Learning Technology Environment Renewal

The vision of the Learning Technology Environment (LTE) Renewal project was to empower students and faculty in achieving their learning and teaching by choosing a dynamic, pedagogically sound, and user-friendly platform for online courses. This multi-phase project involved extensive community consultation to select a replacement for Connect (Blackboard Learn), UBC’s previous platform for courses. UBC began offering courses on the selected platform, Canvas, in September 2017 and decommissioned Connect on February 1, 2019.


LTE Renewal Project Overview

In the 2016/17 academic year, the LTE Renewal team consulted university-wide to better understand how UBC’s LTE could best support teaching and learning. These efforts were driven by the vision and principles stated in the Learning Technology Ecosystem project [PDF].

Visions-and-Principles

To achieve this vision, UBC’s priorities for the new system were collected, analyzed, and articulated during a needs assessment phase. During the needs assessment phase, faculty and students engaged with peers to facilitate discussions on the future of learning at UBC. Information from this phase was used to inform the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that asked for qualified vendors to submit proposals. The outcome of the RFQ resulted in the selection of two vendors to participate in the evaluation phase: Canvas by Instructure and Brightspace by Desire2Learn.

In phase two, the evaluation phase, both systems were evaluated by faculty, staff, and students. The evaluation phase included full-term pilot courses, sandbox courses and exploratory workshops, usability testing, and presentations from vendors at both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses. Data obtained from the evaluation activities was used to help the evaluation committee determine that both vendors could respond with an RFP (Request for Proposal).

In June 2017, after considering the RFPs and comparing data from the evaluation phase with data from the needs assessment phase, UBC formally announced the selection of Canvas.

The final phase of the project was implementation—the transition from Connect to Canvas. UBC faculties moved courses between September 2017 and September 2018, based on specialized plans and timelines developed by each faculty. UBC decommissioned Connect on February 1, 2019.