LMS Transition Initiative Update

As many of you know, The Learning Management System (LMS) Transition Initiative, a working group of the Campus Council for Information Technology/Educational Technology Subcommittee, has been exploring possible alternatives to Sakai, the engine that currently powers our learning management system, SmartSite. While we had initially hoped to begin piloting alternatives this winter, our timeline has been a delayed. Below, you’ll find an update on our current progress, as well as a request for feedback.

Since December, we have been engaged in conversations with Purchasing, the unit on campus that is guiding our development of a Request for Proposals (RFP), which we will send to LMS vendors as soon as possible. Once the vendors respond to that RFP, the LMS Working Group will review their proposals and rate the systems according to a rubric we’ve developed. The results of those reviews will guide our selection of vendors to pilot in the fall of 2014 (ideally, we will narrow the focus on two pilots). Our goal is to make a recommendation in December and, if we choose to move away from Sakai, begin transitioning in January, with the intent of being fully transitioned by summer 2015.

Key to this process is collecting feedback from the UC Davis committee (and please note that anyone is welcome to join the LMS Working Group!). In that spirit, we sent out a survey in the fall that asked respondents to indicate a priority level for several LMS functions on a scale of 1-5. We received 28 responses (7 academic federation faculty, 14 senate faculty, 1 undergraduate student, 5 staff, 1 unknown), which are helpful, but not sufficiently representative of the UC Davis community. We also asked the LMS Working Group to prioritize the LMS features on our working RFP Rubric; we received 14 responses (2 academic federation, 2 senate, 1 undergraduate student, 2 graduate students, 4 staff, 2 unknown). Our next step is to refine our questions and circulate a new survey to ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard.

Below, you’ll find a summary of the feedback we have received so far. If you have comments on the results we have thus far, feedback on how we can refine our questions, or suggestions of how we can better reach LMS stakeholders, please leave post a reply to this article or email us at wheel@ucdavis.edu.

Survey Results

Function % of Survey Respondents (n=28) who said the function was “extremely important”
Uploading Course Content (files, lectures, syllabi, PowerPoint presentations) 87%
Instructor Communication with Students (sending emails, posting announcements) 67%
Grading and Rubrics (inputting and delivering grades, providing feedback on assignments) 67%
Managing Participants (roster, TA permissions, sections/groups) 54%
Moving existing SmartSite content to the new LMS 54%
Embedding audio and video (uploading pre-recorded content, adding video from websites like YouTube, TED) 50%
Interaction: Student Submission of Assignments 46%
Quizzes, Exams, Surveys/Polls 42%
Analytics and Statistics (that allow the instructor to evaluate the students’ use of the LMS) 37%
Interaction: Student-to-Student Collaboration (discussion forums, chat, group document creation) 33%
Mobile accessibly (ability to access and manipulate the LMS content via mobile devices) 29%
Sequencing Content (i.e. Modules, Calendars) 29%
Curating Media (providing students access to audio/video collections or RSS feeds) 21%
Creating Content (recording video/audio directly in the LMS, digital media editing tools (text, html, announcements, MathML, LaTeX), linking between content created in various LMS tools) 17%
Peer review (ways for students to provide feedback to each other within the LMS) 17%
Integrating web services such as Google Drive, Calendar 17%
Scheduling (office hours, calendars) 12%

 

Working Group Priority Ratings

LMS Feature

Average Priority Rankings from the LMS Working Group (n=14) (3=high, 2=medium, 1=low)

Security

2.89

Grade Book

2.86

Course Management Integration (Banner) (Roster, enrollment adds/drops, enrollment status, course descriptions, IOR, class standing, major, CRN, participants, official photos, room location/meeting times, sections)

2.75

Tests & Quizzes (Assessments, polls)

2.73

Participant Management (roster and enrollment status, profile, sections, ad hoc gropu management, guest access)

2.73

Communication Tools (Announcements & Notifications, Chat, IM/SMS Enabled, Email and Email Achive, RSS, Social Media)

2.71

Accessibility

2.70

Final Grade System Integration (submit grades from LMS gradebook)

2.70

Training and Client Support

2.68

Assignments

2.64

Rich Media Content Creation (audio creation, video creation, contest delivery)

2.58

Authentication at Industry Standards (CAS/Shibboleth)

2.50

Analytics

2.50

Grade Submission

2.50

Migration Tool for SmartSite Sakai

2.50

WYSIWYG Editing

2.50

SIS Integration

2.50

Roles

2.43

Third Party Integrations (LTI, open API, external web pages)

2.40

Mothra Integration (use and display campus kerberos IDs and emails)

2.40

Browsers Compliance and JAVA

2.40

Course cloning and archive restoration

2.38

Tools Customizations (tailor available tools for university-wide usage or site-wide usage)

2.38

Combine Sections

2.38

Site/Page Management

2.36

Mobility

2.30

Institutional Reporting Tools

2.29

Gradebook parity with current paradigm

2.29

Copying Course Content

2.27

Calendar & Event Management

2.25

Syllabus

2.17

Discussion Forums

2.17

Hosting and Service Level Agreements

2.14

Integration with Cloud Services (Box, Dropbox, WebDAV, SFTP, etc.)

2.13

File/Resources Management (Cloud Integration, external file integration)

2.10

Content Sequencing (Lessons/Modules)

2.09

UC Online Integration

2.06

Course Templates

2.00

Online Marking/Annotation Tools & Notes (eg. Crocodocs)

2.00

Search Functionality

2.00

Student Portfolios

2.00

Branding Flexibility

2.00

MyUCDavis portal integration (“classes I’m taking/teaching”)

2.00

Guest Access

1.91

Tin Can API

1.86

Concurrent Users Threshold

1.80

Group Document Creation

1.73

University Extension

1.63

Learning Context Hierarchy/Multi-Institution

1.33

Blogs

1.30

URL Shortening/Renaming service (unique URLS for individual tools and items)

1.25

Mathematic Forumla/LaTeX/MathML

1.13

 

Post Author: Mary Stewart

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