Canvas (alternative to Moodle LMS) Adoption Proposal Under Review

A collaborative proposal for the adoption of Canvas, crafted and submitted by the Curricular Technology Team, a cross-departmental and -institutional advisory group which the DLC is a member of, was recently completed, posted to the Middlebury Canvas Pilot project website, and submitted for review by senior leadership.

The Institute pilot cohort represented 25% (9 of a total 38) participating courses from across Middlebury. Institute pilot coordinators, Bob Cole and Amy Slay, sincerely appreciate the participation and feedback of the faculty from GSTILE, GSIPM, and CACS (and their nearly 120 students):

Note: The Institute adopted the open source LMS Moodle back in 2008 as a self-hosted solution when First Class, the e-mail and course folder system, was de-commissioned. This was about three years before the College transitioned to Moodle, so we have been overdue for a review. Institute participation in the pilot reflects a strategic interest and on-going effort to “sync-up” planning and improve access to Middlebury’s cyber-infrastructure platforms and resources.

Review the Recommendation

We encourage Institute community members to review the recommendation to adopt Canvas as the alternative to Moodle, the current “learning management system” (LMS) at both the undergraduate College and Institute. Download a copy of the proposal here. The recommendation includes:

  • rationale for reviewing current LMS platforms and conducting the pilot
  • background on Canvas by Instructure in higher education
  • evaluation criteria as well as faculty and student feedback survey data considered in drafting the recommendation to adopt Canvas
  • implementation and support timeline for Fall 2016 adoption based on FY17 budget approval

Recommendation at a Glance:

  • Middlebury (including undergraduate College, Institute, and Language Schools) adopt Canvas as its LMS beginning the fall term 2016
  • Implementation planning to begin March 2016, contingent on FY17 budget approval
  • Canvas course site provisioning integrated through the Course Hub (as currently configured with Moodle) beginning July 2016
  • Moodle LMS to be maintained during transition to Canvas through 2016-17 fiscal year
  • Premier Tier 1 technical support (24/7/365 anytime chat, phone, e-mail, online guides) by Instructure is included in the adoption; e.g. Instructor Guides and Student Guides
  • Moodle course content migration and faculty training beginning July 2016 supported by Middlebury Academic Technology Group (ATG) and DLC
  • Moodle decommissioning June 2017
  • As per current policy, 2 years of course content archives to be maintained to support on-going course migration from Moodle to Canvas
  • Projected Moodle archive decommissioning between June-December 2018

Questions or Comments about the Recommendation?

Please direct your additional questions or comments about the Canvas pilot to the comments field on the Canvas Pilot Project site (scroll to the bottom of the post), or via e-mail to Bob Cole, Director of the Digital Learning Commons.

Curious about Canvas LMS Features?

We encourage you to reach out to Institute faculty or DLC Staff involved in the pilot project to discuss their experience with Canvas. We expect we will coordinate some conversations about the Canvas Project once we have a stronger sense of how the recommendation is received during budget planning review. You can also learn more about Canvas features here: