Below is a message from Dr. Anna Kindler, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Academic Affairs, and Mr. Oliver Gruter-Andrew, Chief Information Officer, Co-Chairs of the Learning Technology Advisory Committee (LTAC). You can read the pdf version here.
Presently, UBC’s prevalent learning management system (LMS) is WebCT Vista, a product owned and licensed to us by Blackboard, a global provider of learning software to K-12 and post-secondary institutions. As WebCT Vista is reaching the end of its life cycle, the university’s Learning Technology Advisory Council (LTAC) has worked over the last year toward a decision on the next generation LMS at UBC. After extensive consultations and careful analysis of alternatives provided by the LTAC Working Group, the Council has recently recommended to the Provost of UBC Vancouver and the Principal of UBC Okanagan that the university selects Blackboard Learn Version 9 as the learning management system that will replace WebCT Vista when the existing product is retired. The recommendation has been for UBC to proceed with one product rather than a range of learning management systems to optimize student and faculty experience and effectively support the new system university-wide in an efficient and effective manner. We are pleased to advise you that this recommendation has now been accepted and UBC will soon begin the process of its implementation.
The LMS Working Group of LTAC will establish a project team to implement Blackboard Learn Version 9 at UBC. This will involve consultation with Faculties regarding migration approaches and timelines, technical installation of the software, configuration of the product for our purposes, documentation development, conversion of courses from WebCT and other learning management systems currently in use and training of users and administrators. In the coming months, we will share more information about the planning process and how our community will be engaged in the project. Every effort will be made to make the transition as seamless and convenient for the users, as possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work of the members of the Working Group from UBC V and UBC O and all the colleagues who took part in the consultation process that has allowed us to come up with this outcome. We would like to particularly highlight the contributions of Michelle Lamberson who chaired the Working Group and Lynda Cooper who most effectively managed the consultations and the analysis. We also would like to acknowledge the critical role of the Functional Analysis Team comprised of instructional support staff from across UBC V and UBC O who provided invaluable feedback and assistance.