The University of Wisconsin System currently supports a common and centrally-hosted Learning Management System (LMS) utilizing the Desire2Learn (D2L) Brightspace application platform. More than 85% of the courses offered within the UW System make use of the D2L LMS environment for supporting face-to-face, blended/hybrid, and fully-online courses.  The existing contract with D2L ends in July 2018.

Based on the findings of Learn@UW Executive Committee initiatives, the Committee recommended that a formal, needs analysis process be completed in 2015 to help envision the future of the UW System Learning Environment (expanding from the traditional LMS product) as the market has evolved to include non-traditional learning management systems made up of multiple, interoperable products.

The Learning Environment Needs Analysis (LENA) project was undertaken as a continuation of a multi-year UW System effort to: 1) understand the current and future learning technology landscape, 2) uncover the wants and needs of UW System institutions with regard to academic technologies that support teaching and learning, and 3) identify gaps that exist in supporting teaching and learning through academic technology. The results of the LENA project were presented to the Learn@UW Executive Committee, along with a recommendation that the Committee charter the process for planning to move into a next generation learning environment for the UW System.  The intention was that through this process, UW System would discover potential paths forward to support such an environment.

At the conclusion of the LENA project, an ongoing effort to assess the learning environment needs of the UW System institutions continued in 2016 through the Learning Environment Requirements Gathering (LERG) project.  The requirements gathering process was instrumental in achieving two goals: 1) better understand the institutional requirements with regard to the learning technology environment as well as, 2) inform a UW System Administration (UWSA) Learning Environment Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

Through the process of the many initiatives undertaken to gather as much information as possible from thousands of constituents, including students, faculty, and staff, from all institutions within the UW System, UW System Administration is pleased to release the Digital “Learning Environment for University of Wisconsin System” RFP.  Through the issuing of the RFP, UW System is now exercising its state-approved means to solicit proposals for the purchase of new products and services when a qualitative evaluation of multiple products or services is required.

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