Project Updates

The LTE Renewal project is ongoing through the 2016/2017 academic year. These are the most recent project communications. You may also wish to view the results of preliminary consultations with students and faculty.

March 2017

Both Vendors Move Forward – March 24

The LTE Renewal evaluation committee reached a unanimous decision to recommend both D2L (Brightspace) and Instructure (Canvas) move to a directed RFP (Request For Proposal). This recommendation was put to the IT Advisory Committee (ITAC) on March 7th and to the UBC Executive late last week and has now been accepted.

Broadly speaking, the recommendation was made based on user experience (60%), as well as each vendor’s presentation, question and answer response, and official interview (40%). The evaluation committee took into consideration:

  • Feedback from faculty members teaching the 10 pilot courses in Brightspace and Canvas
  • Feedback from students enrolled in the 10 pilot courses
  • Formal usability testing with students at Point Grey and Okanagan campuses
  • Feedback from faculty, staff, and students based on vendor presentations and answers to questions during the drop-in sessions
  • Interviews conducted by the evaluation committee with each vendor

The RFP was released on March 22nd, launching the next phase of the process, and responses are due from both vendors on April 5th. The committee will have one week to evaluate the proposals and to select a preferred vendor. Negotiations will begin with the preferred vendor immediately following the selection.

The results of the RFP phase will be presented to the UBC Executive and the Board in mid-June and announced to the wider community after that meeting. The news will be posted here and distributed widely via other channels. In the meantime, we are meeting with Faculties to determine their priorities for implementation and the additional support required in moving forward.

Recommendation Expected – End of March

Following the vendor presentations, drop-in sessions, and an extensive collection and evaluation of feedback from faculty, staff, and students who have tried out Brightspace and Canvas, the evaluation committee is now considering their recommendation about the next stage of the LTE Renewal project.

The committee is expected to announce their recommendation by the end of March, and this choice will indicate if one system has been determined to better meet UBC’s qualifications or if both systems are still being considered as possible replacements for Connect. The news will be posted here and distributed widely via other channels.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed input to the evaluation process so far.

January/February 2017

General Faculty and Staff Survey – Until February 17

Faculty and staff, if you had a chance to try out one or both of the LTE core candidate environments (Brightspace and Canvas), we invite you to fill out the official survey (link removed, as survey has closed) summarizing your experience with these systems. This survey will be open now until the end of the day on **Friday, February 17** (date extended), and we welcome all thoughts and opinions as we move toward the next phase of the Learning Technology Environment Renewal project.

You are also welcome to send feedback and questions directly to the LT Hub at any time.

Vendor Presentations – February 14-17 (UBCO), 20-22 (UBCV)

As part of the Learning Technology Environment Renewal Project, representatives from Instructure (Canvas) and D2L (Brightspace) will make a public presentation during the reading weeks in February, one on each of the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses.

Presentations are scheduled over a three-hour period. Faculty, student, and instructional support staff feedback and exploratory sessions informed the script vendors received and will comment on. The use cases and questions to be addressed are available here [PDF]. If you have more questions you would like addressed in this session, please email the LT Hub.

Community members who are unable to attend the presentation on their campus will be able to view a live stream of the other presentation, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions virtually using Slido.

In addition to the presentations, representatives of each of the vendors will be available for a full day to any faculty member, student, or staff member who wishes to ask questions about the system.


  • Tuesday, February 14 – Presentation (1:00 – 4:00 in Science Building – Room 247)
  • Wednesday, February 15 – All-day Drop-in (9:00 – 3:00 in Science Building – Room 331)
  • Thursday, February 16 – Presentation (1:00 – 4:00 in Science Building – Room 247)
  • Friday, February 17 – All-day Drop-in (9:00 – 3:00 in Science Building – Room 331)


  • Monday, February 20 – Presentation (9:00 – 12:00, Allard Hall Room 105)
  • Wednesday, February 22 – All-day Drop-in (9:00 – 4:00, IKBLC Dodson Room 302)
  • Tuesday, February 21 – Presentation (9:00 – 12:00, Allard Hall Room 105)
  • Wednesday, February 22 – All-day Drop-in (9:00 – 4:00, IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22)

Exploratory Sessions for Faculty – January 31-February 3

Faculty, attend one of our exploratory sessions to get a hands-on introduction to Canvas and Brightspace. These sessions will include a short presentation, hands-on support and guidance for exploration, and an opportunity to give your feedback through a guided group discussion.

