At their October meeting, the UW System Board of Regents approved the UW System contract with Instructure for the Canvas product. On October 13, 2017, UW System signed the contract and we are officially launching the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Implementation project. Engaging with many student, instructor, and administrator stakeholders from across UW System was a key driver of the Request for Proposal (RFP) project success. Thank you to the stakeholders at each institution who have supported the DLE RFP project through participating in the Learning Environment Needs Assessment (LENA) project listening sessions, evaluating the products and providing feedback, and serving on the requirements gathering teams.
Now that the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) contract has been approved, the UW System DLE Implementation project has officially launched. James Henderson and Robert Cramer are the Executive Sponsors of this project.
Stacy Scholtka is the UW System-level Project Manager using formal project management methodology to work with the Project Managers at each UW System institution to ensure successful implementation across the UW System.
A formally structured and coordinated approach to implementing the DLE will ensure a smooth transition from the use of D2L to Canvas at your institution. Please review the UWS DLE Implementation Project website for additional background information and updates https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/.
The move to Instructure’s Canvas platform advances our 2020FWD Strategic Framework. Canvas will become the technology base to support teaching and learning, central to the educational experience of our students. It will provide a consolidated, shared cloud service that leverages the collective power of UW institutions.
What Does This Announcement Mean for Our Institution?
UW System Administration is coordinating this project which includes implementation of the following key components of the DLE:
- Instructure’s Canvas platform
- Canvas integration with institution student information systems, media management platform (currently Kaltura), and web conferencing (currently Blackboard Collaborate)
- Establishment of a UW System Canvas data warehouse
- Shared Canvas orientation resources for students and faculty
- Shared training resources for Canvas, media management, and web conferencing services
Through structured collaboration, institutions will efficiently and effectively work with UW System to support the transition process. Implementing Canvas as the “hub” of our new DLE, along with integrating media management and web conferencing technologies will ultimately support student success by providing us with many benefits including:
- Technology that is easy-to-use, stable, secure, and standardized — yet flexible. Such an environment supports improved collaboration and sharing, thereby moving forward innovation in teaching and learning, as well as fostering student engagement. The DLE allows for the transformation of teaching and learning to a more data-informed process, and support of instruction through a platform that enables engaging, accessible, intuitive, interactive, and pedagogically-sound learning experiences for students.
- Administrative benefits. Access to data also provides an ability to support reporting required in higher education for accreditation, compliance, and other administrative purposes.
- The ability for systems to be adaptive replaces the need to predict and plan within a structure of closed, tightly-knitted systems selected based on what we “think” will happen. The DLE enables us to provide our stakeholders – students, instructors, and administration – the environment needed to thrive in any future that may evolve.
To ensure a successful implementation process, please reinforce the following messaging with your campus:
- The Institution Project Manager is responsible for coordinating the implementation for your institution and should be the primary contact for questions and concerns. The Institution Project Managers will continue to collaborate with Stacy Scholtka, the UWSA Project Manager.
- Please remind your instructors to not reach out to colleagues, helpdesk, or other staff at UW-Madison in an effort to gain access to the UW-Madison Canvas environment.
- Please be aware that while Instructure’s websites may be used by your stakeholders to investigate Canvas on their own, your stakeholders should be made aware that the UW System implementation may look different than any free sites or “sandboxes.” Any courses setup using a Canvas test “sandbox” will not be migrated to the new system.
- Institutions shall not migrate or create any courses from the D2L system to a Canvas system until authorized to do so by their institution’s Project Manager.
- All inquiries from the media regarding the Instructure contract or UW Systems implementation project should be directed to the project website https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/.