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LMS Study Initiative

Letting your voice be heard. Charting the next path to the Courses LMS at Pepperdine University.


The Learning Management System (LMS) Study was a University-wide initiative to measure the efficacy of and satisfaction with Courses.  While Courses remains an active and innovative platform, it is important for Pepperdine to periodically assess its learning management system.  We want to provide our students, faculty, and staff with a feature-rich solution for traditional, hybrid, and online teaching formats.  To this end, the University sought ideas to improve Courses and compare it to alternate platforms.

This IT Strategic Initiative was guided by the IT Leadership Council and the Faculty Steering Committee.  It was carried out in multiple phases (see the Timeline) and concluded ahead of schedule due to COVID-19 (see Outcomes below).


In 2011, Pepperdine University selected Courses (Sakai) as its learning management system (LMS) and the platform has served us well.  In 2018, two years prior to the July 2020 contract renewal, the TechLearn team facilitated an evaluation of the LMS market to compare options to our current solution. 


This study was conducted based upon the following goals:

  • Understand the student experience by assessing how students interact with content, resources, assignments, assessments, faculty feedback, and their peers.
  • Enhance teaching and academic rigor through exploring which tools faculty believe facilitate the highest quality of student engagement and learning.
  • Expand online learning to provide new contexts for collaboration, communication, and community.


Due to COVID-19, the LMS Study was closed earlier than originally planned. Preliminary feedback was favorable about our current platform and the community suggested ideas for improvement that will be considered after the current crisis is behind us.  The University will continue with Courses (powered by Sakai), investing in planned upgrades or enhancements over time.  As a matter of due diligence, IT plans to launch a new LMS Study in 3-5 years to confirm that the platform continues to meet University needs at that time. 


If you have any questions related to the study, please see our FAQ.