Participation in the sandboxes helped decide the future of the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) at Texas State University. The Learning Management System chosen will serve as the core system that supports learning at Texas State for years to come. Each vendor was evaluated by the LMS advisory committee and user feedback was vital to choosing between the two potential systems.
The Brightspace and Canvas sandbox environments allowed you to build your site, explore the provider tools and see how you might leverage each system. Participants were surveyed to gather feedback on their experiences, which were evaluated to help us select the best system for campus.
Who can access the sandboxes?
Faculty, staff and students with a valid NetID will have access to the sandboxes.
When can I access the sandboxes?
The sandbox environments will be open from October 15, 2018 - March 30, 2019.
What will I see when I login for the first time?
Faculty and Staff will see two sites, plus one getting started site in Brightspace.
- [YourNetID] Instructor Site. This site will be pre-loaded with a selection of tools, but no content. You can use the sandbox guides to add content. This is your area to explore and use for evaluation.
- Student View. In this course site you will be enrolled as a student. The site will contain tests and assignments, forums, and resources so you can see the student experience.
Getting Started (Brightspace only) This site contains help documentation provided by Brightspace to assist in site creation.
Students will see one site.
My Course. This course site will contain test and assignments, forums, and resources so you can experience the system.
Training and Support
Where do I get help?
Since service provider support is part of the evaluation process, you will be using the vendor help for any questions once you have logged in. Brightspace support is located in the top right navigation menu. Canvas support is located at the bottom left in the maroon navigation panel. You will find a range of support options.
If you have login issues, please contact the IT Assistance Center.
IT Support staff have created guides to help instructors get started with the most common learning tools. They contain general guidance and content that you can copy and paste to populate your site. Download the document guides and get started.
Will there be training provided?
No, there will not be university supported training for the sandboxes.
Brightspace and Canvas have numerous guides and/or videos to walk you through their tools. If you can't find what you are looking for, just select the help in the provider's system and let them direct you.
The LMS Advisory Committee has a faculty led sub-group that held Faculty Evaluation Labs in fall 2018.
The labs were designed to generate an open dialogue, and to help you start envisioning how you might teach in a new LMS. These labs also contributed to the formal evaluation process.
Using the Sandboxes and Feedback
How do I provide feedback?
Participants will be sent surveys and your responses will be part of the evaluation process.
Can I teach a course in the sandboxes?
No. While you won't be able to teach, instructors can explore all aspects of setting up and teaching a course. Keep in mind, the sandboxes are a temporary environment. The pilots, which begin spring 2019, will be the actual courses that are monitored for evaluation.