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Digital Learning Technologies Committee

by Denise Runge  |   

Dear UAA Community Members,

I am writing to update you on plans for determining UAA’s next Learning Management System (LMS). UAA has been using Blackboard Learn as its primary LMS as part of a statewide contract since 2003. Our current contract with Blackboard ends on June 30, 2023. Therefore, I have appointed a Digital Learning Technologies Committee (DLTC) to evaluate and make  a recommendation as to whether UAA should select Blackboard Learn Ultra or Canvas for its next LMS. Either choice will represent a change and learning curve for faculty, staff, and students. Therefore, I plan to make a decision about the new LMS by the end of the Spring 2022 semester, allowing a 15-month period in which to phase in either Blackboard Learn Ultra or Canvas in a supportive, training-rich environment.

The DLTC, composed of faculty, staff and students from across UAA’s campuses, has been asked to provide a recommendation to me no later than April 1, 2022 which takes into account at least the following factors:

  1. requirements for faculty transition to each LMS (Blackboard Learn Ultra and Canvas),
  2. requirements for IT and other support services to facilitate the transition to each LMS,
  3. overall costs of the transition to each LMS, including contract fees and indirect costs (e.g., staff support, training, faculty compensation for transition work, etc.),
  4. feasibility of the transition to each LMS, given available support services/resources,
  5. availability of embedded or add-on platforms to support related needs in each LMS, such as test proctoring, non-credit course registration, E-portfolio use, student success alerts and data tracking, etc

The DLTC will develop and use clear criteria for LMS comparison, gather feedback from all stakeholder groups (students, staff, and faculty), and provide transparency and communication with the larger UAA community throughout the evaluation process. Here is an evolving outline of the DLT work that will take place over the four months. The UAA community will be kept informed in several ways, including regular updates from the Provost’s Office and a webpage that chronicles the DLTC work.

I know that the choice of an LMS has important implications for teaching and learning and promise to keep you informed throughout the year. Please reach out to either Claudia Lampman (cblampman@alaska.edu) or Kathrynn Hollis-Buchanan (khollisbuchanan@alaska.edu) Co-chairs of the DLTC with any questions. 

 

Wishing you all the best,

Denise Runge, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs