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Education Featured Article

July 26, 2012

The University of Central Florida Chooses Instructure Canvas

By Carolyn J Dawson, TMCnet Contributor

Instructure Canvas has been selected by the University of Central Florida as its learning management system, thereby substituting the current Blackboard (News - Alert) Vista system. The University of Central Florida evaluated three systems, namely Desire2Learn, Blackboard 9.1, and Instructure Canvas, over a period of six months before finalizing on Instructure Canvas.

In a release, Dr. Joel L. Hartman, vice provost and CIO at UCF, said, "Students, faculty and staff overwhelmingly recommended Canvas. We were especially sensitive to the preferences of faculty members and students, who favored Canvas' clean, easy-to-navigate interface and many other features that facilitate teaching and learning online."

The existing system, Blackboard Vista used by UCF had to be discontinued as Blackboard was not supporting Vista any further. In its quest to identify a new LMS for the institution, UCF's Center for Distributed Learning carried out research in association with faculty and students. The evaluation teams, which involved 20 faculty and nearly 900 students, carried out pilots for two semesters. The active participation from the students ensured continuous feedback for the evaluation team. A video was developed by the committee, which emphasized on the assessment process, and suggested Canvas.

Canvas was chosen mainly for its simple, intuitive user interface and its drag-and-drop functionality across the system. The faculty and students were also offered flexible communication and notification options through Canvas. Canvas, which can be used with any browser, has considerably quicker tools for grading. Faculty can easily post content and grade assignments with the user friendly video and audio tools provided by Canvas. Students are also offered an in-built ePortfolio system for storing and managing their content.

Dr. Ida Cook, chair of the Faculty Senate at UCF, said, "Canvas' flexibility and creative options will make our teaching and our students' learning a more positive and productive experience. I'm excited about this new opportunity to enhance our teaching and our students' learning."

According to Devlin Daley, co-founder and CTO of Instructure, the organization is happy to be chosen by the University of Central Florida. Instructure will assist the faculty at UCF to easily move to Canvas. Instructors and students can teach and learn in a way that's most useful for them with Canvas.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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