· careful review of the materials gathered through the RFI to better understand the features and supports offered;
· comparing the features available with those most highly rated by faculty, staff and students (noted in the survey data);
· gathering information from the three vendors during the showcase, including focused questions asked during presentations and in-depth discussion between CCIT staff and each vendors’ technical experts;
· consideration of hosting issues (it is cloud-based so reduces some hardware and support needs, e.g., maintaining redundant servers);
· consideration of internal limitations, challenges, and support necessary to transition to a new LMS;
· developing several pilot courses and modules in each of the LMSs, and
· discussions with other higher education institutions using varying LMS systems. The following Colorado Institutions are using Canvas as their LMS: UC Denver, CSU Fort Collins, DU, Colorado Mountain College, Fort Lewis and Colorado College.

How was Canvas Selected?

As part of the continuing commitment to excellence and in support of Mines Strategic Plan Initiatives, over the next several months Mines will begin implementing the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). The goal is to provide an integrated system in time for early adopters to use Canvas for Spring 2017 courses. All courses will be migrated to Canvas starting Summer 2017. Training (online and face-to-face) and other support resources will be provided as part of the roll-out and transition from Blackboard. A detailed schedule will be communicated through the Daily Blast. Please note that Blackboard will not be available as a Mines resource after May 2017.

As a reminder, the following discovery, evaluation, and decision-making led us to select Canvas as our future LMS.

Periodic review and examination of our educational systems and supports is essential to keeping Mines in a position to offer the richest learning experiences for students. With this in mind, the Learning Management System (LMS) Assessment Committee was formed. The Committee completed the steps outlined below to assess the LMS needs at Mines and to develop the recommendations below. Blackboard’s “Learn” platform is the primary LMS currently utilized at Mines. 

  1. The Committee initially discussed perceptions and needs based on the members’ experiences and observations across campus.
  2. Committee members examined other LMS systems and made inquiries of other institutions about their experiences with LMS systems.
  3. The Committee conducted a survey of faculty, staff, and students to assess Mines needs and current uses of LMSs. One hundred and two (102) faculty and staff responded to the survey to identify how they currently use an LMS and what they would like to be able to use (features) as part of an LMS to enhance their work and the student experience at Mines. The survey generated a list of desired features for an LMS at Mines.
  4.  The Committee worked with procurement to issue a formal Request for Information (RFI). The Committee coordinated with the three largest (based on market share) vendors to come out for a full day each to showcase their products on campus in an open venue for faculty, staff and students. One of the sessions was targeted toward CCIT and discussed technical integration issues. Faculty, staff and student feedback was gathered from the sessions.  Two vendors replied to the RFI with full packages, Instructure (Canvas) and D2L (Brightspace). The Committee reviewed the packages and considered alignment with our identified desired features.
  5. The Committee reviewed the data gathered and met to synthesize the recommendations.
  6. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was initiated through Mines’ office of procurement. Two vendors responded to the RFP with proposals, D2L and Instructure. The committee reviewed the responses and scored the proposals. Instructure’s Canvas solution received notably higher scores than D2L’s Brightspace in most categories.

It has been determined that Canvas is the LMS platform best suited for the needs of faculty and staff at Mines. This is based on:

Canvas was the top rated choice in each of the review points above. Canvas is described by faculty at Mines as “easy to use,” “robust”, and “top-of-the-line.” 

We look forward to working together with you to provide as smooth a transition as possible. 


Your Canvas Implementation Project Sponsors

Mike Erickson                Sam Spiegel
CIO, CCIT                     Director, Trefny Center