By Ashley Tabb
(June 25, 2015) — University of Kentucky Analytics and Technologies (UKAT) has reached an agreement to roll out Canvas by Instructure over the next year as the university’s new learning management system (LMS) for faculty and students.
Over the last four years, UK faculty, students and staff have provided feedback and usability preferences for a “next generation” learning management system. They worked in depth with UKAT’s e-Learning Team to review the existing and future state of the current UK LMS, Blackboard Learn, while exploring other systems through small working groups, pilots and a faculty-led LMS review committee. During a request for proposal process earlier this year, several vendors proposed systems to meet those expressed campus needs. Each of the systems considered had unique strengths, but Canvas by Instructure emerged as a proven software-as-a-service, or SaaS, system. As such, it provides seamless, continuous small upgrades over time that do not require downtime for customers and will allow UKAT to shift its focus from LMS server support, troubleshooting, and upgrade planning and implementation to faculty and student support, instructional design, and emerging teaching and learning technology needs.
What does this mean for teaching and learning at UK?
Beginning this summer, all courses have a presence available in Canvas that faculty may choose to activate for the fall semester. Faculty can choose to teach in Canvas or Blackboard for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. Blackboard will no longer be available after June 1, 2016.
Faculty opting to teach in the first cohort of Canvas users this fall are urged to contact UKAT’s eLearning team as soon as possible. Workshops, drop-in hours and individual appointments are available and may be found on the LMS transition page at http://www.uky.edu/canvas/.
UK students can review an orientation course to become familiar with Canvas’ features at https://uk.instructure.com/courses/1096339 and may contact the eLearning Team at http://www.uky.edu/elearning/whoweare regarding additional questions.