Learning Management System Selection Project
Desire2Learn is uWaterloo's new Learning Management System (LMS)!
In March 2011 uWaterloo selected Desire2Learn (D2L) as its new LMS. D2L was started in 1999 by a former University of Waterloo student, John Baker. It is a local company that provides LMS solutions internationally and to a number of Ontario universities, including Wilfrid Laurier and Guelph. The transition to D2L should be a relatively straightforward for most UW-ACE users.
D2L will allow extensibility and greater mobile connectivity, and the company has worked hard to make their system accessible, beyond the requirements of the anticipated Ontario legislation. It also offers an ePortfolio system, which a separate project opted to use, as it satisfies their needs and provides useful integrations with the LMS.
To provide the most stable system possible and to reduce disruption as much as possible, the move to Desire2Learn will be scaled over three terms. Spring 2011 will be the initial procedural and troubleshooting phase, while the Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 will see the migration away from ANGEL, the software behind UW-ACE.
Training in a variety of forms (videos, documentation, one-on-one and group sessions) will be provided to our LMS community. The project team will be working on ways to minimize the impact on instructors and students.
WHY MAKE THE CHANGE?
For almost seven years UW-ACE, based on the ANGEL software, has been the online course system for students, course instructors, and instructional support staff. Feedback from surveys and focus groups in early 2009 indicated that ANGEL was well-received and there was no plan to change. However, that changed in May of 2009.
On May 6th 2009, ANGEL Software Inc. was purchased by Blackboard Inc., vendor of a competitor LMS. While a move to Blackboard's system was an option, it would mean a significant change, so it was timely to consider the larger LMS market and determine a best fit for our next online course system. Beginning in June of 2009 a team of representatives from CEL, CTE, IST, OPD, Library and faculty and student representatives, as well as other areas, worked together to find a replacement for ANGEL. The new system would need to offer at least the same level of functionality (and, if possible expand it to enhance the learning environment) and address some unique teaching needs of University of Waterloo instructors while having an easy-to-use interface.
This web site is intended to document the overall project status for students, course instructors, and staff, and to answer questions that may arise.
Want to know more about when these changes will take place? Look over our Project Timeline.
Curious to know who has been involved in the project? Check out our Members Area.
Have questions? See if they've already been covered in our FAQ page.
Still have questions, comments or concerns? Please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.