Behind the Scenes with Canvas and Brightspace

Session 1 – 1:30-2:20 pm

Location: MU: Stouffer Lounge

Although Canvas dominates the LMS market in the Kansas/Missouri region and recently surpassed Blackboard in the U.S. market, Brightspace (D2L) remains in 3rd place nationally, a viable contender among the “big 4” which represents a stable 11.1% of the U.S. LMS market and 381 adopting institutions (according to edutechnica and eLiterate data). Both Canvas and Brightspace offer robust competitive platforms which are learner-centered and flexible, and each has particular advantages and disadvantages. To unpack the similarities and differences, the presenters (which include a former Canvas LMS admin who did significant course development & ID work and a long-time Brightspace instructional designer with knowledge of the admin side) will peel back the layers and do a side-by-side comparison of the two platforms. The presenters plan to: (1) show the most common course build functions, (2) compare and contrast how they do various course development tasks in Canvas and in Brightspace, (3) discuss what each platform handles well – or doesn’t, and (4) mention challenges and limitations they’ve run into with each.

Targeted Learning: Armed with comparative data about how the most common course functions and build processes are done in each respective platform, participants will be in a better position to understand the respective strengths and weaknesses of their institution’s platform, gain ideas and insights regarding how it’s done in other LMS’, and be more informed about options and techniques so they can contribute effectively toward making evaluative decisions when LMS contracts are up for renewal and other LMS options are being discussed.

Presented by
David Swisher, Indiana Wesleyan University,
Jamie Dayton, Indiana Wesleyan University,

Presenter Bio(s)
David Swisher is an Instructional Designer at the Center for Learning & Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN). Prior to this he served for 8 years as the Director of Learning Management Technologies at Tabor College (Wichita/Hillsboro), and was previously the Classroom Technology Specialist at Kansas State Polytechnic (Salina). A graduate of Emporia State’s Instructional Design & Technology masters program, his experience runs the gamut from the administration side (LMS admin, LTI configuration, SIS scripting, marketing/branding, etc.) to course development (faculty coordinator, technology trainer, instructional design, & program development) to instruction (course developer, adjunct instructor – online, on-site, & hybrid).

Jamie Dayton is an Associate Instructional Designer at the Center for Learning & Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN). In this role she facilitates the Brightspace (D2L) course build process and works closely with the LMS Admin and school curriculum teams to ensure that courses are ready to launch in live sections on time. Jamie is finishing her Master of Science degree this fall in “Learning Design & Technology” from Purdue University’s College of Education.

Session Type: LMS: Providing Technical Support | D2L | Presentation (50 min.)

Keywords: Accessibility/universal design, Blended/hybrid course, Classroom practices, Course/learning management systems, Data analytics, Instructional design, Learning objects and repositories, Management and policy issues, Program evaluation/quality control, Smart devices

Intended Audiences: Role: Teacher/faculty, Role: Administrator, Role: Other (Instructional designer/course developer) | K12, Higher Ed, Private Sector, Public Sector, Corporate Training | Novice, Intermediate

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