Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet

New CLE supplier to replace Blackboard Learn in 2025 announced

02 Nov 2023

Following extensive consultation with staff and students, the Flexible Learning team can now reveal which CLE (central learning environment) system has been chosen to replace Blackboard Learn in 2025.


How did we choose a supplier?

During the summer, over 260 staff and students completed usability testing on three systems: Canvas by Instructure, Blackboard Learn Ultra, and Brightspace. In order to fully test the accessibility and user experience of each system, testers were selected from a cross-section of teams, and with a broad range of differing needs and expectations.

Since then, the CLE Evaluation Panel have been analysing the responses, alongside other data and criteria about each system’s ability to deliver across a number of key requirements.

We’re delighted to share that the system which most meets the University’s requirements is Canvas by Instructure.

What next?

Instructure have been informed that they have successfully won the contract, and we will now begin a ‘discovery phase’ – where, over the next three months, we will work with them to configure the system to our needs in a way that works for staff, students and the University as a whole.

We will make sure we use feedback generated during the various stages of consultation, including the usability testing phase – and will continue to work closely with teams from across the University to ensure the process is collaborative.

If you haven’t already, then please do sign up to our mailing list for all the latest updates on the project. We’ll also be looking for early adopters ahead of the new system being rolled out in 2025, and will keep you posted about this, alongside any other engagement opportunities.

As we move towards this transition, we will also ensure that our current system, Blackboard Learn, continues to deliver the best teaching and learning experience possible. As such, we will provide any necessary updates to Blackboard Learn, and the eLearning team will share information on these with staff where appropriate.

Have a question?

We understand this is a huge change for the University, and you may have questions for us about the supplier we have chosen, or what happens next. To answer some of the most common questions received, we have compiled an FAQ, which we encourage you to read, here.

We will also be holding an open meeting on Thursday 30 November at 12pm, hosted by Caroline Bowsher (Flexible Learning Academic Theme Lead for the Digital Learning Environment). During the open meeting Caroline will discuss the procurement further, and answer any other questions you may have.

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the process so far – staff and student engagement has been paramount in helping us identify a product which works for all.