After a 16-month process, the college has selected Canvas by Instructure as its new learning management system (LMS).
Learning management systems are used as a central repository for course materials with tools to manage collaboration, communication, assessment, and feedback and have become essential tools in higher education. Canvas, which is powered by one of the largest and most connected educator communities, is cloud-based, flexible, mobile optimized, and designed for collaboration. Studies have shown the adoption of a quality LMS enhances the teaching and learning experience in all modalities, leading to increased faculty and student satisfaction, performance, and retention. The adoption of a new LMS will allow Wartburg to further its work on multiple goals and strategies set forth in the new strategic plan, “Our Brightest Days: Realizing Purpose, Leading Change.”
Canvas was one of several LMS vendors vetted by the Distance Learning Quality Committee. Prior to investing in this software, the committee, comprising faculty and staff, undertook a needs analysis process that identified the target features and functions essential to meeting the current and future needs of the college. It was critically important to the committee to involve all stakeholders with meaningful opportunities to provide input throughout the process, which included collecting feedback through surveys, vendor presentations, sandbox trials, and an ITS and instructional designer review. The new software will replace the eLearning portion of My.Wartburg in Jenzabar. The college will continue to use Jenzabar and JICS/My.Wartburg for other services.
The purchase of the new learning management system software is being underwritten through a generous gift from Mike and Marge McCoy, in celebration of Dr. Darrel and Christy Colson’s leadership and service to Wartburg College and in support of the College’s new strategic plan.
Implementation, which includes technical preparation and training for faculty and staff, will begin soon with the first classes launched on Canvas in the fall 2022.