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10th Annual LMS Data Update

The fall 2022 US LMS market share data referenced in this post is available for purchase. Additionally, a complete historical data set of all LMS usage data dating back to 2013 is also available for purchase.

As we look back at 10 years of tracking LMS (Learning Management System) usage in the US, we are still impressed by the continued dynamic nature of this space – the trends, the churn, the expected and unexpected. Over this time period Blackboard Learn – once dominating almost the entire industry – has lost a third of its customers. Instructure Canvas has tripled in size during the same time – going public, being taken private, and then going public again with leadership transitions to match. Moodle’s popularity has faded with significant drama related to previous corporate partnerships. Sakai lingers. D2L Brightspace went public in Canada and is soon poised to overtake Moodle as the #3 LMS in the US (it already has by student enrollments). Almost no schools build their own LMS – and if one does, it’s built on top of another platform not their own code-base. More state and regional systems are standardizing on a single brand of LMS with fewer schools than ever running multiple LMSs.

Most LMSs are now hosted by vendors or are otherwise in the cloud, almost exclusively on Amazon Web Services. This is a notable achievement in an industry that tends to move slowly. This is true for schools both large and small. Because of this, schools are consistently running recent product versions with very few drifting gradually into unsupported status, historically a condition prompting a LMS migration.

The trends from spring to fall of 2022 remain consistent. Instructure Canvas continues to grow its commanding lead. Blackboard Learn continues to shrink in-line with historical pace. D2L Brightspace steadily grows. More Blackboard customers are choosing to use the Ultra LMS version, but net-new implementations due to LMS migration are still won predominantly by Instructure Canvas or D2L Brightspace.

line chart showing instructure with a commanding lead and blackboard losing customers

When looking at total addressable market (defined by us as institutions with 500 or more students, removing schools that have closed or merged since spring 2022), Instructure Canvas has almost double the implementations of its nearest competitor and more than double the number of students using its platform. In our opinion, the development to watch is the slow, steady, and continuing growth by D2L Brightspace.

LMS Data – Spring 2022 Updates

The spring 2022 US LMS market share data referenced in this post is available for purchase. Additionally, a complete historical data set of all LMS usage data dating back to 2013 is also available for purchase.

US higher education institutions continue to evolve and adapt their technology strategies to meet changing realities and expectations, and this is reflected in our most recent analysis of LMS usage trends. Student enrollments in some areas are beginning to recover from pandemic lows, and more institutions are offering flexibility by delivering courses in online, hybrid, and synchronous virtual modes.

The trends in LMS usage remain consistent with a few notable developments. Instructure’s Canvas increased its lead position since last fall experiencing growth from both new implementations and migrations from all other LMS platforms. Its market share is now almost double compared to Blackboard’s, the previous industry leader, and exceeds Blackboard’s all-time high. No other single LMS in US higher education has achieved this level of adoption. Blackboard’s decline appeared to slow last fall but accelerated again this spring. Despite losing institutions overall, Blackboard has attracted net-new institutions to its Ultra LMS.

Adoption of D2L’s Brightspace also increased by a noticeable amount despite a slight dip last fall. While it is already the third-most popular LMS in US higher education by number of student enrollments, it is poised to overtake Moodle by number of adopting institutions. Moodle and Sakai continue a slow, gradual decline with few-to-no new adopters. No “Other” LMS has made significant inroads, and solutions in this category continue to struggle to retain market share.