many demos as you’d like, but in order to get a sense of community interest, we would appreciate if you could take a few moments to register for the events you plan to attend:

Register for upcoming LMS demos

LMS Demo Week Schedule:

Tuesday, April 2 in TRS 3-119

Wednesday, April 3 in TRS 3-119

Thursday, April 4 in TRS 3-119

Friday, April 5 in TRS 3-119

Tuesday, April 9 in TRS 3-119

We plan to stream as many of these events as possible. The current live stream schedule is available here:

ASL interpreters have been scheduled for all but the last presentation.  We are attempting to work around a scheduling problem but cannot promise an ASL interpreter will be available for the last presentation. You will not be able to see the ASL interpreter in the live video. However, recorded video will be captioned and posted on

Please note: the Digital Media Projects office’s Wed. April 3rd walk-in clinic for Blackboard and Google have been cancelled.

22 thoughts on “Announcing LMS Demo Week

  1. Please record the event and post it online.

    Maybe you can have a condensed version of each demonstration (let say 4~5 min out of each LMS) and then create a video of all in one.

    Not everyone will have the time to attend or watch all the 30 min presentation a short summery of all makes it possible for more people to view the products and comment

  2. Have you given any consideration to methods to enable distance students to participate? I am interested but unable to come to Toronto.

    • I like consultations. To make that effective, we should start by identifying criteria. We need to understand and to express what we are aiming for. What’s important for us, as users? What do we use the LMS for? What we’d like to use it for (new features)? What are the features we can not live without?…

    • Hi Anthony,

      I don’t think there will be a vote that directly determines what system is selected. That’s partly because of Ontario public sector procurement rules that require a request for proposal or similar process. However, there will be a survey where you can tell us about your needs and, I hope, your preferences. The survey has not been designed yet.

      Ultimately, its up to the Advisory Committee on Academic Computing to make a recommendation based on the consultation process.

      Aside from attending the demo week events and commenting here you can also write directly to
      Yours truly,

  3. Blackboard is severely underused. It has a myriad of features which very few professors have incorporated into their classes, and which most professors seem largely unaware of. For instance, facebook groups are often used despite the fact that blackboard has its own built in groups, message boards, etc.

    I’m skeptical that changing the system will improve anything.

    • I think you may have hit on an excellent question to ask faculty in a survey. “Do you avoid using the Blackboard discussion system because it is hard to use?” Or something like that. I have heard from instructors that they use Facebook instead of BB because they find the current release of BB painful to use.

  4. I’m a Chang School instructor and last night one of my students made the point that none of these demo times are feasible for most Chang School students. The Chang School of Continuing Education makes up a substantial part of Ryerson’s student body, but probably two-thirds of these students work full-time day jobs, so are not available to attend daytime demos. Is there any possibility of evening demos and/or online demos so that this part of Ryerson’s population has equal access?

  5. I’m a Ryerson Alumni as a graduate from the ITM Program, and currently working at my second eLearning vendor.

    In my experience with LMS software, Moodle hasn’t been the best of solutions, but it very much depends on what things you’re asking of it. There are a lot of parameters that will work well out of the box, but customization can be issue. That being said, Desire2Learn has a lot of exposure to University systems since they provide solutions to Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Guelph already.

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