Mary Boyd, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dave Waldron, Vice President for Information Technology have jointly named 14 members to a task force charged with evaluating our Learning Management System (currently Blackboard Learn). The formal task force charge, timeline, and list of members are below:
The vision statement for Strategic Plan 2015 states that “St. Edward’s University will educate students for the opportunities and challenges of a 21st century world.” Our graduates must be able to collaborate, communicate, create, and compete in the cloud for their community and career. To develop these abilities they require a learning ecosystem that gives them authentic, scaffolded experience in all these activities and across global and digital networks. As St. Edward’s University develops its 21st century learning ecosystem to support this goal we need to look closely at the current systems used to support learning on campus.
The Learning Management System (LMS) is an important piece of that ecosystem that aggregates, connects, and manages many aspects of the learning experience. A new system must support a variety of activities for faculty and students including, posting course materials, documents, and other content; course administration and communication; recording and sharing grades; assessing students and their work and offering feedback; submission of assignments; providing opportunities for interaction for all course participants, e.g., through online discussion, collaboration tools like wikis, and sharing of student work. Our current Learning Management System is Blackboard 9.1, which was last reviewed in 2010. Since that time there have been many changes in the LMS market. Our current version of Blackboard is outdated and needs to be either updated to a newer version or replaced by a different learning management system.
LMS Evaluation Task Force
We are establishing an LMS Evaluation Task Force comprised of faculty, staff and students to consider options for an LMS, examine experiences from pilot courses on different systems, and make a recommendation for an LMS system that will assist in educating students for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. The task force will recommend a product that can be used in support of the range of technology-enhanced learning at the university, from basic course communication and administration to online, hybrid, blended, flipped, and other digital pedagogies. In addition, the system should offer an enterprise-level solution that can provide optimal performance and stability for a university of our size and integrate with existing information technology infrastructure.
To ensure a successful process and subsequent implementation, the timeline will allow time for consideration and review of different LMS options and well as pilot course implementation. The expectation is that the task force will evaluate options in the fall 2014 semester, implement pilots in the spring 2015 semester and present a recommendation by May of 2015. Transition to a new or updated LMS would take place over the 2015-2016 academic year (with old and new systems running in tandem) and should be completed by spring 2016.
Members of this task force include:
- Amy Burnett, Associate Professor, Finance (co-chair)
- Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology (co-chair)
- Michael Disch, Assistant Professor, Psychology
- Elijah Gabriel, Student Government Association
- David Hollier, Associate Professor, Education
- Jack Green-Musselman, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Director Center for Ethics & Leadership
- Christopher Micklethwait, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing Literature
- Danney Ursery, Professor, Philosophy
- Lisa Goering, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
- Dan McCoy, Assistant to the Dean for Technology, Humanities
- Brenda Adrian, Associate Director, Instructional Technology
- Angel Tazzer, Faculty Support Manager, Instructional Technology
- Paul Bailey, Head of Library Systems
- Patrick Fields, Associate Registrar
Please contact Rebecca Frost Davis or Amy Burnett if you have questions about the task force. Watch this blog for further announcements from the task force.