Utah Education Network Selects Instructure to Provide a Statewide Learning Management System

SALT LAKE CITY, December 15, 2010 – A selection committee representing Utah colleges and universities has chosen Utah-based Instructure to provide a statewide Learning Management System (LMS) for Utah college students and faculty. Instructure’s Canvas LMS is a software application that enables educational institutions to efficiently administer, document, track and report on classroom and online learning. The Utah Education Network will host and support the application from its facilities at the Eccles Broadcast Center. More than 109,000 Utah college students and 29,000 higher education faculty and staff will have access to the system by June 2012. The system will also be available to about 40,000 public education students and their teachers.

“The selection committee’s decision is a win-win-win for the state of Utah. It’s a win for Utah students and faculty who gain a state-of-the art Learning Management System at a competitive price. It’s a win for a Utah-based vendor that’s created an excellent product, and it’s a win for all Utah citizens who benefit from the economic development made possible by a well-educated cadre of college students,” said Michael Petersen, Executive Director of UEN.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to partner with UEN, higher education and public schools in Utah,” said Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure. “With Canvas, a new standard for simplicity, usability and elegance has been set, and we believe this will have a direct and positive impact on education in Utah.”

UEN will start to phase in the Canvas LMS during Summer semester of 2011 at the University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Salt Lake Community College, Weber State University, Snow College, Southern Utah University, Dixie State College and the Utah College of applied technology.

The LMS selection process started in late 2009 to choose a replacement for the current Blackboard Vista system, which will no longer be supported by Blackboard after December 2012. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in October 2010 and eight competitors responded. That list was narrowed to three by a selection committee representing all nine of the state-owned colleges and universities in Utah. The committee included nine voting members (one from each institution) and numerous other technologists, instructional designers and administrators.

“Although Instructure is relatively new to the market, the Canvas product is very innovative, and the company is solid and poised for growth,” said Scott Allen, Learning Systems Administrator at UEN. “The competitive bidding process is tough on vendors and our selection committee was impressed with what Instructure could offer.”

Each Utah institution participated in evaluating the products from multiple vendors. “The selection committee recommended Instructure’s Canvas product because it offered the best match to higher education’s criteria for a Learning Management System. By hosting the application at UEN, we will continue realizing the cost savings and other benefits that we have been able to provide to state colleges and universities during the past several years with Blackboard Vista,” said Allen.

The Canvas product is currently used by more than 20 universities. It provides compatibility with all web browsers across a variety of platforms ranging from Microsoft Windows through Mac OSX and Linux. It also functions on Smartphones including iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Android, Palm and Blackberry. The product is built on a multi-tenant architecture, which allows it to support multiple institutions from a single installation.

Instructure is a technology company focused on improving education. Founded in 2008 by two Computer Science graduate students, Instructure set out to disrupt the complex, legacy Learning Management System industry by creating Canvas - a simple, yet powerful software system that sets a new standard for open technology in education.

The Utah Education Network is an award-winning consortium of public education, higher education and the state’s library system. UEN provides broadband connectivity to Utah school districts, public colleges and universities and public libraries throughout the state. UEN also provides instructional services and professional development for educators, connects hundreds of Utah class rooms via interactive video conferencing, and operates public broadcast station UEN-TV.

For information, contact:
Scott Allen
Learning Systems Administrator
Utah Education Network (UEN)
801-581-5382
www.uen.org

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