New learning management system announced

Canvas LMS

The University has signed a contract for our new Learning Management System (LMS), called Canvas, which will be rolled out over 2017 and 2018.

Introducing Canvas

Canvas is a cloud-based LMS developed by Instructure, whose products are used by more than 2000 universities and school districts around the world. A major benefit for staff and students is that Canvas can be used readily online, on mobile and on tablet.

“Canvas is the fastest growing LMS globally with more than 18 million users. Major universities currently using Canvas include Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Yale and, in Australia, Adelaide,” said Professor Adam Bridgeman, Director of Educational Innovation in the Education Portfolio.

“We’ve been looking at a new LMS since the second part of 2016, and we conducted a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation across a range of criteria, from the very technical to the platform’s look and feel,” added Professor Bridgeman.

[The new LMS] has huge significance for our educational goals and for the student and staff experience.

“The whole University community was involved in choosing the new LMS, with staff engaged in detailed scenario testing, and students and all staff invited to participate in usability testing. Across all the criteria and all the evaluation groups, the desire for change and for a move to a cleaner and more modern interface and technology was clear.”

“We used the first part of 2017 to make this clear mandate from the University community real, and to develop an implementation approach that will ensure significant support is provided to make the transition to our new LMS truly transformative.”

Next steps

The University signed a contract with the Canvas vendor on 31 March; a significant milestone in the transition to the new LMS.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out the detailed plan for the transition and the extensive support that will be available to staff to make sure the move is both smooth and successful in delivering a transformation in our blended learning,” said Professor Bridgeman.

A targeted and relatively small set of units will move over to Canvas in Semester 2 2017, with most work concentrated around building first- year units and selected other units for delivery in Canvas in 2018.

During 2018, the transition will be completed with all other units being rebuilt so that we have a single LMS running across the University from the start of 2019.

“The reimagining of the curriculum for 2018 represents an opportunity to rethink, refresh and transform our blended learning approaches using a platform that is equipped to deliver modern designs facilitated by contemporary and future tools,” said Professor Bridgeman.

“The decision on which LMS we use to deliver the new curriculum has huge significance for our educational goals and for the student and staff experience.”

Watch a video to see Canvas from the student perspective.

This post has been re-blogged with permission from Staff News.

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