EEE’s Vanishing Act: An Introduction
According to documents obtained by the New University, the Learning Management Directions Review Team has decided to phase out UCI’s Electronic Educational Environment — more commonly known as EEE — for the third party platform Canvas.
EEE is UCI’s current learning and course management system.
According to a Learning Management System Future Directions Committee report dated Jan. 28, 2013, learning management tools, such as messageboard and quizzes, directly impact student learning. Course management tools are administrative in nature and include gradebook, mailing lists and course websites.
Unlike other UC’s who contract out their learning and content management systems to third parties like Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle and Canvas, UCI produces EEE in-house.
Managing the systems in-house means UCI does not need to pay an annual licensing fee to a third party; it also means having complete control and the final authority on the functionality of them. Having a unique system does make it more difficult to integrate third-party services such as Google Drive and Piazza into it.
Instructure, Canvas’ parent company, was founded in 2008 by Brigham Young University graduate students, and the Canvas platform was created in 2011.
UCI and Huntington Beach’s high school district (HBUHSD) partnered with Instructure’s platform in Fall 2013 to hold an open online course “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’” as part of the school district’s “Techoween” event.
UCI has also utilized Moodle in the past for certain online and summer school courses.
According to the timetable in the documents, UCI will begin an invitation-only pilot program to test the Canvas platform in Spring Quarter. This is the first step to phase out EEE and integrate the third party system.
The invite-only portion of the pilot ends Summer 2015 and will be replaced by a full pilot in the fall.
The full pilot concludes in Spring 2016, and the committee will then evaluate the success of the program.
The licensing cost for the entire pilot program will be $160,720. According to the documents, one non-financial cost will be the learning curve to adapt to the new system.