Online Learning

State University System of Florida Standardizes Learning Management System

Colleges and universities within the State University System of Florida can now opt-in to use Instructure’s Canvas, an online learning management system (LMS), as part of the State University System’s “2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education.” The plan is “designed to enhance quality, access, and affordability of online courses and programs in state universities,” according to information released by the system.

The decision to standardize on a single platform across the university system comes after students raised concerns over the use of multiple online LMS platforms throughout courses. The State University System found that over 65 percent of students who responded to a survey had used multiple platforms in the last three years. Nearly half of those students said this created obstacles to learning. To come up with a solution, the system formed the Task Force for Postsecondary Online Education and put into play a competitive procurement process for selecting a LMS.

“Part of our role at the State University System is to look for opportunities to create a better, more streamlined educational experience for students,” said Marshall Criser III, State University System chancellor, in a prepared statement. “This step will ensure a smoother transition for students who take courses from more than one institution, minimizing interruptions in their learning.”

Canvas was selected after faculty, students and staff from all of the universities and several colleges tested and scored a variety of other LMS options. The software received the highest score in every category, from “ease of customizing curriculum” to “managing student grades” to “tracking student progress.”

“The whole purpose of Canvas is to improve the learning process for teachers and students alike,” said Mitch Benson, vice president of K-12 and higher education at Instructure, in a prepared statement.

Canvas is available now to universities and colleges within the State University System of Florida on an opt-in basis.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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