The University of Findlay has selected Canvas as its next Learning Management System (LMS), replacing Blackboard over a one-year migration period beginning Summer 2018.
Earlier this year, a team of faculty, staff, and students were brought together to examine whether or not Blackboard continued to meet our needs as an institution. The goal of the LMS Review Project was to determine which LMS provides the most pedagogical value, addresses support issues, offers dependable long-term solutions, and aligns with financial goals. Three products were evaluated: Blackboard, Canvas, and Brightspace. Canvas was chosen for a full semester pilot. Our research and feedback from pilot participants indicate that Canvas will meet, and in many ways exceed, our criteria for an innovative, student-centered learning platform. Benefits of switching to Canvas include:
Improved user experience overall; more efficient communication, video creation, and content sharing tools
Functional and fast mobile capabilities and innovative teaching tools (SpeedGrader, Arc, Commons)
An open, scalable, and easier to manage system; no planned outages and full access to data
A company that is dependable, stable, and committed to product improvement; 100% retention rate with an active user community; rapid growth in K-12 and HigherEd
We outlined a general migration plan to coincide with the duration of our current Blackboard contract. In addition, we plan to work closely with Deans and Program leads to create specific migration schedules to fit their needs.
Summer 2018 - Mass data migration; begin first round of course cleanup and development for Fall 2018 delivery
Fall 2018 - 50-60% of courses delivered in Canvas; continue with next round of course cleanup/development
Spring 2019 - 80-100% of courses delivered in Canvas; all remaining courses prepped for Summer 2019 delivery
Summer 2019 - All courses fully migrated and taught in Canvas; last chance to backup Blackboard courses
Blackboard contract ends August 31, 2019
Training and course development opportunities will start immediately, online and on campus. ATS liaisons will be reaching out to each college to set up group training sessions, and Carolyn Kraut is available for 1-on-1 and small group course development workshops. We also plan to have a Canvas representative on campus in August. Exact dates for all training opportunities will be made available shortly. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the support resources that will be offered during this time so you are well prepared for the full transition to Canvas by Fall 2019.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding this transition. I speak on behalf of the members of the task force when I say a heartfelt thank you to the campus community for all of the effort and input you provided throughout this review. Your insights and opinions helped our group make the decision to migrate from Blackboard to Canvas, and for that, we are incredibly appreciative.
C. Damon Osborne, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Interim Dean for the College of Business