According to this press release, Instructure’s Canvas Learning Management System goes open source today: “educational institutions can download and use the Canvas Community Version™ for free.” Also in the press release is our very own Rob Ditto, who leads Wharton’s courseware team. Rob says:
“Our students and instructors expect modern technology and a highly satisfying user experience from us…With Canvas, Wharton is giving students a cutting-edge interface and helping instructors evaluate new teaching methods.”
A Learning Management System (aka courseware) is software used by faculty and students to share course materials, track discussions, and collaborate. Uses can range from a self-service website for hosting files to a full-blown mechanism for distance learning.
Wharton falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum (though actual use varies by instructor). webCafe, our current courseware, hosts materials, has discussions, announcements, and course calendars, and has plug-ins for assessments and group sign-ups.
We’re currently piloting some potential replacements for webCafe, and it’s exciting to see one of our candidates get some press. In addition to the news on Instructure’s site, TechCrunch, a populate website for the tech-obsessed, featured the open-source announcement.
Not that this will impact our decision, but isn’t it interesting to know that Instructure’s founder “has a fully operational M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer in his garage?”