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Planned Transitions and Upgrades

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May 9, 2013

To the Hobart and William Smith Community —

As the academic year draws to a close, I write to share with you a summary of several transitions that will take place at the Colleges over the summer that will provide enhanced services to the campus community.

Adoption of the Canvas Learning Management System and the retirement of BlackBoard

During the 2012 – 13 academic term, a growing number of faculty, students, and staff began using Canvas (canvas.hws.edu), a new Learning Management System, as part of a pilot program. Following from the successful pilot that had over 1,800 faculty, staff, and student participants, Canvas will replace BlackBoard as our institutional Learning Management System. Planning and preparations are well underway to fully complete the transition to Canvas, with all faculty, students, and staff on the new system for Fall 2013.

As the Colleges complete the transition to Canvas, BlackBoard will be retired on June 30, 2013 when our license expires and it will no longer be accessible after that date. The retirement of BlackBoard means that all users should be saving or transferring any content they want to retain. A list of support resources is available at www.hws.edu/itservices/canvas_resources.aspx to assist in the transition.

Adoption of the Baseline survey tool and the retirement of Surveyor

During the 2012 – 13 academic term, the transition to a new online survey tool is another activity that has been underway. This transition is necessary since our current Surveyor tool has reached its end of life and is no longer supported by the vendor. Since last Fall, the Online Survey Tool project team has worked with individual departments that are frequent users of Surveyor to prepare for the transition to the new Baseline survey tool (www.hws.edu/baseline. During this past academic term, Baseline has been piloted in many departments across campus along with new processes and procedures for managing surveys. Some examples of surveys that have been administered through Baseline are: the Spring Concert 2013 survey, William Smith Congress and Hobart Student Government elections, 5/6 Faculty Resolution Survey, Trustee Meeting Assessments, and the Classroom survey.

Similar to BlackBoard, Surveyor will be retired on June 30, 2013 and will no longer be accessible after that date. If you have facilitated surveys in the past using Surveyor and want to retain information collected in those surveys, users should begin exporting that data as soon as possible. A list of support resources is available at www.hws.edu/itservices/catalog/survey.aspx to assist in the transition.

Internet Bandwidth Upgrade

At HWS, as on campuses across the country, demand for Internet and network bandwidth continues to increase dramatically. To continue to provide the necessary Internet bandwidth to the campus, our primary Internet circuit will be upgraded in late May. This upgrade will result in a very limited outage of Internet access. More information on the exact timing of the upgrade will be communicated via the normal Help Desk Bulletin process.

As always, please contact the Help Desk (helpdesk@hws.edu) if you have any questions or require assistance with any of these transitions.

Sincerely,
Fred Damiano
Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives