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U Central Florida Shifts LMS

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has selected a new learning management system following two semester-long pilot projects that involved 20 faculty members and nearly 900 students. The university selected Instructure Canvas based on its interface and online learning features.

The university had been using Blackboard Vista, but, after the company announced it was discontinuing support for Vista, UCF began the process of selecting a replacement LMS. The university's Center for Distributed Learning worked with faculty and students to evaluate Desire2Learn, Blackboard Learn 9.1, and Instructure Canvas.

The six-month evaluation process involved 20 faculty members and 898 students, who actively participated and provided feedback. At the end, the evaluation committee created a video about their process and recommendations.

The UCF LMS evaluation committee recommended Instructure Canvas based on the following features, according to information released by Instructure:

  • Clean, intuitive interface with drag-and-drop functionality;
  • Flexible communication and notification options for both faculty and students;
  • Speedgrader and a grade book with easy student-by-student navigation, which the committee found faster to use than other tools;
  • Easy-to-use audio and video tools for posting content and grading assignments;
  • Rapid migration tool for converting courses to Canvas;
  • Gold Star accessibility certification from the National Federation for the Blind;
  • Mobile teaching, learning, and grading apps for iOS, with Android apps to come;
  • Built-in e-portfolio for storing and organizing student content; and
  • Built-in analytics and reporting.

"Students, faculty, and staff overwhelmingly recommended Canvas," said Joel L. Hartman, vice provost and CIO at UCF.

The University of Central Florida is located just outside of downtown Orlando. It serves more than 58,000 undergraduate and graduate students at its 12 colleges and employs more than 10,000 faculty and staff.

Further information about Instructure Canvas is available at the Instructure site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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