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Learning Management System Shift

The University of Montana

About the LMS Shift

UMOnline Moves To Moodle

The UM transition from Blackboard Learning Management System to Moodle, an open-source learning management system, is now under way.

All online courses in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Law and School of Business Administration are piloting the use of Moodle during spring semester 2011. To ensure an effective and timely transition a new faculty and student support system is now in place to assist users.

All remaining schools and colleges will transition to Moodle during summer 2011 and all UM courses will use Moodle by autumn semester 2011.      

Initially prompted by the state requirement to review UM’s Learning Management System, the selection of Moodle resulted from campus needs, expressed preferences for certain features by faculty and students, evidence from other institutions and input from affiliate campuses and the Montana Digital Academy, who are also moving to Moodle.  For more background information on the transition, visit the Learning Management System shift website at


The needs of the campuses, expressed preferences for certain affordances by faculty, and the evidence from other institutions strongly support a move to Moodle. Furthermore, through a comprehensive RFP process, Moodlerooms was identified as having the most comprehensive and most cost-effective LMS solution. The contract received its final required signature on 14 July 2010.  This contract covers all four campuses of The University of Montana in addition to the Montana Digital Academy. The initial contract included a full-featured LMS based on Moodle and comprehensive hosting, migration, and support services, including front-line 24x7 user support.

For more details on the evaluation process, findings, and recommendations from the LMS committee, see the Timeline section of this site.

Faculty Support

The Instructional Design and Development Team, in conjunction with the Learning Management System Advisory Committee and student assistants, will be actively engaged throughout the semester in helping faculty design and build their courses. Training and support will be offered in the following areas: Co-Builds (one-on-one sessions with assistants to help instructors create their courses), Workshops, Online Tutorials, Tip Sheets, and Step-by-Step Video Guides. Support is available through the UMOnline support portal at  For more information, please contact your representative serving on the LMS Advisory Committee:

  • College of Arts and Sciences: Charles Exley and Jesse Munro.
  • College of Forestry and Conservation: To be determined.
  • School of Law: Stacey Gordon.
  • School of Business Administration: David Firth.
  • College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences: Danielle Wozniak.
  • College of Technology: Linda Eagleheart.
  • College of Education and Human Sciences: Lisa Blank.
  • School of Journalism: Ray Fanning.
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts: Rick Hughes, chair of the advisory committee.

Student Support

Students can access technical support through the UMOnline support portal at or they may contact the Help Desk at 406-243-4999.

An introductory self-paced tutorial, UMOnline 101 for Students, is also available. UMOnline 101 provides an orientation to Moodle and practical tips for using the new Learning Management System. A certificate of completion is issued upon successful completion of the tutorial.

For students in need of in-depth support, a two-credit online course, C&I 195 Exploration of Online Learning, provides guided work in Moodle and strategies for working effectively in an online environment. This eight-week course is offered twice a semester. Registration is available through Cyberbear.

Additional Information

To login to Moodle and access resources related to the transition, please visit:

For questions regarding the transition to Moodle, e-mail Robert Squires, Interim Director of Instructional Design and Technology Support, UMOnline, School of Extended and Lifelong Learning.

For questions regarding faculty and student support, e-mail Marlene Zentz or Nancy Clouse, Instructional Designers, UMOnline, School of Extended and Lifelong Learning.

Staying Informed

This will be a substantial and highly complex undertaking, requiring significant coordination and communication. This website is one part of this strategy, and will provide a clearing house of information and resources related to the University's LMS transition. Updates will be frequent, so check back often and/or subscribe to our listserv.

Extended Learning Services


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