ARCHIVED: Completed project: Next.IU: Learning technologies for Indiana University

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Primary UITS contact: John Gosney

Completed: May 1, 2016

Description: Next.IU is a two-year pilot program to discover what's next for teaching and learning technologies at Indiana University, through a series of pilots on learning management systems (LMS) as well as other tools.

IU introduced Oncourse CL in 2005, and made it the default LMS in 2007. While new features and functionality have been added to Oncourse, the broader learning technologies landscape has also changed considerably during this timeframe. One goal of the Next.IU initiative was to assess whether another LMS might better meet the current and anticipated needs of our students, faculty, and staff. After piloting and evaluation of the Desire2Learn, Blackboard, and Canvas learning management systems, the results indicated that both faculty and students preferred Canvas. To view the results of these pilots/evaluations, visit Next.IU: Reports.

LMS pilot testing for Learning Technologies supports Recommendation 14 from Empowering People, IU's strategic plan for IT.

Outcome: This project aims at a more comprehensive understanding of the newest tools, systems, and pedagogical approaches that best support the teaching and learning mission of Indiana University.

Milestones and status:

  • July 12 and 16, 2012: Provide communication to standing committees, campus leadership, teaching centers, and the Oncourse Support and Implementation Team
  • August 14, 2012: Canvas LMS and CourseNetworking announced as the first two pilots, with invitations to all IU faculty to participate
  • December 21, 2012: Per review and approval by the Oncourse Priorities Committee, CourseNetworking becomes a default tool in all Oncourse course sites for the spring 2013 semester.
  • January 7, 2013: Pilot of the Canvas LMS begins with nearly 30 course sections encompassing nearly 800 students across the university
  • March 18, 2013: Blackboard and Desire2Learn join Next.IU learning technologies pilots, with invitations to all IU faculty to participate
  • June 10, 2013: Executive Summary of the spring 2013 Canvas pilot evaluation published to the website
  • August 19, 2013: Fall pilots of the Blackboard LMS and Desire2Learn LMS commence across multiple IU campuses.
  • February, 2014: Evaluation reports of Desire2Learn and Blackboard LMS pilots posted to the Website

    For the Blackboard LMS pilot:

    • Number of faculty teaching an active course in Blackboard: 28
    • Number of courses offered: 25
    • Number of individual course sections offered: 47
    • IU campuses participating in the pilot: IUB, IUPUI, IUPUC, IUE, IUK, IUSB, IUN, IUS
    • Total student enrollment (all pilot sections): 1326
    • Subject areas: Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Education, English, History, Library and Information Science, Math, Mechanical Engineering, Organizational Leadership and Supervision, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Health, Slavic Languages, Spanish, Social Work, Sociology

    For the Desire2Learn LMS pilot:

    • Number of faculty teaching an active course in Desire2Learn: 8
    • Number of courses offered: 8
    • Number of individual course sections offered: 9
    • IU campuses participating in the pilot: IUB, IUPUI, IUE, IUK
    • Total student enrollment (all pilot sections): 299
    • Subject areas: Chemistry, Education, Nursing, Informatics, Political Science, Sociology, Physiology

    Also, per recommendation of the Learning Technology Steering Committee, an additional Canvas pilot (focusing on a large-enrolling course) is being conducted during the fall 2013 semester. Details on that pilot are as follows:

    • Number of faculty teaching an active course in Canvas: 1
    • Number of courses offered: 1
    • Number of individual course sections offered: 12
    • IU campuses participating in the Canvas pilot: IUB
    • Total student enrollment (all pilot sections): 293
    • Subject areas: Instructional Systems and Technology

    As it did for the spring 2013 Canvas pilot, UITS partnered with the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) to perform an evaluation of the Blackboard and Desire2Learn pilots.

  • January 1, 2014: Ongoing evaluations of other learning technologies commence, including the following:
    • Echo360: Allows instructors to create and easily upload lecture content in advance, and also record lectures as they are delivered with supporting visuals such as slides and whiteboard notations.
    • ePortfolio: A system-wide task force to evaluate prospective replacements for the Oncourse ePortfolio environment has selected four products for further evaluation this spring: Chalk & Wire, Digication, Folitek, and Taskstream.
    • Piazza: Designed to fuel collaborative discussions, Piazza allows students to ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors. The tool also integrates with Oncourse.
    • Video Management Tools: Managing media libraries, even large ones, should be simple and straightforward. UITS Collaboration Technologies and Online Instructional Design and Development are currently evaluating tools to meet this growing need within the university.
    • VoiceThread: Enhances student engagement and online presence by helping instructors create a more visual and auditory discussion environment. Students can comment on videos, images, documents, or text via microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload. VoiceThread integrates into an LMS using the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard.
    • Doceri: Scalable suite of products that replace interactive whiteboards and audio/visual touch panels. Doceri allows real-time annotation using an iPad, as well as control of computer desktops and A/V technology.
    • Ensemble Video SaaS: Enables collaborative sharing and management of an ever-increasing flow of video content
    • Kaltura SaaS: Gain access to all the tools you need to organize content and metadata, easily search media, and edit, moderate, and create playlists from one central repository.
  • April 2014: The Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) by Instructure is chosen as the successor to Oncourse. While Oncourse will remain available through the summer of 2016, Canvas may be used by all IU faculty and students beginning with summer 2014 classes.
  • August 2014: A system-wide task force was charged, in late 2012, with recommending prospective replacements for the open source portfolio environment in Oncourse. The task force developed and prioritized functional requirements for an RFI in summer 2013. After extensive review, discussion, and live demos, the task force ranked vendors and issued recommendations. IU issued a RFP for an enterprise ePortfolio system after Canvas was named as Oncourse's successor. An agreement with Taskstream was signed in August 2014.
  • Fall 2015: Additional pilots involving audience response systems (Learning Catalytics, Reef Polling, TurningPoint Cloud), online exam proctoring (BVirtual, Examity), web collaboration tools (Adobe Connect Integration for Canvas, Zoom), and student engagement and lecture capture (Echo360 Active Learning Platform) were conducted in the fall 2015 semester.

Comment process: Email questions to

Benefits: The program will allow faculty members and students to test next-generation software platform(s) and tools that may enhance teaching and learning at Indiana University.

Related information: For more, see the Next.IU website.

Client impact: The Learning Technologies Steering Committee (LTSC) reviewed outcomes of the LMS pilots and evaluations, endorsing the process that led to the selection of Canvas as IU's new LMS.

Project team:

  • Learning Technologies
  • Indiana University campus centers for teaching and learning
  • IT Communications Office


  • Stacy Morrone
    Associate Vice President for Learning Technologies
    Dean of Information Technology, IUPUI

This is document bciy in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 17:23:47.

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