Learning Management System (LMS) review and selection
NEW! The Provost has endorsed the recommendation of the Learning Management System (LMS) Selection Team by selecting Canvas from Instructure as NAU’s next Learning Management System. Since August 2021, NAU students, faculty, and staff have reviewed the three candidate systems. This process included:
- Town Hall meetings with over 25 stakeholder groups to gather selection criteria
- The availability of demo and sandbox courses for students, faculty, and staff in all three candidate LMSs
- Technical and functional integration discovery and evaluation by University business and academic units
- Technical integration questionnaires with the candidate LMS vendors
- Vendor presentations to NAU leadership
- A final assessment survey made available to all students, faculty, and staff
More than 500 respondents completed the final assessment survey, with overall rankings showing Canvas as the clear frontrunner:
Next up: technical staff will begin technical integration work, training will be designed for faculty and students, and content will be migrated to Canvas with the goal of teaching for-credit courses in the new system starting in Summer, 2023. See the Implementation Timeline for details.
NAU is undergoing a review of its current Learning Management System (LMS) needs to best promote student success. This site serves as an information portal for this effort.
What? Accordion Open
What is the Learning Management System?
The LMS is perhaps the most heavily used system at the University, with Blackboard Learn (Bb Learn) being NAU’s primary LMS. From readings and discussions to online quizzing and gradebooks, the LMS is a critical piece of our student success mission and the student and faculty course-related experience for all types of courses.
Why? Accordion Closed
Why are we selecting a new LMS?
Our contract with our current LMS Blackboard Learn (Bb Learn) expires in summer 2023. With Bb Learn’s transition to Ultra demanding comparable effort to adopting a different LMS, it is the right time to review our LMS needs and how to best support student success. We are able to openly consider any LMS used at an Arizona university and select from among Bb Learn, Canvas, and D2L.
How? Accordion Closed
How will NAU come to a decision?
Knowing that the choice of an LMS underpins a great deal of what we do across the entire institution, we will ensure that the entire community of students, faculty, and staff will be engaged in developing our selection criteria, reviewing and assessing candidate systems according to these criteria, and shaping the final decision. We aim to complete the selection process and initiate implementation efforts in spring 2022.
While there are many criteria to consider, the functional requirements that support student learning and the non-functional attributes that shape the student and faculty experience will take center stage—we are confident in our technical ability to implement any of the three candidate systems that best supports these functional and non-functional needs.
When? Accordion Closed
What is the timeline for the selection?
|August 2021||• Communicate plans to campus community
• Create test environments in all three candidate LMSs
• Begin gathering selection criteria
• Consult with candidate LMS vendors to verify technical requirements
|September 2021||• Develop demo and sandbox courses in candidate LMSs
• Meet with stakeholder groups to augment selection criteria
|October 2021||• Continue to meet with stakeholder groups
• Deploy demo and sandbox courses
• Conduct open labs and demo sessions
• Develop demo and guided-activity courses in candidate LMSs
|November 2021||• Continue access to demo and sandbox courses
• Conduct open labs and demo sessions
• Continue gathering selection criteria from stakeholders
|December 2021||• Continue access to demo and sandbox courses
• Develop stakeholder evaluation instruments
|January 2022||• Deploy guided-activity evaluation courses
• Deploy stakeholder evaluation instruments
• Begin gathering evaluations of candidate LMSs
|February 2022||• Continue access to guided-activity courses
• Continue gathering evaluations of candidate LMSs
• Collate evaluations of candidate LMSs
• Update Provost on evaluation results
|March 2022||• LMS selected and announced
• Begin technical implementation and integration
• Begin content migration to next LMS
• Plan faculty training
|August 2023||Beginning Fall 2023, all courses taught in next LMS|
Who? Accordion Closed
Who is impacted, and who will be making the decision?
Most NAU students, faculty, and staff use the LMS, for academic coursework but also for professional development and training, staff certifications, and other administrative functions.
Reflecting the centrality of our LMS in the student and faculty experience, this effort will be housed in academic affairs and coordinated through the Office of the Provost in concert with a diverse leadership and coordinating group consisting of:
- Maylee Acosta, Associated Students of Northern Arizona University;
- Kara Attrep, Faculty Senate and Honors College;
- Don Carter, Academic Technology Advisory and Coordinating Council;
- John Georgas, Vice Provost for Academic Operations (chair);
- Rebecca Seeger, Graduate Student Government;
- Dan Stoffel, Information Technology Services;
- Gayla Stoner, Vice Provost and Dean for Online and Innovative Educational Initiatives
While all students, faculty, and staff will have opportunities to engage in this selection process, we will also work closely with key stakeholder groups, including:
- Faculty Senate and Executive Committee
- Associated Students of NAU
- Graduate Student Government
- Academic leadership, including chairs, associate deans, and deans
- Academic Technology Advisory and Coordinating Council
- Teaching Academy
- Curriculum and Assessment
- Personalized Learning and NAU Online
- Continuing Education
- Lumberjack Math Center
- Professional Education Programs
- Student Life
- Career Development
- Center for International Education
- Disability Resources
- Human Resources
- Risk Management