Canvas (LMS) Learning Management System Being Piloted Fall 2015

The Institute’s current Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was adopted back in 2008 and the College adopted it in 2011. In coordination with our colleagues in Vermont, a small cohort of Institute faculty and students will be involved in a pilot and assessment of an alternative LMS to determine whether Moodle is still the best LMS to serve the growing needs of Middlebury.

This fall the Middlebury Curricular Technology Team (CTT) whose members includes staff of the Digital Learning Commons are supporting a pilot project to evaluate Canvas in order to collect feedback and contribute to a recommendation about whether we want to continue with Moodle or move to Canvas. Since its launch over 1,200 colleges, universities and school districts have adopted Canvas, including many of peer and neighboring institutions. Some of the appealing features of Canvas worth exploring include the ability to manage notifications through multiple channels (mobile devices, social media, e-mail), a calendar dashboard that works across courses, multiple modes for presenting course content, easy ways to provide feedback to student work and one button audio and video recording.

The Institute is currently represented in the pilot by four faculty, eight courses in both graduate schools, and up to 100 students. If you are interested in learning more about the Canvas LMS or the goals of the Fall 2015 pilot project please contact Bob Cole in the Digital Learning Commons at: bcole at

Additional Questions about the Pilot

What about Moodle?

Middlebury College adopted Moodle as its LMS in 2011 after a year-long evaluation ( At that time it was decided that Moodle would be used for a minimum of 5 years. At the end of the 5 years we would ask ourselves: Is Moodle still the right LMS for Middlebury? The 5 years will end in August of 2016. Depending on the outcome of the Fall 2015 evaluation, Canvas could be recommended as a replacement for Moodle as our LMS with a phased roll out in the fall of 2016.

Can Moodle content be imported into a Canvas site?

Yes, course content created in Moodle can be backed up and imported into Canvas. Learn more about what this process looks like.

What services will participating faculty receive during the pilot?

Faculty and students will have access to direct support from Canvas via phone and email. In addition, we will provide you in-person help as needed.

How do I participate in the pilot?

The pilot will be a small number of volunteers; we are limited by the number of students so we may not be able to handle all requests.

What is the commitment for faculty and students participating in the pilot?

Agree to use Canvas for the Fall 2015 semester with at least one of your courses.
Attend a kick-off meeting in mid- to late-August.
Participate in training for Canvas. 
Attend mid-semester check-in and feedback meeting.
Fill out a brief survey at the end of the semester.
Attend a meeting in December to share your experience.

Where can I learn more about Canvas?

Online resource guides to assist in exploring, learning and training others in Canvas
Self-Paced Canvas Instructor Orientation Course
Online Tour of Canvas – (16 videos / 45 mins of video)
Canvas training courses developed by schools that have adopted Canvas