Vancouver Brightspace Sessions

  • Wednesday, February 1, 9:00 – 10:30, Henry Angus Room DL 005 (UBC Sauder Learning Labs) – Register now »
  • Friday, February 3, 12:30 – 2:00, Irving K Barber Learning Center, Dodson Room (Room 302) – Register now »

Vancouver Canvas Sessions

  • Tuesday, January 31, 12:30 – 2:00, Henry Angus Room DL009 (UBC Sauder Learning Labs) – Register now »
  • Thursday, February 2, 11:30 – 1:00, Irving K Barber Learning Center, Dodson Room (Room 302) – Register now »

Okanagan Brightspace/Canvas Sessions

Explore both Brightspace and Canvas in either of these 2-hour sessions. Coffee refreshments provided. Please bring your laptop. Maximum 16 participants per session.

Usability Testing for Students – January 26-27, February 23

Students, please join us for usability testing in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Okanagan in late January and February. You’ll get a chance to try one of the potential tools to replace Connect (Canvas and Brightspace) in a mock course and give your feedback on the experience. Plus, with just 10-15 minutes of your time, you’ll receive a full-sized candy!

IKBLC Testing Sessions

  • Thursday, January 26: 12-4 p.m. on IKBLC 2nd Floor
  • Friday, January 27: 12-4 p.m. on IKBLC 2nd Floor

Okanagan Testing Sessions

  • Thursday, February 23: 11-3 p.m. in UNC Foyer 1st Floor

Not able to attend? No problem!

Interested students unable to join the testing sessions can email the testing team to arrange for individual testing times (held in person or online, depending on your location).

Sandboxes Available in Two Environments – Starting January 6

Faculty and staff, if you are interested in trying out the new LTE core candidate environments currently being piloted (Brightspace by D2L and Canvas by Instructure), email to request access to sandbox courses.

Please note that sandbox courses are only for exploration purposes and should not include any student enrolments. Also be aware that both environments have at least some components hosted outside of Canada (while Brightspace is hosted in Canada, some of the tools are hosted outside).

The project team will be seeking feedback about your experience of using the environments. Shortly, we will be advertising exploratory sessions that will support a guided exploration of the environments and provide a forum for structured feedback. We will also be publishing a survey to capture additional feedback later in the term. In the meantime, please feel free to send feedback directly via the web form.

If you have any questions about the functionality, or need help to navigate the environments, please feel free to reach out to the LT Hub, either by email (as above), phone (604.827.4775) or drop-in, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre room 2.27.

RFQ Closed, Two Vendors Selected – January 6

The RFQ (Request For Qualifications) closed on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, and two vendors were invited to participate in Stage 2.  These vendors are Instructure (Canvas) and Desire2Learn (Brightspace).  Both these vendors were on campus from December 6-8 for a hands-on “Work Party” with faculty of the pilot courses. The Work Party focused on the vendors’ understanding of pedagogical approaches as well as their ability to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students.  After an evaluation of the Work Party, both vendors were invited to participate in Stage 3 with five courses being piloted in each system in 2016 Winter Term 2.

Over the course of Term 2, we will gather feedback from faculty and students in the pilot courses. As well, we will provide the opportunity for users outside the pilots to access sandbox courses and provide feedback. In mid-February, the vendors will be visiting both UBC campuses for presentations to faculty, staff, and students.  At the conclusion of Stage 3, a decision will be made regarding the next stage. If a new tool is selected, implementation will begin in the 2017/2018 academic year.