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LMS Update

September 17, 2012
BTC will begin its transition to Canvas during 2012-13 with full implementation complete in Spring 2014.  Training, workshops and demonstrations will be available throughout the year from the eLearning department.  Instructors can get a Free For Teachers site by visiting the Canvas website.  Students will also receive training through workshops, webinars and classroom demonstrations.  An online training has been developed by the State Board and eLearning will be designing their own, customized to BTC's needs.  Finally, summer 2013 will see the first Canvas course offerings.  This will allow instructors ample time to develop content and practice using the system.  At this time, 26 other community colleges are moving to Canvas along with some of the larger universities.  We will be looking to these early adopters for resolution to known problems and future development.

May 14, 2012
By now, you know that the State Board selected Canvas to replace Angel.  However, BTC has not committed to moving to Canvas since we are also looking at a Moodle option as well.  Several summer pilots will provide us with feedback.  A decision will likely be made by Fall 2012.

At the State level, SBCTC will be piloting Canvas with 5 early adopting colleges.  Specific criteria have been established to determine who is an "early adopter."  It is unlikely that any college will be fully implementing Canvas until Winter quarter, with the exception of those college who are hosting Canvas themselves.  Should BTC decide to go with the State solution, we would likely not be moving prior to Fall 2013.  Our Angel contract will remain in place until 2014.

March 12, 2012

Three learning management systems were selected by a committee of State Board members and eLearning Directors to replace the, soon to be deceased, Angel LMS.  The State contract ends July 30, 2014, but the system to replace Angel will not be fully operational until probably December.  On March 29, the committee hopes to have selected a winner who will then being negotiations with the State.  Negotiations are expected to result in a contract in June.  At that point, integrating the numerous systems that are in place will begin.  Hence the December projection.

This means that BTC will continue using Angel for some time to come.  There's no rush to jump into the next system and eLearning is looking at all the options, including non-State associated alternatives.  On March 9, BTC held preliminary conversations with representatives of Skagit Valley College and Whatcom Community College in an attempt to better understand the LMS landscape.  Currently, Skagit operates it's own Moodle system, while Whatcom maintains a dual system, Angel and Moodle.  eLearning is looking into the potential for a shared system which could leverage the strengths of all three colleges in delivering a stable, long term solution to the LMS debate.

Critical questions remain and eLearning is looking forward to hearing from you.  Got a comment?  Please contact eLearning Director, Michael Arnold at marnold@btc.ctc.edu. 

January 4, 2012

Choosing an LMS is no simple task.  Above all the fluff and gadgets, student learning and ease-of-use needs to be the center of attention.  However, faculty need to be given the proper flexibility and tool sets to provide optimal learning environments.  Thus, a delicate balance must be struck as an LMS will likely not be all things to all people.

There are a number of potential vendors submitting to the RFP process (request-for-proposals).  They include the following vendors:

Apollo Education FlexTraining Raptivity
BlackboardInstructure rSmart
Bluedrop Performance LearningLoudCloudSuccessFactor
Cornerstone OnDemandMoodleroomsThe Learning House
CampusCruiserNIXTY The Longsight Group
Creative Logic Solutions OpenClass Unicon
Desire2Learn Pearson (LearningStudio)  Ziiva

During phase 1 of the process, all vendors must address specific questions from the committee.  The deadline for vendor proposals is January 26, 2012.  The review committee contains members of the State Board, E-Learning Council and selected faculty members who will reduce the larger roster to 3-4 candidates. The committee's initial review of the proposals will include questions covering these major topics:
  1. Discussion Boards and Forums
  2. Gradebook
  3. Assessment of Student Learning
  4. Communication and Notification Tools
  5. System, Course and Student Level Reporting Tools
  6. Integration with Mobile Devices
  7. Accessibility
  8. Multimedia Content
  9. Student Collaboration and Networking
Once the field of potential vendors has been narrowed, vendors will provide "sandboxes" with which colleges can experiment.  The level of functionality has yet to be determined.  Faculty from BTC, and all other participating colleges, will have input on the 3-4 options from February through March.  The State Board will be offering all colleges a small pool of funds for faculty review stipends.  More on that coming soon. 

The winning vendor will be contacted on March 29, 2012 with a contact agreement is expected by July 1, 2012.  Of course, as with all processes, this timeline is subject to revision. 

Presently, the State Board will maintain its contract with Angel/Blackboard through June 30, 2014.  The process of migrating courses will be arranged with the vendor and the State Board will facilitate the transition.  BTC will have input on when our particular migration occurs, but that information is not available at this time.

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