October 29-31, 2013

UAB Online Announces Campus Overview Sessions for Learning System Finalists – Blackboard and Instructure-Canvas

As the academic learning system selection process continues, the two finalists will be making presentations to the UAB Campus between October 29-31.  Sessions will be held in the Center for Teaching and Learning (Education Building Room 243 across from Sterne Library) and will also be streamed live for those that wish to participate online.   Both Blackboard and Instructure/Canvas will present identical sessions over different days to accommodate as many schedules as possible.

For the session schedule and link to the online view click here.

October 28, 2013

As noted in the eReporter, we are nearing the end of the LMS Evaluation Project and the pool has been narrowed to Blackboard and Canvas. Please take advantage of this final opportunity to provide input regarding the selection.

Presentations from Blackboard and Canvas representatives will be held in the Center for Teaching and Learning (EB 243) and streamed live from October 29 through 31. View the session schedule and access the link for viewing virtually. Also, it is not too late to interact with Canvas by registering for your own account.

Blackboard or Canvas? We want your feedback! Please provide comments about your preferred LMS by Tuesday, November 4 at 11:59 p.m. Watch for updates on this page.

October 22, 2013

The Learning Management System (LMS) Evaluation Project continues. After UAB’s first ever campus-wide usability study of four learning management systems, the Online Academic Advisory Council has narrowed the field to two: Blackboard and Canvas. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to continue to test the Canvas system. If you did not participate in the usability study or would like more time to explore Canvas, sign up for an account on the Canvas site to access your own course shell. As for the next phase of the LMS Evaluation Project, comparisons of Blackboard and Canvas in regards to testimonials from  users at other universities, pricing, technical support and customer service models, and integration with Banner and other 3rd party tools (Respondus, Turnitin, textbook publisher content, and socials media) are under way.

September 9, 2013

Participate in Usability Study for LMS Evaluation Project:

Test and select the best LMS on the market!

Just participate in a usability study in which you will interact with the four remaining LMS contenders—Blackboard Learn 13, Canvas Infrastructure, Desire2Learn, and Pearson Learning Studio. This will only take an hour or two of your time.

You can participate at your convenience beginning Wednesday, September 11, thru Wednesday, October 2, onsite or online, whichever is most convenient to you!

For onsite testing, go to the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)  between 9:00 am-5:00 pm. For remote testing email the Bb Administrator for your school to receive access and instructions.

Learning Management System Usability Testing

UAB faculty, students, administrators and staff can opt to complete usability tests on the four learning management systems under review at the Center for Teaching & Learning. You can stop by the center on any of the dates listed below to kick the tires on these systems, or you can send an email to us to schedule a specific visit time.

Friday, 9/13: 12 PM - 4 PM*
Monday, 9/16 - Friday, 9/20: 9 AM - 4 PM*
Monday, 9/23 - Friday, 9/27: 9 AM - 4 PM*
Monday, 9/30 - Wednesday, 10/2: 9 AM - 4 PM*

For remote testing email the Bb Administrator for your school to receive access and instructions.

Task Lists*
Please select the appropriate task list based on your role:
  • Administrator/Designer
  • Instructor
  • Student
*Note testing will take approximately 1-2 hours of your time, depending on the task set you elect to complete.

September 6, 2013

LMS Assessment Update

In response to feedback, primarily concerning the relative lack of experience for UAB users with the recent SP 13 of Blackboard, the LMS evaluation process has been slightly modified.

Links to the recorded vendor webinars/interviews will be available here until October 4, 2013 to enable stakeholder viewing. The final field will remain at four LMS candidates instead of being narrowed to three as originally planned. Those four are: Blackboard, Canvas, Desire-to-Learn and Pearson Learning Studio.

Usability studies will commence as originally planned on Sept 11 in both the CTL and in individual schools.  We will extend the usability studies from two weeks to three weeks, closing them on Oct. 2, 2013.

Results of the evaluation process will be presented to the Instructional Designers Consortium (IDC) and the UAB Online Advisory Council during the week of Oct 7, 2013.  Discussion and recommendations from those two meetings will be summarized and analyzed for presentation to the Provost during late October.

