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Angel Transition - 2013-2014

 

Update: Transition Plans announced

 

Recently, the State Board announced a new contract for Learning Management Systems (LMS) with Instructure Canvas. Highline does not use the State Board to provide our LMS. However, the underlying issues that drove this change do impact us, as do the actions of colleges around us.

As you may be aware, the Blackboard company bought Angel Learning Systems in 2009. Blackboard have indicated that version 8.0 of Angel, released Fall 2011, will be the last major upgrade to Angel. While they expect to provide maintenance, they have stated that they will not be doing any significant development. As a result, Highline will need to determine how to move forward with our Learning Management System (LMS) after Summer Quarter, 2014.

Why are we talking about this now?

We began researching this so that we could participate in the state's decision process and gather research about the tools that Highline might use.

Here is the timeline we expect to follow at Highline:

  • 2011-2012 - WAOL/State conducts RFP to select replacement for Angel
    • October 2011 - Faculty input survey
    • February 2011 - Finalists named: Instructure Canvas, Blackboard Learn, Desire2Learn
    • March 2011 - Faculty test the finalists
    • April 2011 - Instructure's Canvas named the Apparent Successful Vendor
  • Winter/Spring 2013 - Highline determines transition process
  • 2013-2014 - New system will be brought online; faculty and staff training, course conversion, pilot courses will start.
  • 2014 Summer Quarter - Angel will be taken off-line August 31, 2014

We expect to have several quarters in which there are two LMS (Angel, and the replacement) running side-by-side. This will provide more time to transition course materials, learn to use the new system, and work out any glitches.

Will a new system be chosen?

It's very we will be moving to Canvas. At this point, we are watching to see how the company and product mature. Factors that we continue to monitor are:

  • The future of Angel. Blackboard is updating product development plans for Angel, but it appears minimal investment will occur.
  • Surrounding colleges. Every community and technical college within driving distance of Highline is migrating to Canvas during this academic year. In addition, all UW campuses and Seattle University are rolling out Canvas. This impacts our part-time faculty and students who take classes at multiple campuses, as they have to learn multiple systems.
  • Funding/costs. SBCTC is changing the model through which they fund LMSs. We're comparing the new cost model to our current Angel license and system support costs.
  • Instructure and Canvas. Our faculty gave Canvas mixed reviews on features and some interface issues, so we're watching how those change as they improve the product.

What's next?

We upgraded to Angel 8.0 during summer 2012. Angel 8.0 includes:

  • Support for Chrome and Safari
  • Full rubrics for discussion webs
  • More 'Access' and 'Interaction' controls for Drop Boxes (similar to Tests)
  • Minimal Interface changes

During academic year 2012-2013, we'll formulate our next steps.