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Announcement

LMS Review

UW's Learning Management System will be Canvas!

Following a year-long review process, the University of Wyoming has selected Canvas by Instructure learning management system (LMS) to support its instructional mission for both main campus and outreach classes. UW joins the rapidly growing number of higher education institutions who believe that Canvas possesses the design and functionality of a robust, flexible, scalable web-based online instructional system of the future. 

Decision Rationale:

  • Usability: Simplicity; integration of key features (e.g. multi-media, in-line commenting, web conferencing); clean and clear layout; consistent appearance and persistent menus across pages; user-defined communication features; true drag and drop interface. 
  • Documentation/supportt: Superior, searchable, online documentation targeting both faculty and students; rapid response from technical support.
  • Accessibility: Ease of navigation; coordination with assistive technologies (e.g. screen readers, voice to text, and voice command); clean, consistent layout.
  • Administration: Flexibility and simplicity 
  • IT: Integration with key university systems (Banner)

 

A Financially Responsible Move:

Canvas was selected on the strength of its instructional features, but the University's adoption of Canvas is also a fiscally responsible choice. Canvas’s ongoing cost is about 44% less than the current cost of eCollege, and 16% less than the second choice considered in this review. LMS costs will be funded by tuition revenue after July 2014. For the next year, the cost will be supported by funds from Academic Affairs and the Outreach School. Under the tuition funding model, all students will support the cost; under the current funding model, all LMS uses were supported by a fee paid by students in fully online courses.

 

Implementation Timeline:

Implementation of Canvas will be conducted over the 2013-2014 academic year:

  • Phase 1: Fall 2013. 
    • A small group of volunteer "early adopters" will pilot their courses on Canvas, and thoroughly test the full battery of features. 
    • System integration of Canvas with UW's Banner student information system will be developed for deployment for the spring 2014 semester.
    • Migration of courses from eCollege to Canvas will begin with courses planned for spring semester delivery on Canvas. Migration will continue through the spring semester of all courses.
  • Phase 2: Spring 2014.
    • Course shells will be delivered on Canvas, with an "opt out" option if instructors prefer to continue with eCollege for another semester. Some, but not all, fully online courses will be delivered on Canvas, with the remainder continuing for a final semester on eCollege.
  • Phase 3: Summer 2014.
    • Universal adoption. All courses delivered or supported by Canvas. eCollege/eCompanion course shells will no longer be supported. 

 

Implementation Support:

The University is fully committed to supporting not only the implementation and ongoing maintenance of its LMS system, but also the critical instructional support for faculty to effectively utilize this valuable teaching resource. Several new positions will expand instructional and technical support for faculty and students: IT will add a programmer analyst and additional Help Desk staff; to ECTL, one instructional designer and one instructional technologist double the currently limited staff; in Outreach, one instructional technologist will expand its instructional support group.

Contact your instructional support teams in ECTL and Outreach. Faculty teaching classes on the Laramie campus will be assisted by the Instructional Computing Services unit of ECTL. Faculty teaching classes through the Outreach School can contact the instructional support team of Outreach Credit Programs. An institution-wide LMS support web site will be developed to provide faculty and students support, directions, FAQs, tutorials, and every form of support that can be helpful.

 


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