In the beginning, Virginia Tech adopted the open source software suite, Sakai, a “freely available, feature rich technology solution for learning, teaching, research and collaboration.” And Tech said, “let there be Scholar,” a tool for students and faculty members to communicate and view information efficiently. It served Tech well for many years – connecting students and teachers on its Sakai-based software – but eventually Scholar’s lack of mobile apps and its unreliable nature during crunch-time hours caused much suffering for students and teachers alike.

After a year’s worth of investigating various options from Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies, the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) created by Instructure was chosen by Virginia Tech as the campus’ new management system. Canvas has added qualities never seen before on Scholar, such as a mobile app (Android devices can find it on Google Play, and iOS devices can find it at the iTunes Store), and improved chatrooms & discussion boards. As of October 2015, 40% of students, 22% of faculty, and 12% of sections have migrated to Canvas in order to try out the new offers.

The grand plan is to ease all staff members and students to Canvas, though currently instructors have the option between the two systems. There is an expected 100% student and faculty migration to Canvas by the end of Spring 2017, and behold; it will be very beneficial to all at Virginia Tech.

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Article by Kayleigh Green, a sophomore in Professional and Technical Writing.

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