Dartmouth selects Canvas as new learning management system

Friday, December 20, 2013

Instructure today announced that Dartmouth College has chosen Canvas as its institution-wide learning management system (LMS). Canvas will become the official LMS for the Ivy League school, which was recently ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the nation's No. 1 university for "Strong Commitment to Teaching" for the fifth consecutive year.

"The transition to Canvas represents an opportunity for positive disruption and underscores Dartmouth's ongoing commitment to deliver a superior classroom learning experience," said Joshua Kim, Ph.D., director of digital learning initiatives at Dartmouth, who also served on the school's LMS Steering Committee. "Canvas provides our faculty with a vehicle to teach their courses in the way they envision, and our students with a modern tool that suits their rapid pace of learning. We look forward to taking full advantage of the learning technology offered by Canvas."

Canvas was selected after a comprehensive year-and-a-half process that engaged faculty, students and staff across campus. The extensive LMS review was coordinated by a project team from the Academic and Campus Technology Services department, with lead participation from the LMS Steering Committee, comprised primarily of faculty members.

Beginning in June 2012, this group interviewed faculty, students and staff to understand their teaching and learning needs and how they could be supported by technology. The project team conducted a needs assessment and analysis of the learning management systems market and assembled a shortlist of three vendors.

In January 2013, the project team worked with the vendors to run mini-courses in the three systems, set up "sandbox" environments for broader testing and conducted a technical review. Based on the findings from these evaluation activities, the committee voted to continue with an evaluation of two systems.

In spring 2013, Dartmouth set up pilot courses in Canvas and the other LMS system, and collected feedback from instructors and students about their experiences. The project team presented their findings before the committee, which selected Canvas as the LMS system that best met the institution's current and future teaching and learning needs.

"This decision is the result of an extraordinary partnership between faculty and IT, and we are thrilled that instructors were able to choose the tool they want to teach with," added Kim. "Canvas will help make the teaching and learning experience at Dartmouth that much more collaborative and innovative."

The committee identified several features of Canvas as particularly relevant to Dartmouth's needs, including:

  • Simple, powerful tools for audio and video
  • Compatibility with mobile devices
  • Flexible options for notifications and communication
  • Clean design and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • Cloud-based offering with continuous updates and enhancements

Select Dartmouth faculty members used Canvas for their courses in the fall term. More courses will be added beginning in winter 2014, with the expectation that all courses will use Canvas by winter term 2015.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dartmouth to the Canvas family," said Brian Whitmer, co-founder and chief product officer at Instructure. "Canvas has seen rapid adoption at the nation's top academic institutions because of its ability to complement their high standards of classroom learning with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use online learning platform." Since launching Canvas in February 2011, Instructure has attracted more than 500 institutions. Today, it services more than 9 million faculty and students from around the world, including some of the most prestigious universities and colleges.

About Instructure

Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. We provide instructors and students with modern tools and resources that empower and simplify the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas, the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system, as well as Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses by educators everywhere – from Ivy League institutions to community colleges. www.instructure.com