17:14 PM

Strong partnership and rapid response keeps students learning

The Summer term marked an historic milestone for Mohawk College with wholescale delivery of remote and virtual instruction for programs.

Roughly 2000 students are actively pursuing their courses off-campus this semester and thousands more will follow them in the Fall, due in large part to a partnership between Mohawk and education technology company, K16 Solutions.

“We are proud of our successful collaboration with K16 Solutions to develop an effective migration tool to complete a massive and complex transfer of course instruction material,” says Cebert Adamson, Mohawk College Dean of Continuing Education, Academic Quality and the Centre for Teaching & Learning. ”Working together, we were able to provide the necessary time and resources for our faculty and staff to quickly shift to a new delivery model during a challenging time.”

Mohawk College has traditionally been a leader in online learning, having delivered a blended lesson model for nearly a decade. Most recently, all Mohawk courses have included a component of remote and virtual learning. In 2019, the college conducted a review of its learning management system (LMS) to ensure students and faculty have the most robust learning management platform available. As a result, the college decided to switch to a new LMS, CANVAS by Instructure, with a planned launch for the Spring semester.

Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. And the closure of all college facilities.

The project took on a new sense of urgency.

The college faculty and staff had to move swiftly to provide the full remote and virtual delivery of classes for the Spring – which was just a few weeks away - and the upcoming Autumn semester.

“K16 Solutions was excited to partner with Mohawk College in the further development of our Scaffold Migration platform," says SamYaghoubi, Vice President - K16 Solutions. "Building the pathway from D2L's Brightspace LMS to Canvas gave us the opportunity to help Mohawk focus on teaching and learning, rather than the monotonous and time-consuming task of manual migration. Our goal with each of these migrations is to reduce or completely eliminate the impact that LMS changes have on faculty, staff, and students."

The most time-consuming and complex step in the project was the course content migration. To succeed, it was imperative to find an efficient method to manage and move large amounts of data formats into the new system. After a short period of preparation and planning with Mohawk's Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL) team, K16 Solutions’ data migration technology allowed the college to transfer more than 20,000 courses into the new system in just 10 days and created the links required for faculty to access their courses in their LMS dashboards.

“K16 saved a huge amount of work for faculty, eliminating the need for them to reconfigure and reformat their courses, content, quizzes and other course materials,” says Adamson. “The consistency of the data and files that were migrated helped the CTL team to inform, train and orientate faculty and staff on the new platform.”

The responsive work of the Mohawk College project team and K16 Solutions resulted in a rapid, successful transition during an uncertain time. Faculty and students can now teach and learn off-campus with confidence, as college education continues despite the ongoing public health crisis.