Southeast looking to replace Moodle
After five years with Moodle, Southeast is planning to convert to a new learning management system (LMS) in the Spring 2021 term.
“It was time to look at other major LMS solutions in Higher Ed and decide if there was a better solution for Southeast,” Assistant Vice President of Information Technology Floyd Davenport said.
Davenport explained looking at other solutions was what the LMS Task Force did last spring and based on their findings, administration decided to take a deeper look through a Request for Proposal (RFP) and engage the campus community.
Davenport said he has looked at three vendors: Blackboard, Desire to Learn and Canvas. Each vendor has submitted proposals and could potentially replace Moodle.
Upon reviewing the proposals of each vendor, who said they all have met the requirements for support engagement needs.
To engage the campus community, a series of sessions will be held by each vendor to demonstrate their learning systems and allow students the chance to sample each one.
“We’re engaging and inviting the campus community to be a part of this process,” Davenport said.
The vendors will be on campus next week; Canvas will hold a session Feb. 11, Desire to Learn will be held Feb. 13, and Blackboard will host a session Feb.18.
The first session of each day will be at 9 a.m where a general demonstration will be shown and an open forum will be held specifically for students from 1 to 2:30 p.m. A second open forum will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Davenport said he wants students to participate and attend sessions because it will be focused on the needs and issues with a new LMS and what students would like to see.
There will be a feedback form to complete during the session to make comments and rate the experience of each LMS.
“For the online students, the intent is to open the discussions via Zoom,” Davenport said. “We are going to work with southeast online, so if students want to participate remotely they can.”
Including the proposals, each vendor has also provided nine videos demonstrating certain features of their LMS solutions that can be found at semo.edu/it/AcaTech/lms_demos.html.
“What we will ask you to do is look at those scenarios and if there is one that touches you in a sense that you think, ‘This is important to me,’ then go and look at all the videos and fill out the short form of what you liked and give feedback,” Davenport said.
Davenport said campus community involvement is important in this process and would like as many students and faculty to participate as possible.
Davenport explained there will be surveys to aggregate feedback which helps inform the administration of how the community feels about the current LMS versus a new system.
In addition, Davenport said they are working to create a “sandbox” from each vendor to allow faculty and students to come and play with the technology.
All sessions will take place in Rose Theater in the Grauel building.