CSG Fall 2013 – Is the Grass Greener? Exploring the New Wave of Course Management Systems, Part 3

Aisha Wood Jackson – University of Colorado.

Teaching and Learning Applications program. Supports iTunes U, Kaltura, VoiceThread, as well as LMS. They have Google Apps, and Coursera, as well as Desire2Learn. 

Came to D2L after being on WebCT. Two committees formed to come up with selection criteria for replacement – functional stakeholders and technical stakeholders. Criteria included Experience, background, and qualifications; features and usability; LMS admin; Product environment; product roadmap; financial. D2L won on everything except financial and Experience, background, and qulifications.

Using hosted D2L.

Implementation schedule: Spring 2011 pilot; Fall 2011 opt-in period; D2L default Spring of 2012; D2l All-in Fall 2012. 

2291 courses this fall (out of about 5000 total courses) on D2L. 

Tools used – Content (43%), Homepages (28%), Discussion (12%), Quizzes (11%), Grades (2%), dropbox (3%)

Had series of outages at beginning of spring semester – upgraded to new interface in January, started having outages and access issuesin mid-January, leading to a 61 hour outage on January 29 – Feb 1. D2L said failure while migrating CU to new file storage system. Yes but – D2L didn’t consider risk and potential impact and lack of communication about change: weren’t informed of work or given a scheduling choice. 

Managing after outage – transparency and communication was key (used lots of social netowrks); emphasized that OIT was not D2L; CEO and COO of D2L sent communication to the campus; Provost and CIO kept communicating to campus. Communicated alternatives to D2L during outage – how to email classes, share docs, etc. 

Afterwards had Faculty review committee look at options: staying with hosted D2L, self-hosting D2L, or middle-ground with a redundant system on campus. Did an audit and on-site visit to D2L. Decided to stay with hosted D2L. Saw that D2L was putting processes in place to do a better job. Changing agreement to require consideration of risk and impact when making changes, and requiring notification of changes. This year D2L implemented a change freeze during school start. 

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