LMS Evaluation Committee Recommendation

On June 15th 2017 the JCCC Board of Trustees approved the recommendation from the LMS Evaluation Committee to accept a five year contract to move to Canvas for our future cloud-based Learning Management System.  The college will spend the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 content from our current D2L system to Canvas and will be providing a variety of training and consultation options for faculty.

Our current contract with D2L will not expire until June 2018 with Spring 2018 being the last semester that we will be offering courses on this system.

Reasons for Move to Canvas from members of Evaluation Committee

  • The look and feel of Canvas is modern and uncluttered.  Everything worked as we expected when testing it.  It was easy to use.  We liked the drag-and-drop approach to adding content, and the way that content added at one point (like an assignment) would automatically be added at other points in the LMS (like the calendar and the gradebook) without additional work.  There were no moments of frustration or hunting for tools buried in an obscure or hidden drop down menu (unlike the D2L grade release process).
  • The nationwide and local growth of Canvas (including K-State, Emporia State, Pittsburg State, Park University, Butler Community College and more) as an LMS since our last evaluation is impressive and shows a clear trend in the market.  The massive adoption confirms what we saw in our evaluation of Canvas, it was easy to use, intuitive, and leveraged communication tools.  Given the growth of Canvas, we think it will be the best LMS choice for students coming to JCCC, students moving on to other colleges from JCCC, and for the foreseeable LMS future.  Although it represents a change now, we believe Canvas holds out the best opportunity for long-term stability going forward.
  • Canvas was intuitive and easy to use.  We looked at the instructional videos just to get a feel for what was available for the three systems, and we found the Canvas videos to be current and helpful.  But, we did not need to consult the videos to build content in or use Canvas—the paths and procedures were obvious.  Although there will be transition costs and a learning curve for both faculty and students, we feel the clear, clean, and direct layout of Canvas will help to minimize those costs.
  • We found that the Canvas App was easy to use on mobile devices and was available at no additional cost for both students and faculty.
  • The Canvas gradebook is easy to create and use and, although we could not fully test it, the Learning Objectives seemed easy to create and integrate with the assignments.
  • Canvas includes a feature that we liked in ANGEL, the ability to put modules and content within modules into the system and set it to release to the students at a particular time on a particular date.  
  • We like all of the automatic notification options built in to Canvas to notify students of changes.  We like that it gave the student the choice of receiving notifications immediately, daily or weekly, allowing a customized experience.  Coupled with a reliable calendar and a better mobile experience, we believe that Canvas should help our students stay on track and have a better chance to succeed.