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Stakeholder Input Drives Northern Arizona University LMS Transition

After a 10-month evaluation of LMS platforms that gathered extensive input from students, faculty and staff, Northern Arizona University is moving to Instructure's Canvas learning management system. The institution expects the migration work to be complete in time for Summer 2023 classes.

NAU created an information portal that outlines its review and selection process. Stakeholders were involved at many levels, including:

  • Town hall meetings with more than 25 stakeholder groups to gather selection criteria;
  • Demo and sandbox courses for students, faculty, and staff;
  • Technical and functional integration discovery and evaluation by business and academic units;
  • Technical integration questionnaires completed by each candidate LMS vendor;
  • Vendor presentations to university leadership; and
  • A final assessment survey of students, faculty, and staff.

"After a rigorous review process, it was clear that Canvas was the best choice with which to deliver innovative instruction, foster learning, and realize student success," said Steven Burrell, CIO of Northern Arizona University, in a statement. "Our faculty and students were unanimous in their recommendations to the provost that Canvas be implemented. With hundreds of responses from stakeholders, Canvas clearly emerged as the overall highest-rated platform as well as the leading LMS across all selection criteria."

"Platform flexibility and reliability were key considerations for NAU," noted Melissa Loble, chief customer experience officer at Instructure. "We are honored to be able to provide a consistent, intuitive experience for their community of educators and students."

Instructure and NAU will collaborate throughout the Canvas implementation, to "support the institution's focus on student learning and success and to ensure a smooth transition for students and teachers as they migrate away from the previous LMS provider," according to a news announcement. They will also design training courses for faculty and students.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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