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Help us choose our new CLE to replace Blackboard Learn

19 May 2023

In August last year, our University began the process of selecting a new Central Learning Environment (CLE) to replace Blackboard Learn (which is due for renewal in 2025)

Flexible Learning

The tender for the new CLE closed on 5 May and an evaluation panel (with representation from across our University) are currently reviewing submissions. They will choose which three suppliers most meet our requirements, then it’s over to you for your input!

What will I need to do?

We’re looking for colleagues to help us test the usability and accessibility of the top three systems between 17 July and 30 August.

This can be done either at one of our designated computer clusters or on your own device and will take a total of three hours – one hour per system. You can complete this in three one-hour slots or three hours consecutively. Whatever works best for you.

We’ll ask participants to carry out a number of simple tasks on all three systems, and then feedback on the experience. We want to hear, from a wide variety of viewpoints, how engaging and intuitive each of the systems are to use.

Can I take part in my role?

We’re looking for staff from all corners of our University, and involved in all aspects of teaching, learning and student experience. Whether you interact with our current CLE on a daily basis, or have never used it before, we want to hear from you.

This is a hugely important project for our University, and a chance for you to get involved in a milestone change project, which will shape the future of learning.

As it is crucial that the new system is accessible for all, we would particularly welcome disabled and neurodivergent staff members to share their perspective – we will endeavour to make any reasonable adjustments required to support you to complete the testing.


We only have a limited number of testing profiles available, and at this stage we’re collecting expressions of interest. Later this month we will contact you again to ask some more questions about you. We will use this data to ensure our selected group of testers is representative of our staff population.

What then?

If you’re selected to take part in the testing, we’ll send over some more detailed information about what you’ll be asked to do on each system, and how to share your feedback.

We’re also asking students to test the systems over the summer – and all the feedback we receive will be used as part of a bespoke evaluation framework to identify which supplier best meets our University’s needs.

The contract will be awarded in October 2023, and the new system will be fully implemented by September 2025.

If you have any questions, please contact us at