For the 11th year, Client Stat has tracked and trended the Learning Management Systems (LMSs) in use by higher education institutions in the United States. Our methodology involves identifying all LMSs used at scale to actively teach courses. LMSs used by individual instructors or for individual courses, decommissioned LMSs, or LMSs clearly used for sales or demonstration purposes are removed. We use institutions with 500 student enrollments as our threshold benchmark for public reporting purposes. Schools below this size tend to vary widely in technology usage and skew results. These institutions, for example, disproportionately focus on the trades, the arts, theology, commercial truck driving, mechanical repair, or applied medical fields that don’t lend themselves well to online instructional delivery.
Post-pandemic enrollments are shifting
Each year we also update our enrollment data with the latest available from IPEDS. Within our data set, this year’s latest provisional data shows a steep drop-off in enrollments among the smallest institutions and a significant consolidation at around 500 student enrollments. Many of the smallest schools ceased operations, merged, or consolidated to survive during the pandemic.
For-profit institutions are disappearing
Besides the smallest schools, there is another segment of higher education institutions that is also collapsing – for-profit institutions. There are better sources to learn more about what is happening in this space and why, but no LMS vendor has been immune to losses in this category. Note that when these institutions shut down, the students can reappear elsewhere – for example Kaplan’s former enrollments are now incorporated into Purdue University Global’s. Ashford University is now University of Arizona Global Campus. For LMS vendors that charge per student enrollment, the loss of a for-profit institution as a customer does not necessarily mean a complete loss of the related revenue.
Canvas continues to dominate
Despite the uncertainty and changing landscape, Instructure’s Canvas continues to pick up new institutions at a consistent, steady clip. Similarly, D2L Brightspace does too even though it has slightly dipped due to the for-profit losses noted above. Blackboard Learn, Moodle, and Sakai all continue pre-existing downward trends. Of LMSs in the “Other” category, Schoology (acquired by PowerSchool) and Jenzabar’s LMS product are the most popular. No schools appear to be implementing net-new home-built or custom LMSs.
Noting that some smaller schools still do not use a LMS, Instructure Canvas continues to lead by more than double its nearest competitor by both number of institutions and enrollments. Blackboard Learn maintains second place by institutions and enrollments. D2L Brightspace continues to approach Moodle for third place by number of institutions while maintaining a healthy lead over Moodle by number of enrollments.