Seamless Integration: K–12 and Higher Education Connection | InstructureCon 2013


TERRY NORRIS: So a little
bit about the college in Southern Nevada. We are located, as I said,
in Las Vegas, Nevada. We have three main campuses
throughout the valley. And we average about
35,000-40,000 students every semester at the College
of Southern Nevada. As Chris said, I’ve been
there almost 10 years. And this is our third
learning management system in those 10 years. When I started, we were on
WebCT, and then Blackboard bought WebCT. And we had poor customer
service, so we said we’re going to move from WebCT. So in 2008, we get
a RFP to set up a learning management system. We selected Angel, and in 2009
Blackboard bought Angel. So here we are doing
an RFP again. This time though we did a joint
RFP with my counterpart from Truckee Meadows whose here
in the audience, Fred [? Lockin. ?] We were both on Angel, and both
decided that we would do a joint RFP so that we
could go through the process at the same time. And if we reached the same
decision, then we could collaborate and share resources
as we moved forward. A little bit about the
background of higher education in Nevada. Until recently, there hasn’t
been a lot of collaboration. For a while throughout
the state, we have– how many community
colleges, Fred? Four? Four community colleges, one
four year state college, and two land grant universities
in Nevada. And with those, we were using
three different learning management systems in one
of those institutions. There wasn’t a lot
of collaboration. As a matter of fact, three years
ago, the fall before we did our RFP, our system
computing office tried to get together a meeting of all the
institutions to talk about moving to the same learning
management system. And one of the institutions says
that if this is not about moving to Blackboard
9.0 I’m not coming. So we never had that meeting,
but it worked out in the long run. So two years ago, Fred and I
decided we’d do a joint RFP to select a new learning
management system. We actually got eight proposals
for that RFP. And each institution took a
different approach to how we looked at the process and made a
decision about that learning management system. We had two presentations from
each of the top four vendors on our campus to faculty,
because it was faculty who often made decision. Fred did some webinars with
the vendors, and we’ve had faculty involved. One of the things, and this I
can’t take credit for, our director of purchasing told
me to do this as we were preparing our RFP, he said
include language in the RFP that would allow any college
in Nevada System of Higher Education to join the
RFP at a later date. And we had several institutions
that were looking, but they weren’t sure
what they wanted to do. We had one that was on
Moodlerooms, which was also bought by Blackboard. So we had language in there
that would allow any other college that was part of the
Nevada System of Higher Education join at any
time in the future. So as I said, both Truckee
Meadows and CSN took different routes, but we ended up both
selecting Canvas by Instructure. And I think that was the
end of 2012 that we make that decision. Well since the initial selection
of Canvas by CSN and TMCC, Great Basin College,
Western College and Nevada State College in Nevada have
all joined the contract. So what we have in our contract
now is the four community colleges and the
one state college. There are two [INAUDIBLE]
universities that made the decision to stay with Blackboard
and not join in with us as we moved to Canvas. And what that’s done for us
is it’s resulted in a collaborative work between the
institutions as we move forward with Canvas. Fred has an individual who
knows about this great interface we’re all in Nevada
or on PeopleSoft. And we have an interface between
PeopleSoft and Canvas. And [INAUDIBLE] and Fred’s staff
developed this great interface that we’re all
using and we’re just sharing best practices. And this is something that’s
really important in Nevada right now. Our chancellor, about a year
ago, commissioned an outside consultant to come in and look
at e-learning in Nevada and publish a report with
18 recommendations. And one of those said we need to
collaborate more, so it’s a good start here that
we’re doing this. Now, when talking about higher
education in [INAUDIBLE], it’s not really the topic of
the presentation here. At same time we were doing the
RFP process, I was asked to serve on a task force for the
Clark County School District Blended Learning Task Force. Las Vegas is in Clark County,
so it’s in the country that we’re located in. A little bit about
Clark County. They this past spring had over
300,000 students enrolled in Clark County schools
K through 12. So it is a very large district
and it’s sometimes very difficult to coordinate
efforts in that large of a district. So what we were doing on this
task force is that the superintendent of the school
district had set a goal that by 2015 there would be 100,000
students in Clark County involved in online [INAUDIBLE] learning. And so it was the mission of
this task force to come up with a way to meet that. And with Clark County it’s not
going to be easy, because one of the things that they were
struggling with in the county is they didn’t have one learning
management system throughout the county. They have a Clark County virtual
high school that was using Blackboard, but then
beyond that it was up to whatever each individual
school wanted to do in the county. And so as we talked on the
task force we realized if we’re going to be successful and
get that 100,000 students involved in online blended
learning by 2015, there has to be that same [INAUDIBLE] spread
across the county. So as part of our implementation
