Following a three year period of inquiry, assessment, and collaboration among faculty, students, and administrators to understand the needs of our teaching and learning community, OSU has chosen to replace the current Blackboard learning management system (LMS) with a hosted platform called Canvas. This is a university-wide LMS migration that impacts all modalities of courses taught at Oregon State, including traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and Ecampus online courses.

Canvas is a next-generation LMS that will provide the OSU community with a greater level of stability, functionality, and collaboration. The migration:

  • Aligns with OSU strategic goals for growth in online enrollments, learning innovations, and outreach.
  • Provides OSU the opportunity to retool online learning to meet new teaching and learning expectations
  • Provides a robust platform for continued growth and integration with a full set of learning tools
  • Offers a foundation for improved mobile experience
Blackboard transition to Canvas by Instructure

An Unprecedented Product Evaluation

Following an internal team review of a number of learning management systems, a decision was made to evaluate two finalist systems - Blackboard 14 and Canvas by Instructure - more closely.

The evaluations we conducted during the Spring 2014 term were unprecendented in OSU's history, for we chose to conduct two parallel evaluations that would solicit feedback from the entire OSU teaching and learning community.

  • An Open Evaluation allowed all members of the OSU community to login to "sandbox" environments of the two finalist systems.
  • Sixteen instructors were selected to teach Spring 2014 courses in a Live Course environment. Eight courses were taught in Blackboard 14 and eight were taught in Canvas. Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) and Ecampus provided support to instructors throughout the term.

Hundreds of OSU faculty, staff and students responded to surveys to garner the most objective feedback possible. This feedback, along with assessments of product cost and their marketplace positioning, was crucial in selecting the final product.