In 2011, when Middlebury College adopted our previous learning management system (LMS) Moodle, we did so with the understanding that this decision would be revisited after 5 years. While relatively new at the time we adopted Moodle, Canvas emerged as a new force in the LMS field between 2011-2015, with over 1200 institutions implementing the service. Therefore, in Fall 2015, Middlebury’s Academic Technology group and the MIIS Digital Learning Commons at Monterey ran a pilot of Canvas to determine whether or not Canvas would meet Middlebury’s unique academic needs.
Based on our criteria for adoption, the service performed well, scoring 7.5 out of 10 or above in the faculty and student surveys (MCUG and MIIS) for usefulness and ease of use. In early 2016 the Library’s Curricular Technology Team formally recommended that the College adopt Canvas as our LMS beginning with the Fall 2016 semester. If you are interested in the details of the adoption proposal, they can be found here.
Thus far, in its first full year of use, the Canvas implementation has proven to be successful. It is integrated as a resource available via Course Hub (go/coursehub); we have 24/7 support from our vendor (Instructure), making help readily available to all Middlebury users, whether in Vermont or abroad; and we have an extensive locally developed help site (go/canvashelp).
If you aren’t yet familiar with Canvas, check it out, and let us know how you like it.