In September 2017, Provost Vollendorf asked the Academic Senate's Academic Technology and Instructional Spaces Subcommittee to undertake an assessment of Learning Management Systems, including Moodle. This request was made in response to feedback gathered over the prior academic year about the stability of our self-hosted Moodle solution and the best practice of evaluating our LMS every few years to ensure we have a strong solution to support teaching and learning at SSU.
Considerations for LMS Assessment
Awareness of shifting Learning Management System environment, particularly in the CSU, with rapid changes in campus adoption of newly available platforms.
Faculty feedback about Moodle’s lack of responsiveness and limitations and relatively low faculty utilization of the platform.
Campus concerns about ongoing outages that led us to need to assess hosted solutions and other ways of ensuring that we have backup systems in place.
Campus stakeholders’ knowledge of other Learning Management Systems that support more robust integration of multimedia technology capabilities and built-in analytics that we may or may not have in Moodle.
The budget will be more closely aligned with priorities in the future, so during 2017-2018 the campus will assess its priorities and identify items that may need new funding in a new, more strategically aligned budget going forward as part of a new campus strategic plan.
- By mutual agreement of the Executive Committee of the Senate and the Provost, the Senate plans to consider the recommendations of the ATISS subcommittee and APARC at the May 1, 2018 Academic Senate meeting. This leaves the May 17, 2018 Academic Senate meeting if needed for further consideration. All recommendations, considerations, and accumulated data from the year-long evaluation will be evaluated as part of the final decision by the Provost. Given the timeline of the Academic Senate process, the timeframe for the decision now stands between May 17-June 17, 2018.
- Due to a potential overlap in the Provost’s final decision and the start of summer term, summer courses will have the option to participate in the Canvas pilot or Moodle at the discretion of individual instructors. SSU’s pilot agreement for Canvas runs the duration of summer term in order to provide clarity and stability for faculty teaching this summer.
- To ensure that we are evaluating all options based on their ability to support robust teaching and learning with attention to supporting accessibility and course design, the Provost has set aside $300,000 to support training and migration of current courses into a new LMS. To ensure a smooth transition to the next-generation LMS, an LMS Planning Group comprised of Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, and technology leadership will convene formally in Spring 2018 to agree on the overall timeline and support model necessary for the LMS transition.