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University of Pennsylvania Unifies Learning Management System Deployment

The University of Pennsylvania has launched an effort to unify its four undergraduate schools and 12 graduate and professional schools under one campus-wide learning management system (LMS).

The institution chose Canvas by Instructure for implementation as its universal LMS, according to a release, after test deployments in the Penn Libraries, the Graduate School of Education, the Penn Law School, and the Wharton School.

"Penn has a longstanding commitment to new educational technologies for our students and faculty," said Andrew Binns, Penn's vice provost for education, in a release. "We selected Canvas because it offers flexibility for this wide range of schools and interdisciplinary programs on our campus."

More than a year ago, the university's Council of Deans tasked a committee with evaluating the possibility of unifying its schools under one LMS. Canvas was chosen for implementation after positive reviews of the platform and its teaching tools by professors over the past year.

"Canvas effortlessly mixes video, images, texts, and hyperlinks," said Carolyn Marvin, Francis Yates Professor at Penn, in a prepared statement. "Canvas is an easier space to navigate, and it's prettier. I think it made the course richer and better for students, and I found it much more convenient for creating and mounting course materials."

Instructors who choose to move quickly can begin using Canvas for their courses as soon as fall term of 2013, according to a release, with full implementation of the LMS to be achieved by the summer of 2014.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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