of Canvas by Instructure, we’re still
in a pilot program. We did a pilot in the spring,
we continued it in summer. But we wanted to make sure that
our faculty who were in the pilot got the
best training. We felt that we weren’t at that
point yet where we could provide that. So Chris came down and
brought Jordan in the back there with him. And we did some trainings,
both in August and October of last year. And the one in October, we
invited the Clark County School District to participate
in that training, just to get a feel for how Canvas functions
and how it works. So we had several faculty and
staff at the training. In conjunction with the
training, the K through 12 sales rep, Linda over here,
was in Clark County and meeting with the
representatives. And I could sense there was an
interest, but when you look at a county that has 300,000
students in it, it’s a large county. And trying to get them to come
to any consensus was a difficult process. Linda could tell you how
long it went on and on. I keep emailing Linda
[? saying, ?] Linda, have they said anything
to you recently? And she said, no, but
I’ll email them. So they always include me
in their replies, but it took a long time. Even if they technically said
that they were going with Canvas, they still had to get
approval of their Board of Trustees and then legal counsel,
and it just took a long time for that to happen. I forgot to tell– I had this story I wanted to
tell about CSN when we made the decision to go
with Canvas. So I let our faculty know that
we were doing RFP again, after we just did one [INAUDIBLE] Angel. I had a faculty member email and
say, I don’t care what LMS you pick, as long as it’s not
bought by Blackboard. And so I said, I wish I could
guarantee that, but that’s beyond my control. But we’ve been told by Canvas
that they have no intention of working with Blackboard. And I can’t myself [INAUDIBLE] working with Blackboard because
we’re running Angel concurrently to Canvas. So we still have that contract
with Blackboard, but just can’t wait to get out of
dealing with that. So discussions were starting
between Clark County and Instructure about working
together. The one nice thing about how we
were able to collaborate on this process is that their
purchasing group decided that they could use the documentation
from our RFP to fulfill their requirements so
that they would not have to go out to RFP. Because if they would have
had to go to RFP– I know our RFP probably took
a year in total to finish. And so if Clark County would
have had to do that again, we’d probably still been waiting
to hear from them. So it was great that they
decided to use our documentation from what our
selection process was. At the same time in Nevada, Elko
County, which is up North and it’s where Great Basin
College is located, started the discussion with Linda as
well on going to Canvas. And again, their purchasing– and this is something
that made it easy– their purchasing again agreed
to us the RFP documentation from our RFP. So we’ve started to get that
collaborative process going, and even sharing the RFP. So eventually Elko went first
and entered into a contract. Because when you look at the
scope of things, Elko is fairly small and were able to
move quicker and make their decision, and then Clark
County joined along. This facilitated that seamless
K through 12 transition, because most of the students
we get at the College of Southern Nevada come from Clark
County School District. And to have them coming to us
already familiar with the Learning Management System and
ready to jump in, that’s just going to make it easier for us
to be successful when the students are out of CSN. What we’ve done to continue that
process of facilitating with Clark County, we’re in the
process of setting up a task force that will work with
Clark County School District, CSN, Nevada State College,
because Nevada State College is in Clark County as well. We’ll talk about working on
sharing and doing things together as we move forward
with Canvas. So it’s been real successful,
that [INAUDIBLE] venture. And I have to say, it was really
pretty lucky that the timing of me serving on the
task force was just really key to it. Because when we went from WebCT
to Angel, I tried to find somebody at the school
district who had had anything to do with their Learning
Management System so we could possibly talk about working
together [? for the report. ?] And no one at that time wanted
to talk with us at all. So we got really lucky that this
opportunity existed for me to join the task force. In addition to those two
counties, Washoe County School District, which is where
Truckee’s [INAUDIBLE] is located, [INAUDIBLE] that’s where Reno is, and Carson
City School District had met with Instructure. And I don’t know what the update
is on both of those, but I know there’s
still discussions going on with those. And so if we were to be lucky to
get both Washoe and Carson on-board, we’d have a real
strong initiative in Nevada. And it’s been a long time– I think Fred could attest to
that since he’s been in Nevada longer than I have– that it’s very unlikely to see
these types of partnerships among, not just higher
education, but to get K through 12 involved in
those partnerships. [INAUDIBLE] run though
it quickly. Yes, Fred? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: Well, I see
a couple of advantages. Fred asked what would be the
advantages of having K through 12 and higher educational
on the same Learning Management System. I think there’s several,
actually. One, I know at CSN, we have
part-time faculty who teach full-time for Clark County
School District. And so if they’re getting
trained on the LMS at school district level, it’ll make their
