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Brown U Moving to Instructure LMS

Brown University will be implementing a new learning management system in the fall. The Rhode Island-based institution, which has about 8,400 students, will be replacing an implementation of Blackboard with Instructure Canvas. The decision comes after a long evaluation process that narrowed the field to Blackboard, Canvas, Sakai, and Moodle.

According to coverage in the campus newsletter, The Brown Daily Herald, some faculty members have been testing the new system in their courses, and additional instructors will pick it up for usage in the spring. The university's medical school adopted Canvas in fall 2011.

Brown will continue supporting MyCourses, its implementation of Blackboard's WebCT, through spring 2013. The vendor has notified customers that it will cease support of its legacy LMS in 2012.

Canvas has been gaining momentum since its release in 2010. Institutions that have announced adoption of the application include New Mexico State University, Auburn University, and University of Mary Washington.

The LMS includes features for grading and online testing, tracking learning outcomes and setting up rubrics, embedding rich media into courses, specifying preferences for notifications, and setting up ad hoc groups for collaboration, among others. The software is offered in two editions. Canvas CV is an open-source version for on-premises implementation. Canvas Cloud is a hosted version sold through subscription.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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