The Next LMS Advisory Group, consisting of faculty, students, and staff, recommends that Canvas should replace ReggieNet as Illinois State’s learning management system. Their determination is based on their own evaluations and on feedback from campus stakeholders. The Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Office of Technology Solutions, will ask the Board of Trustees to approve a multi-year contract for licensing, support, and data migration services with Canvas at the July meeting.
In 2021, Provost Aondover Tarhule directed members of his office and partners in the Office of Technology Solutions to form a Learning Management System (LMS) leadership team and begin conversations with deans, academic department heads, the president’s cabinet, the Student Government Association, and the Academic Senate. Their feedback led to the formation of groups to move ahead with evaluating potential replacements to ReggieNet.
Canvas was one of two systems tested this spring. Advisory and technology group members held meetings with vendors, sponsored open campus forums, and made extensive tests of each product in special “sandbox” environments. Of the 100 hands-on testers, nearly half were students. Taking all of this into account, 89 percent of the advisory group voted in favor of Canvas, while none voted for the other option, Brightspace D2L, and 11 percent expressed no preference.
Overall, Canvas is the best choice to meet the teaching and learning needs of the Illinois State community while also offering as seamless transition as possible from ReggieNet.
Connection and migration
The major task of connecting Canvas fully to Illinois State’s digital ecosystem will begin after the Board of Trustees approves the agreement. This includes connections to the campus’ identity management and central login systems. The work will continue well into fall.
At the same time, technology and instructional support staff will refine the process of migrating course data from ReggieNet into the new system. It’s expected that most courses can be transferred automatically, although a few specialized courses may require additional work. The Center for Integrated Professional Development (formerly CTLT) will support instructors during the migration process, with additional assistance from the Technology Support Center. The goal is to reliably transfer selected courses into Canvas by the early spring of 2023, so instructors can use those materials to build their courses for the following fall.
In addition, a group of instructors will be able to teach their courses using Canvas in the spring of 2023. Information gathered during this phase will help to enhance the support offered campus-wide at the start of the fall 2023 semester. This pilot group will be small to minimize the impact of dual systems on the student and faculty experience. Most instructors and students will not use Canvas for coursework until the fall of 2023.
Instructors who are interested in joining the pilot program can submit feedback through NextLMS.IllinoisState.edu.