Author: tfreeman

Canvas Selected as our next LMS

LMS Selection Report and Announcement (PDF)

Results tabulated from students and faculty involved in pilot testing has shown Canvas to be the highest rated/most preferred LMS. A contract has been signed with the creators of Canvas, Instructure, Inc. The timeline has since been revised with the goal of moving all courses to Canvas and discontinuing use of Blackboard CE8 by May 9, 2011. Both LMSs will be available for teaching and testing during Spring Semester 2011. All Spring Semester 2011 courses will be automatically created in both Blackboard CE8 and Canvas complete with student enrollments, allowing instructors to teach using either LMS. All old courses from the Blackboard CE8 system will also be migrated in bulk to the Canvas system.

LMS Search Committee & Faculty Pilot Testers approve Final Phase Timeline

A majority of the LMS Search Committee members and Faculty Pilot Testers have responded to a request to approve the Timeline for the final phase of migration to a new LMS.  All who did respond approved the proposed timeline.

Timeline for the final phase of migration to a new LMS:

Semester Action
End of Fall 2011
  • Complete Pilot Testing.
  • Collect Feedback/Data.
  • Begin tabulating data.
Beginning of Spring 2012
  • Complete tabulation of data.
  • Make Final Recommendation to Senior Leadership.
  • Make any arrangements, conduct any negotiations, perform any work on our I.T. infrastructure, etc., necessary to begin implementation of the new LMS chosen by senior leadership.
Spring 2012
  • Begin training on new LMS.
  • Perform early migration of courses & course content from old LMS to new.
  • Continue teaching some courses out of new LMS: all pilot testers and those who may have volunteered.
Summer 2012
  • Continue training on new LMS.
  • Perform more migration of courses & course content from old LMS to new.
  • Have selected courses taught officially using new LMS while still maintaining access to current Bb/WebCT LMS.
  • Move selected departments or groups of users onto new LMS
Fall 2012
  • Continue and complete training on new LMS.
  • Perform more migration of courses & course content from old LMS to new, completing all migration of content by semester’s end.
  • Have most courses taught officially using new LMS while still maintaining access to current Bb/WebCT LMS for a limited number of users.
Spring 2013
  • All courses in new LMS

(Note: If  Fall 2012 ends up not being needed for training and migration then the schedule could theoretically be moved up)

Track A feedback on Canvas, Moodle positve

The instructors who pilot tested Canvas and Moodle in Summer Track A provided informal feedback to me and all of it was overwhelmingly positive for both LMS’s.  I also got to listen to student comments about Canvas in a classroom, and was sent student feedback comments about their experiences taking a course using Moodle, and all these were overwhelmingly positive for both LMS’s as well.  A hearty thanks to our pilot testers and their students!

More faculty input is desired!

The Learning Management System (LMS) pilot group is still hoping to to engage more Faculty in the pilot and gather input from university stakeholders regarding the next LMS selection.  This is a great opportunity to find out what you like and don’t like about the potential new LMS’s, determine which one you prefer, and get your voice heard on which LMS will be chosen!

You can evaluate any of the four potential new LMS’s either informally, via teaching a class or classes using one or more them, or both.  Here are the four LMS’s being evaluated and their general overview/info. links:

MTU currently is hosting pilot test “instances” of CanvasMoodle and Blackboard Learn, and can create a course or courses for you here on those pilot test systems. To test Sakai you can get a free mySakai test account <> from rSmart. From their log in page just click on I’m a new user, sign me up!

If you want to test any of them, please contact Tom Freeman via to verify your participation in these pilots.  Please let him know:

  • the LMS or LMS’s you’d like to test
  • if you want to use one or more as your LMS for a particular course you are teaching this Fall 2011 semester, so we can assist with student enrollments and hiding your Blackboard CE8 section from you students.  (Please provide course name and CRN if you can)

Your interest in our LMS search and selection process and willingness to participate and provide input is greatly appreciated.  We will be providing all participants with a survey/form to rate the various tools and functionalities of, and provide comments about, the LMS’s they test in the near future, and the results submitted on those forms will be tabulated to guide the selection process. Every effort will also be made to collect and keep any other comments obtained for later review.  If you have questions, feel free call 487-2223 or email

Tom Freeman
Instructional Design & Online Learning
Michigan Technological University