teaching for CSN that much easier. And then also, as I just said,
when students coming to CSN having learned and already
mastered the Learning Management System, I just think
that makes it really, really easy for our students to
be successful and hopefully lead to better retention. And successes, as we
know, [INAUDIBLE] when you look at retention for
courses for online students in higher education, it’s
lower than it is for students on campus. So anything that we can do to
support those students I think will be helpful. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: We had the
experience of moving, not the entire school– like I said,
we’re on [INAUDIBLE]. We volunteered to go down
to Clark County to work with that. Their faculty as they get ready
for the fall, they’re really jumping in quickly. They just signed the contract
in spring sometime, Linda? March. And they’re going live with
Canvas with their fall term. Now, they’re not going
live with the entire county initially. They’re focusing on the
virtual high school, initially, and some other
small projects. So there’s doing sort
of a pilot, too. But they have to move about 130
courses into Canvas for the fall semester. And so just having us as a
resource, I think, is good to help them move their
content over. Yes? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: I don’t
think– what? Oh, she asked if the state’s
Chancellor’s Office was involved in this process. I would say no. They’ve become aware of
it after the fact. As I said, there was a 105 page
report done on e-learning in the state of Nevada. There’s only like 10 pages that
really mean anything, because that’s where the
recommendations are. What’s that, Fred? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: But one of the
things he pushes for is collaboration. So one of the other things we
do in Nevada is, every other year the Nevada DE director– because we all don’t have the
same titles, so we just call our group the DE Director’s
group– put out a e-learning report. So this year we were able to
focus on that part of the collaborative process in that
report that goes to the Chancellor’s Office, so I think
he’s become aware of it. We’re also looking at putting
together a statewide e-learning task force that he
was going to [INAUDIBLE]. These findings and the fact
that there are these collaborations will be very
helpful for that e-learning task force. Other questions? Yes, Fred? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: Fred says he
doesn’t know if other states have the special high
school tuition rate for online courses. In Nevada, and it used to be
until I guess this spring, I think a high school student
could take an online course at any institution of higher
education in Nevada for a $25 fee. Now, they would actually have to
pay a couple of other fees, but they wouldn’t have to
pay the full tuition. So I know at CSN, we had
students who were graduating from high school who had also
finished their Associate’s degree because of that $25. Our regents met in the spring
sometime and upped it to $50. But still, at $50,
that’s a bargain. To take a three credit online
course from a college for $50 plus a few extra fees– we have
a technology fee they have to pay and things
like that. But no full tuition for the
high school students. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: It was separate
in most cases. We do have some dual enrollment
options in Nevada. But for the most case, these
students would be enrolled in high school and then taking
the college courses beyond their high school courses. I know at CSN, and I believe
this is at Truckee Meadows as well, we had a community
college high school. So we have an actual high
school presence on our college campus. And we have high school students
who are there taking college course while they’re
in high school. I think a lot of those are
dual credit courses. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: No. If they’re taking on campus
courses, they have to pay the full tuition. They didn’t get that through. I’m assuming the deal’s for
online because you don’t have them physically be there and
support them on campus. Even though, as Fred would say,
there’s a lot of things to support them online. So it’s a great deal for them. And I think as we move
forward, I know– and somebody from Clark County
just walked in in the back there, Kim. I know that we talked and we
worked together about doing more dually-enrolled options
for students, especially in the online environment. So that’s something we want to
talk as we move forward. Kim, did you want to say
anything about the whole process moving with Canvas? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. TERRY NORRIS: I think this is
really an exciting time for higher education and
K through 12. Because as I said, it’s not
just Clark County, but all four counties coming on-board. Washoe’s looking, which is
up North, and Carson City District is looking as well. So we could be in a situation
where we have a lot of collaboration going on in the
state, which is something that we’ve lacked a lot
of in the past. Any other questions? There’s my contact
information. If you have any questions
about how we handle the process, I’d be glad to talk
with you or email with you. It was a perfect timing
for us, and things just came together. And I was even lucky to be
at the school district. Because one of our faculty
members was friends with one of the board of trustees for the
school district, and said you really should have Terry and
one other person come to some of your meetings
about technology. So it was just by chance
that it happened. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

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