By June of 2020, Desire 2 Learn will be completely phased out and replaced by a new digital learning environment system called Canvas.
The switch is being made to find a new digital learning environment to better meet student needs because the University of Wisconsin–System’s contract with D2L is expiring.
Shifting from a learning management system like D2L to a digital learning environment will better facilitate learning by supporting the needs of all teaching and learning modes, whether face to face, blended or fully online.
Sean Ruppert is the digital learning environment project manager and learning management system admin at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.
UWSP’s project timeline for the transition from D2L to Canvas will end June 30, 2020, with the complete shutdown of D2L. However, the transition is already starting this semester, with course migration beginning in April and the first courses will be live in Canvas by fall 2018.
Ed Miller, professor of political science, commented on the system UWSP used before D2L which was Blackboard. Similar to the transition from Blackboard to D2L, he said he hasn’t used Canvas yet, but explained that, with course migration starting in April, nobody has.
Canvas encourages collaboration by providing a means for instructors to easily share course materials across courses, departments and institutions.
Other highlights of Canvas include a simple interface, grading features that provide efficient feedback from instructors directly to students and a more collaborative environment for students.
“Always, when you switch from one program to another, there’s some learning that needs to take place, and that’s just simply what happens, it depends on how much better, if it’s better, that this is than D2L,” Miller said.
In selecting Canvas, the UW-System established a team of 10 evaluators and 15 core subject matter experts from across the system. Based on their investigations into eight outlined teaching and learning scenarios, Canvas by Intructure scored the highest.
Additional information on the training and support plan for the implementation of Canvas will be available in March of 2018.
More information on the switch to Canvas can be found on the UWSP website at www.uwsp.edu/canvas and the UW System website at www.wisconsin.edu/dle/.
Olivia De Valk