Project Updates

The Learning Technology Environment Renewal project has been ongoing since summer 2016, guiding UBC’s transition to a new learning management system for courses. As of June 8, 2017, Canvas was announced as the replacement for Connect. These are the most recent project communications.


September 2017

Project Update: UBC’s first Canvas courses now live to students - September 5

UBC’s first courses are now running in Canvas. Nearly 1,000 course sections are being offered in the new system this fall, with more scheduled to be added each term throughout the 2017/18 academic year.

To help keep students and faculty informed about Canvas and about UBC’s transition from Connect, the Learning Technology Environment Renewal Team has put together a website for instructors (Canvas at UBC), as well as a website for students (A UBC Student's Guide to Canvas). Our website for instructors includes Canvas news, links to online and in-person Canvas training and support resources, and an FAQ. Our projected timelines for future Canvas tool integrations will also be added to the Canvas Tools page as this information becomes available.

We’re happy to report that all of the following tools were added to Canvas for the first day of classes: Kaltura, iClicker, Piazza, ComPAIR, and Library Online Course Reserves (LOCR). Please note that when accessing LOCR in Canvas, users will be redirected to courses.library.ubc.ca and will need to log in again with their CWL. Our team is working to resolve this technical issue. If you have questions about using Kaltura, iClicker, Piazza, ComPAIR, or LOCR, Canvas-specific tool guides have been added to the Canvas Tools page on the Canvas at UBC website and to the Tool Guide section on the Learning Technology Hub website.

We’re excited to hear your feedback about Canvas. Before the end of semester, we’ll be sending out a survey to hear your thoughts on the new platform. You can also send us your thoughts any time using our feedback form. If you need help with Canvas, please check out the training and support that’s available to you.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has participated in the Canvas soft launch. UBC first selected Canvas in June, and our steady progress wouldn’t have been possible without your knowledge, input, persistence, and dedication.

 


July/August 2017

Canvas Is Ready for Soft Launch - August 11

We’re excited to announce the soft launch of Canvas—the learning management system that will be gradually replacing Connect at UBC. If you’d like to try Canvas out now, we recommend first checking in with your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UBC Okanagan) to learn more about the soft launch phase and your faculty’s plan for transitioning from Connect to Canvas. When you’re ready to create your account, please visit https://canvas.ubc.ca and enter your CWL login. Presto! You now have an account in Canvas.

Please note that during the soft launch phase, courses cannot be automatically added to instructors’ Canvas accounts. To have your courses added to Canvas, please get in touch with your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit or the Learning Technology Hub.

As we’re still in the process of implementing Canvas, not all features and tools are ready to go. At the moment, we’re testing and configuring Kaltura, iClicker, and the Library Online Course Reserves (LOCR). You can count on these tools being integrated by September 2017, but for the time being they may not function as expected.

Some third-party apps and tools will be integrated with Canvas after September 2017—including Piazza, Blogs, edX, peerScholar, iPeer, and WeBWork. The ability to add textbook publishers’ online content to Canvas will also be ready at a later date. You may wish to delay transitioning to Canvas until these features are ready to go. Please stay tuned for more information about when we expect these integrations to be completed.

Once you’re active in Canvas, you’ll have access to email, chat, and telephone technical support provided by Canvas representatives, which you can access by clicking “Help” on the global navigation menu. This support will be available to faculty and students 24/7/365, throughout the implementation period. We’ve also put together an expanded list of training and resources designed for faculty, including an updated FAQ.

We really hope you enjoy using Canvas! If you have any questions about Canvas or the transition from Connect, your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit or the Learning Technology Hub will be happy to help.

Canvas Implementation Is Underway -
July 20

UBC has signed the final contract with Instructure, the company that developed Canvas. We're now in the process of rolling out Canvas as the core of UBC’s Learning Technology Environment. Select UBC faculties will be transitioning a number of courses from Connect to Canvas for September 2017, and by September 2018 all courses previously taught in Connect will have transitioned to Canvas.

To prepare for this transition, the UBC Learning Technology (LT) Hub has been working to configure Canvas, finalize the process for moving content from Connect (Blackboard Learn) to Canvas, and integrate Canvas with UBC systems (such as the Student Information System) and external learning technology tools (such as iClicker).

Numerous online and in-person Canvas training and support resources are now available to faculty, including workshops and open studio time offered at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. UBC is also in the process of hiring Canvas Tech Rovers who, starting in September, can support faculty, TAs, and staff with the transition from Connect to Canvas.

If you have questions about Canvas or about moving over course content from Connect, please reach out to your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit, or contact the Learning Technology Hub (Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Okanagan) at ctl.ubco@ubc.ca for assistance.


May/June 2017

Canvas to Replace Connect - June 8

We are pleased to announce that following extensive consultation and evaluation, UBC has selected the Canvas platform (by Instructure) as the replacement for Connect.

A range of support resources to help faculty, staff, and students navigate this transition effectively will be available. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to update this page to include additional information on support resources. Specific questions about the product, the timetable, or the support available to you should be directed to lt.hub@ubc.ca for UBC Vancouver and to ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca for UBC Okanagan.

Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) designed for mobile and will provide expanded capabilities as well as a more user-friendly interface for faculty, students, and staff. If you would like to explore on your own, you can visit the Canvas Community to access tutorials and guides. We have also put together some FAQs and overview about specific functionality.

We are in the final stages of negotiation and we anticipate that the new system will be made available for development of courses at the start of July 2017. The first courses will be offered in Canvas this September, with all courses migrated to the new system by September 2018.

We have already scheduled Lunch'n'Learn sessions starting next week at UBC Vancouver. You can register for them here. For upcoming sessions at UBC Okanagan, you can email ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca

Preparing for the New System - May 30

We are officially wrapping up the Pilot phase of the LTE Renewal project and, after a successful Request for Proposal process, we are currently negotiating a contract with the preferred vendor and expect an announcement to be made to the UBC community in the next two to three weeks.

In the meantime, the LTE Renewal team are meeting with Faculties to determine their priorities for implementation between September 2017 and September 2018 and the additional support required in moving forward. We have developed a "Spring Cleaning" process to assist you in preparing your Connect course content for migration to the new system. Information for how to opt-in can be found at here.

We have also scheduled some professional development opportunities for faculty who are moving their courses for September. Registration for all workshops at the Vancouver campus is available through the CTLT Events website and registration for workshops at the Okanagan campus is available through the CTL Events website.


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.

Okanagan

Canvas
  • 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)
Brightspace
  • 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)

Vancouver

Brightspace
  • 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)
Canvas
  • 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 lt.hub@ubc.ca 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.