Update on the UW System’s Digital Learning Environment RFP: The UW System issued a notice of intent to enter into a contract for a new Digital Learning Environment. — Instructure, the parent company of Canvas. Should this contract have a successful outcome, all UW System schools will engage in a transition process from the current Learning Management System (LMS), Desire2Learn (D2L), to this new digital learning environment, Canvas. As negotiations continue, in keeping with procurement requirements, System has outlined several limitations with regards to our interaction with this potential new vendor provided below. Please note that while the staff in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) and Information Technology (IT) are working behind the scenes to prepare for such a transition, there will be no impact to the platform for instruction this fall. In order to allow for a transitional period, the contract with D2L has been extended to 2020. No final decision can be made with regards to the new digital learning environment without approval by the Board of Regents; the soonest the Regents could make such a decision is October of this year.
By selecting Canvas during the RFP process, UW System chose a learning environment with features that boost student engagement and streamline the grading process. Many state systems have switched from D2L to Canvas and have found the effort rewarding.
While the notice of intent answers one big question, it opens up a host of others: When can instructors have access to the new system? What new features does it have? How will individual courses thrive in the new digital environment? When will individual courses have to be in Canvas? Many of these logistical questions remain to be answered. System is still negotiating the contract with Instructure. In fact, the UW procurement office has only provided a list of items we cannot do at this time:
-There will be no communication with Instructure by anyone within UW System regarding this process, the contract or any other information regarding the UW System relationship with Instructure except the UWSA negotiating team.
-All institutions, with the exception of UW-Madison, are impacted by this contract process.
-Institutions shall not participate in any free-trial use of Canvas prior to the official rollout.
-Institutions shall not migrate any courses from the D2L system to a Canvas system until authorized to do so by Stacy Scholkta, the Project Manager.
-All inquiries from the media regarding the contract, the negotiation process, or the DLE RFP should be directed to University Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once the contract is finalized with Instructure, CATL will be in touch with stakeholders to devise a plan for migrating courses that is as equitable and efficient as possible. If you have further questions or concerns with regards to the negotiation or transition process, please contact the Center at email@example.com. We thank you for your continued patience as this process unfolds and will continue to communicate with the campus community as we learn more in working with UW System.