Selection Process Involved Focus Group of Students, Staff and Faculty across Webster
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Online Learning Center have announced that Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) from Instructure, has been chosen for implementation at Webster University.
After nine months of research and evaluation, Canvas emerged as the overwhelming choice for a new platform from a focus group which spent weeks in the environment of each “finalist” vendor, performing tasks related to online teaching and learning.
The focus group, made up of faculty, students and other LMS stakeholders, participated in an assessment review with the Online Learning Center (OLC) director and staff and recommended the move to Canvas.
The evaluation of alternative LMS options began in September 2011. With the Blackboard Vista platform nearing end of life, migration to a new system was inevitable. The OLC researched the current LMS market, conducted a survey of current online students and faculty to assess the needs and wishes of the WorldClassRoom’s primary users, and provided technical and business requirements to companies whose products and services were able to meet Webster’s requirements. The information was provided to the focus group, which assessed the “finalist” vendors.
The new LMS will be piloted in 2012-13 by a variety of groups, with implementation planned for 2013-14. The Online Learning Center (OLC), Faculty Development Center (FDC), and IT Service Desk will work together to ensure a smooth transition into Canvas, including adequate training and access to reference materials prior to the start of the Summer 2013 term. Additionally, faculty and students will have the opportunity to explore the new platform through various preview events that will be introduced in the coming months.
With online courses an important and growing segment of the delivery of Webster University offerings, we look forward to the increased and improved features the new LMS will provide.
For more information and continuing updates on the WorldClassRoom transition to Canvas, please visit the OLC website at www.webster.edu/online and stay tuned!