Our current Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was adopted back in 2011. Four years later we are reflecting on whether Moodle is still the best LMS to serve the growing needs of Middlebury. This fall we are doing a pilot to evaluate Canvas and determine whether we want to continue with Moodle or move to Canvas. You can learn more about Canvas and Middlebury’s evaluation by following this site – http://sites.middlebury.edu/canvas/
Since it has launched over 1,200 colleges, universities and school districts have adopted Canvas, including many of our peer and neighboring institutions, including Amherst, Williams, Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. It uses modern technology and service management, has a user-centric design, and the features that are common to an LMS are easier to find and use.
Some of the appealing features that are worth exploring are:
- the options for the course homepage
- the calendar works across courses
- the built-in webcasting tool
- the way it treats sections within a course
- the speedgrader workflow
- the course setup checklist
What about Moodle?
Middlebury adopted Moodle as its LMS in 2011 after a year-long evaluation (http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/2011/06/14/moodle-middlebury/). At that time it was decided that we would use Moodle 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.
The Canvas evaluation should not be considered as a sign that Middlebury intends to stop using, supporting, or expanding the platform. This is simply an opportunity to consider other options and review our use of Moodle.