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AU’s learning management system to be put out to tender

As required by the public procurement rules for the Danish public sector, Aarhus University will soon invite tenders for the university’s learning management system (LMS), currently Blackboard.

After the expiration of AU’s contract with the supplier of Blackboard, the LMS system currently in place, the university’s LMS system will be put out to tender.

The tender is required by law, and the Education Committee has now agreed on the overall framework for the process, which will be headed by AU Student Administration and Services. The first step is the preparation of the tender documents, and Deputy Director Kristian Thorn stresses that the feedback received from employees and students about the existing LMS will be incorporated into the material.

“We now have an occasion to take a close look at the technological framework for our teaching activities, and the user perspective must be central in the specification of requirements. To ensure this, we will involve teaching staff and students in the development of the tender documents,” says Thorn.

An LMS system is a shared teaching tool and virtual learning environment which functions to support and improve communication and collaboration between teachers and students and between students.

Some of the features that will be in focus are user-friendliness, quality and the system’s ability to support the targets in the university’s EDU IT initiative.


The procurement process in brief

  • The tender documents will be completed by October 2018.
  • The tender documents will be published in October 2018, after which a prequalification of eligible suppliers will take place.
  • In November, the suppliers to participate in the tender will be selected, and they will submit their tenders in January 2019.
  • The tenders will then be evaluated, and individual negotiations with the participating suppliers will take place before the final tenders are submitted in March 2019.
  • The winning supplier is expected to be selected in mid-June 2019.


The organisation of the process

In addition to a working group, a steering committee and a reference group have been appointed, with representatives from the university’s teaching development centres, the EDU IT hub, AU IT and AU Student Administration and Services. Academic staff and students will be involved through focus groups, with a focus on user-friendliness and the need for functionality.

AU Student Administration and Services has overall responsibility for the tender process, with reference to the Education Committee.