Faculty: Review and evaluate learning management systems at CWRU

The Teaching and Learning Technologies unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) continues to lead an evaluation of how Blackboard and other learning management systems at Case Western Reserve are used. The purpose of this effort is to determine whether they remain the best choices for the university’s students, faculty and staff.

ITS has organized opportunities for instructors to review and evaluate the experience of using learning management systems. Through this effort, instructors can work hands-on with three potential alternatives to the current Blackboard Learn 9.1 system. Instructors will evaluate the ease of use of an application, the approximate amount of time needed to complete tasks and the overall experience of using the application. The three alternative systems include Blackboard Ultra, Brightspace and Canvas.

ITS is seeking instructors to complete this evaluation and provide feedback on each of the three alternative systems after working hands-on within them. Participants will be asked to complete a series of course-related tasks that include:

  • Posting course materials (all materials will be provided)
  • Creating an announcement, discussion forum and grade item
  • Communicating with students
  • Grading an assignment within the system

Participants will receive access to the alternate systems on two separate occasions and all activities within a system should not take more than one hour. The experience of all three systems and the final assessment survey should not take more than 3.5 hours total. A sample timeline for participation is broken down as follows. (Systems will be presented in different orders for some participants.)

  • Week of Feb. 8: Brightspace
  • Week of Feb. 15: Blackboard Ultra
  • Week of Feb. 22: Canvas
  • Week of Feb. 29: Final evaluation survey

Participation by faculty members is crucial to helping Case Western Reserve determine the future of the learning management system. This evaluation aims to obtain feedback and a direct comparison of systems from experienced users, and to ensure that a large sample of faculty are able to explore alternative learning management systems.

If you are interested in participating in the evaluation, or have specific questions about the process, contact Eddie Bolden, ITS educational research and assessment specialist, at ecb89@case.edu.