Learning Management System Change Announced

The following is a copy of the first official email from your D2L to Canvas Migration Design Team.
Our campus (as well as all those within the UW Wisconsin System) is migrating from our current learning management system (D2L) to Canvas in Fall 2019.

This email is intended to provide you basic information on the migration as well as timeline and contact information. You’ll see regular (at the minimum, monthly) emails and other communication from us regarding the progress of the migration and ways you can be involved beginning in January 2018.

Why are we changing to a new learning management system?
UW – System requested proposals from companies to identify a more effective and innovative learning management system that is aligned with our 2020FWD Strategic Framework. The timing of the proposal was related to ending of the current contract with Desire2Learn. Following feedback from campuses, Canvas was chosen both because of the system and the services they offer. One of the things our design team is most excited about is the 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week support that Canvas will offer for both instructors and students.

Who is the design team for this project? What work are they doing?
Members of the design team are:

  • Co-facilitators Jim Rink, IT and Monica Roth Day, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs;
  • Harry Anderson, Dean of Students;
  • Christina Kline, Interim Director of the Distance Learning Center;
  • Representing instructors (Faculty and Academic Staff): Julie Gard, Kim Lebard-Rankila, Scott Smith, Maryjane Burdge, and Nicholle Schuelke;
  • Representing instructional design and support: Del Wright, Stacy Leno, Mike Olson, Rebecca Graetz and Tom Tu.

The work of the design team is to: 

  1. Identify policies and/or practices needed for a successful migration.
  2. Develop a communication plan with our campus, then communicate each step of the process.
  3. Identify the migration process and timeline, with a focus on the least amount of work and time for instructors.
  4. Identify necessary trainings, including online and face-to-face opportunities.

What is the timeline for the project?  Do I need to prepare now?
We will be migrating to Canvas very deliberately over the next two years, with a great deal of work done “behind the scenes” by specific staff in Information Technology. The earliest that the Canvas migration could occur is next fall (2018) with early adopters (such as graduate programs).  As an entire campus, we are planning for a full migration in Fall 2019 so that only one learning management system is used (rather than using D2l and Canvas simultaneously).  NO MIGRATIONS WILL HAPPEN NEXT SEMESTER (Spring 2018).

What does this mean to me as an instructor? How much work will I need to do?
The design team is working hard to ensure that the migration process will take as little work as possible for instructors. The migration is related to the process of using the new learning management system, not changing your course content or learning activities.  Think of it as moving to a new house – the look is different, but your furniture and household items are all the same.

What should I consider now in planning for the migration?
The design team is working with UW – System project managers and Canvas staff regarding the Canvas design (the basic tools for courses) and timeline to ensure as much as possible a successful migration. Keep an eye out beginning this spring semester for regular emails and notices regarding Canvas trainings from our design team. In addition to emails, we’ll post them in digests and on our website, https://www.uwsuper.edu/teachingtools/canvas/index.cfm. We’ll post opportunities for online and face-to-face trainings and consultations, as well as other information.

I’m nervous/worried/excited/etc and would like more info. Who should I contact?
For questions or concerns regarding this project, please feel free to contact Jim and Monica at canvas@uwsuper.edu.

The UW-System Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Course Template Design team will be visiting campus on Friday, December 8th for two course template feedback sessions.  The sessions will be in the Jim Dan Hill Library room 231 (see attached invites):

  • First session is at 10:00-11:00 AM
  • Second session is at 11:00 AM – Noon

Instructors and students are welcome to attend either of these feedback sessions.  They will be hands-on sessions, so you’ll be able to log into the UW-System Canvas testing area to see examples of what the course templates could look like and give your feedback on which you like the best.


About UW-Superior CETL

I'm part of the UW-Superior CETL Team and the site administrator for our CETL Blog. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns related to this blog. Thanks!
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