Instructions for participating in the usability studies will be in the eReporter on Sept 10 as originally planned.  Any faculty, student and/or staff member may participate in the usability studies.

September 4, 2013

LMS Assessment Update

The recent Faculty Needs Assessment survey was used to develop a list of desired features and functionality for UAB’s learning management system (LMS). (Refer to EXCEL spreadsheet at the end of this update) The criterion will be used to conduct WebEx interviews of the LMS candidate vendors.
LMS vendor interviews will be conducted by members of the Instructional Designers Consortium and the Division of eLearning and Professional Studies through September 6, 2013.

A summary of the results will be submitted to the UAB Online Academic Advisory Committee and the Instructional Designer Consortium. The top three LMS candidates will be selected for subsequent usability studies.

Shells for the usability studies will be requested from the LMS vendors on September 6, 2013. Instructions for participating in the usability studies will be sent to eReporter on September 9, 2013. Usability testing will be conducted from Sept 11th -Sept 25th in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Any faculty, student and/or staff member may participate in the usability studies.

The results of the usability studies will be submitted on September 27, 2013 to the Division of eLearning and Professional Studies and the Office of Instructional Technology.   

The UAB Online Advisory Council will review all results from the LMS Evaluation process and present a recommendation to the Provost in November.

Feature Comparison Chart for Review

August 14, 2013

You voted, we listened!  As previously reported, UAB’s contract with Blackboard (Bb) Learn, our current learning management system (LMS) ends fall 2014. Faculty, staff, and students campus-wide were surveyed to determine preferences regarding contract renewal.  The LMS Needs Assessment Survey closed on August 5th after being open for two weeks.

One hundred forty-six people participated. Of those, 75% were faculty, 14% were students, and 11% were staff.  Ninety percent of survey respondents indicated that they use Bb Learn for teaching or learning purposes.

Several themes emerged from the data.  43% of participants who commented indicated a preference to explore options other than Bb Learn.  22% were open to using a different LMS if improvements in functionality and technical issues were possible; 28% favored renewing our contract with Bb Learn; and 6% expressed no opinion.  We are ready to move to the next phase of the LMS Evaluation project—narrowing the pool.

Features and tools that participants identified as required in an effective LMS will be part of a comparison chart used to narrow the LMS pool over the coming weeks.  Blackboard Learn, Canvas, Moodle, Sakaii, Pearson Learning Studio, Edmodo, and Desire2Learn are the top seven contenders, listed in order of most to least recommended.  The comparison chart of the final contenders will be posted for review at UAB Online Strategic Planning Updates page as well as in the eReporter by August 30.

A series of usability tests will be conducted on the final LMS contenders.  Those of you (the end users) who choose to participate in these tests may do so from September 3 to 20, in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).  This will enable you to interact with the final LMS contenders in the areas most commonly used.  It will take no more than one hour of your time.  Your feedback on the preferred LMS will be part of a final report provided to Provost Lucas to aid in the LMS decision in mid-October.

Thank you so much for participating.  We look forward to our continued collaborations in determining the best LMS provider for UAB.

August 5, 2013

The survey has closed.  Results are coming soon.  Thank you for your participation!

August 1, 2013
135 people have completed the LMS Needs Assessment.  Here’s how the respondents break down:
75% Faculty
16% Students
5% Staff
4% Designers

July 25, 2013

A "needs assessment survey" is open for all interested faculty, staff, students and instructional designers (i.e. "UAB Online stakeholders") to share their thoughts on features/tools that must be present in the UAB learning management system (LMS), whether the current system (Blackboard) is selected, or a new one is adopted. The survey will be open through Aug. 5 and the results will be announced in the eReporter and posted on the UAB Online website by Aug.12. All are encouraged to complete the nine-question survey and give feedback.

July 15, 2013

UAB's contract with Blackboard as the academic learning management system will be ending in September 2014. In order to ensure a fully informed decision is made related to this critical system, an academic-driven process is in place for LMS evaluation, decision and rollout, which will heavily involve the CTL Academic Council, the UAB Online Academic Council and the Instructional Designers Consortium. All three groups will be needed to ensure broad and deep participation throughout the UAB community in this important decision process.

Please direct any questions regarding the LMS Evaluation process to uabonline@uab.edu.