In Fall of 2015, ITS and Faculty Development launched a Learning Management System (LMS) evaluation project. The goal was to identify the university's current LMS needs and identify viable alternatives to BlackBoard that might better serve the teaching and learning goals of the university.
Market research during that semester identified four options: BlackBoard, Canvas, Moodle, and Desire2Learn. These vendors were invited to on-campus demonstrations during Spring of 2016, and evaluation data was gathered from faculty through the use of electronic surveys. The faculty survey results suggested the following points:
- A significant majority felt that BlackBoard was hindering their ability to teach effectively.
- BlackBoard was not held in high regard.
- Interest was expressed in the Canvas LMS.
Vendors were invited to campus to demo their product in the spring. After reviewing university needs and survey results, it was decided that the Canvas LMS was the best option.
Faculty were invited, via email or through personal invitation, to teach a course in Canvas during the Spring 2017 semester.
A kick-off event was held in December 2016 at the St. Paul campus to discuss the trial requirements and demo Canvas to the faculty participants.
We have about 25 full-time faculty committed to teaching their courses in Canvas for the spring. Survey data will be gathered from both students and faculty at the end of the trial period.