June 19, 2019 | 68° F

Sakai, Blackboard to be phased out as Rutgers selects Canvas for official software


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Photo by Brittany Gibson |

At a Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) meeting last semester, Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui, the vice chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, discussed the report Rutgers was working on at the time to decide which learning system to implement University-wide.


Rutgers students can say goodbye to Sakai.

The University announced yesterday that it has selected Canvas as its official learning management system (LMS) — a decision it said is aimed at enhancing the learning and teaching experience for students and faculty.

No specific timeline has been set, but the transition will not happen overnight. According to a press release, the move to replace other systems used at Rutgers, such as Blackboard and Sakai, will take place over a few years. 

More specifically, on the FAQ section of a newly released website for the transition, Go Canvas, Rutgers said Blackboard users will continue to have access for at least the next three years. 

A “system sunsetting” plan for Moodle and Sakai has yet to be determined, but users will be given time to move their work before access is turned off, according to the website.  

“By choosing Canvas, we are taking a significant step to enhance the educational experience at Rutgers,” said Michele Norin, senior vice president and chief information officer. “The move from multiple systems to a single, universitywide LMS will foster collaboration, reduce complexity and simplify the learning and teaching experience for Rutgers students and faculty.”

The decision comes following the recommendations of a university-wide committee that was formed in Fall 2017 to examine the different systems available, according to the site. Rutgers said the committee had representation from all current LMS teams, as well as students, faculty and staff.

Another committee will soon be formed to consider the planning required for the transition, according to the press release. No timeline has been announced.

Rutgers is far from the only school to use Canvas, as more than 3,000 universities, school districts and other institutions use the resource, according to the press release. The Go Canvas website said that 12 out of 14 Big Ten schools also use the system.

Barbara A. Lee, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, reiterated that users of the other platforms will have time to transition their work to Canvas.

“An initiative of this magnitude will not happen overnight, and we want to reassure you that instructors will be given ample time to make the transition,” she said. “We recognize the many issues raised by this step, including important concerns and questions about course migrations, faculty training, technical support and other issues.”


Ryan Stiesi

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