Moodle has been in place at Butler for nearly seven years. Photo from Los Medanos College’s website.
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Starting this summer, Moodle will be phased out as Butler begins to implement a new learning management system: Canvas. The university will gradually transition to the new system throughout the 2019-20 school year.
Canvas was selected as the university’s new learning management system after a semester-long review comprised of faculty, students and a review committee.
After evaluating three pilot systems, the review committee voted, and seven of 11 members ranked Canvas as their first choice.
Thomas Janke, director for the Center for Academic Technology, expects students to adjust well to the transition. Canvas is expected to be more straightforward and easier for students to navigate than Moodle.
“I think students will appreciate the gradebook function,” Janke said. “Canvas has the ability to give really good feedback on assignments.”
The system review showed that eight out of nine faculty preferred Canvas to Moodle. Canvas also ranked highest in overall satisfaction of the three systems.
The review also focused on the technical performance of all three systems. Of the three, Canvas scored the best on a technical rubric. Moodle, which was already not meeting technical standards, scored the worst.
CJ Robinson, a first-year music industries studies major, agrees that it was time for a change.
“Sometimes I feel like Moodle doesn’t get the job done,” Robinson said. “It’s a little confusing to see your grades and contact your professors, so I think a switch could be a good thing.”
The academic technology specialists are working with SGA to provide resources for Canvas support similar to those currently available for Moodle.
Heather Hazelwood, academic technology specialist, said that many other universities and K-12 schools currently use Canvas, so the hope is that incoming faculty and students will arrive at Butler with previous Canvas experience.
Katherine Stevens, a first-year marketing major, recently transferred from the University of Colorado Boulder, which uses Canvas.
“I think it’s easier to use,” Stevens said. “There’s one central place where you can see all your homework assignments instead of clicking on every class. It’s way more convenient.”
Moodle has been Butler’s learning management system for nearly seven years since the university switched from Blackboard in 2012.
Both Moodle and Canvas will be running throughout the next year as the university transitions to Canvas.