Learning Management Systems

Virginia Tech Begins Migration to Canvas LMS

After a yearlong evaluation of learning management options, Virginia Tech is moving to Instructure's Canvas LMS. "It is the right time for a new LMS at Virginia Tech to provide faculty and students with a more modern teaching and learning experience," said Scott Midkiff, the university's vice president for information technology and chief information officer, in a press release. "We are confident that Canvas offers the university community the best path forward to a new era of innovation and engagement."

The IT department's Technology-Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) unit led the selection process, guided by input from faculty, staff, senior leadership and students. TLOS held a series of open meetings with various segments of the university community, both to inform stakeholders and to identify key considerations for the decision-making process. The team also conducted a review of peer institutions and the LMS technology landscape. During the spring 2015 semester, several faculty tested Canvas in a number of courses across the university.

"At every stage of the evaluation process, we have been impressed with Canvas' performance and ease of use," noted TLOS Executive Director Dale Pike in a statement. "Faculty and students who have used Canvas at Virginia Tech and other institutions give rave reviews as well." Some of the benefits cited: easy media integration; mobile compatibility; flexibility for large and small courses; and learning analytics to support instructors and students.

The initial conversion phase will begin over the summer, and continue into fall 2015. To allow faculty plenty of time to migrate their courses, the university's legacy LMS will remain active and fully supported until spring 2017. TLOS will provide a range of training, tutorials and support services over the coming months.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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