UofC LMS RFP engagement report

So, this project has taken up the vast majority of my Day Job for the last year or so. We’re finally approaching the point where a decision can be made on which LMS we’ll be using.

I just published our working group’s report on the project website, so we can share the current data with the university community. Long story short, it’s a draw between Canvas and D2L, with further information needed before Those Who Are Higher Up Than I Am can make the decision. Good times.

fourth and inches

UCalgary eLearning Discovery Working Group report on LMS engagement

What a consultant-ish title. Anyway. The working group I’ve been chairing since last summer (it even has its own tag here on my blog) has been doing a bunch of stuff (i.e., “engagements”) to talk to people on campus (i.e., “stakeholders”) to find out what they need from eLearning in general and in an LMS specifically (i.e., “high level needs documentation”).

The first report, focusing on documenting the LMS engagement itself (surveys, focus groups, vendor demos, etc…) is now final, and has been published to the website. There will be 2 additional reports published before September – the first will update our documentation of stuff we do on campus to facilitate and support eLearning (i.e., “eLearning Inventory”), and the second will try to crunch through the data, mush it into the community’s needs and hopefully make some sense out of it all (i.e., “eLearning technology analysis”). Another group, spun out of the General Faculties Council, will be working on an eLearning strategy for the University, and we’ll be feeding our reports to them to help inform the process.

Anway, again. The report.

eLearning Discovery Working Group preliminary report

My *big summer project* this year was to act as the chair of a newly formed “[eLearning Discovery Working Group](http://elearn.ucalgary.ca/discovery)”, with the mandate to begin to identify what eLearning means at The University of Calgary. We were tasked by the CIO to find out what is involved with providing, supporting, and using eLearning tools in whatever ways are necessary to enable the activities of our students, instructors, and staff.

Over the summer, we began to build an inventory of eLearning tools – both centrally provided, and distributed and ad-hoc tools, to start to form a picture of what eLearning looks like to our University community. The inventory is *extremely* coarse, and we know we’ve missed huge swaths of activity on campus. But we had to start with *something*.

The first thing we learned was how surprised we were that this kind of documentation didn’t already exist. Even in this coarse, high-level, incomplete form, this is a big step forward as a University, in getting our collective heads around what eLearning means to us.

Throughout the next year (and more, since this is an ongoing process), we’ll be working with various stakeholder groups to help better identify what they do with respect to eLearning, what their needs are, and how the University can better support their modern practices of teaching and learning.

The report is extremely brief, and provides only a high-level overview that can be used as a starting point for the real “discovery” activities this year.

The Coles Notes version:

The University provides some eLearning tools centrally (Blackboard, Elluminate, Breeze/Connect Presenter), but much of the activity is taking place in tools that are managed at the faculty, department, program, or even individual instructor level. We need to find out more about these distributed tools, and identify ways in which the University can better support and enable the activities that they facilitate.

Here’s the [eLearning Discovery Working Group Preliminary Report](http://elearn.ucalgary.ca/files/elearn/eLearning%20Discovery%20Preliminary%20Report%20-%20FINAL%20-%20v1.pdf) (3.9 MB PDF).

Now, to start planning how to work with the University community to start filling in the gaps, and figuring out what we need to do to better support effective eLearning…