‘eCollege’ to be replaced by summer 2017

‘eCollege’ to be replaced by summer 2017

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A correction has been made to reflect the proper situation with Pearson. 

“eCollege” will soon be a thing of the past.

TCU has narrowed its search for a Learning Management System to two platforms, Blackboard and Desire2Learn (D2L).

“We’ve had feedback, from faculty specifically, that it’s time for change,” Assistant Provost of Educational Technology and Faculty Development Romy Hughes said.

TCU has used Pearson’s Learning Studio system since 1999.

Hughes said Pearson withdrew from the LMS search process for TCU but remains an LMS provider. 

“We need something to evolve with the Academy of Tomorrow and where we’re moving to at TCU,” Hughes said. 

Michigan State University, St. Cloud State University and the University of Arizona are among the universities who already use D2L. Gonzaga University, Ohio University and Texas Tech University use the Blackboard platform.

Despite Blackboard’s popularity among universities nationwide, Hughes reports that D2L is the frontrunner for TCU. The university was specifically looking at accessibility features, improved calendar and help desk options and a more user-friendly dashboard.

“D2L has 98 percent of what TCU is looking for in a platform,” Hughes said. “Blackboard is popular, but had 84 percent.”

These percentages were based on a 214-item questionnaire called the Review Request for Information (RFI) document. These questions were used to assess whether or not a system had the features that TCU was looking for.

“Most LMS vendors told us it took them exactly three months to complete [the questionnaire] because there were so many specific details we were looking for,” Hughes said.

TCU will begin usability tests for the two finalists in April, said Hughes. The committee will then make their recommendation to the provost in June.

“The pilot will be fall 2016,” Hughes said. “There will be a time period where we have two platforms while we transition [the new platform] in.”

One hundred professors and their courses will be selected for the pilot, and the committee plans to be fully switched over to the new system by summer 2017.

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