LMS Update

Andrea ChesterUncategorizedLeave a Comment

A valuable update below from the DVC, E.

Learning Management System (LMS) Implementation set to go

It’s been a very busy few months finalising the Learning Environment Review as the team has moved from exploration to action. A short holiday hiatus has now given way to preparation for the implementation of a new LMS over 2017.


After a rigorous process of investigation involving a great deal of staff input, we have chosen a new product and platform for the RMIT Learning Management System (LMS).

That platform is CANVAS, a widely used and very adaptive system that, for us, will meet our requirements and assist us to deliver a significantly improved learning and teaching environment.

It is a cloud-based system with a reputation for clarity and ease of use. Users can choose from a sophisticated range of course assembly tools including platforms for sharing class modules and tasks such as surveys and quizzes. It combines video capability, great analytics, strong collaborative tools and, of course, powerful course publishing.

Improving the student and staff experience

Currently, our students and staff have a poor experience within our digital learning environment. Adoption and coverage is low and in places patchy across the schools and colleges. This is due to a range of factors – not least that we need an agreed set of minimum quality standards for the digital learning environment and comprehensive professional development for our staff.

Combining a set of quality standards with professional development will enable us to achieve the step change that we all want and that our students need to have a great online learning experience.
The LMS Implementation project will deliver:

  • a best in class learning and teaching environment that builds RMIT’s reputation as a place where inspiring teaching and great student experiences are part of what it means to study with us
  • sustainability of the core platform – the existing Blackboard LMS contract lasts until the end of 2017
  • improved functionality (e.g. video management, collaboration, mobile experience) – the capabilities students routinely tell us they want but cannot access easily through Blackboard.
An example of a basic Canvas dashboard – clean, simple, easy to navigate

What happens next?

Over the next few months we’ll work with schools and colleges to develop a plan to ensure that all academic staff have the skills and knowledge to use Canvas to its greatest potential.
We’ve been able to provide a relatively long lead-time for training and getting up to speed. The system will go live for all RMIT courses – HE, VE, International and other courses – at the beginning of Semester 1 2018.

In the meantime, we’ll be piloting extensively with academic and student; developing the appropriate training process and modules; plus working with you to ensure the learning & teaching framework that is used to develop content is easy to use and does what it promises.
Information, examples and training will be delivered in multiple forms and formats to best fit your needs.
There’s a lot to be done, but it will be an exciting way to provide more flexible resources, greater interactivity and opportunities to learn for all students.

What can I do to get involved right now?

You’ll be able to see what the new LMS can do at a showcase event at the beginning of March.

Academic professional development for 2017 should include training in Canvas that will be supplied by the LMS Implementation project and will be made available online. This will include how to use Canvas in the best way, and be aligned to the learning and teaching framework.

That said, many people are currently working on their Workplans so please make sure you put an element in on Canvas.

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