Indiana University Leading Unizin Group to Develop a New “Learning Ecosystem”!

Dear Commons Community,

This information was passed on to me by my colleague, Joel Hartman (University of Central Florida), and appeared on the e-Literate website.

“Indiana University has been the driving force behind the creation of a new organization [Unizin] to develop a “learning ecosystem”.  At least ten schools are being  asked to contribute $1 million each over a three-year period to join the consortium. The details of what that $1 million buys are unclear at this point. The centerpiece for the short-term appears to be a contract with Instructure for use of the Canvas LMS. But there are also hints of ambitious plans regarding learning object repositories and learning analytics.

What is remarkable is the level of secrecy surrounding the project. Several sources from involved schools have indicated that very few people have been informed regarding their institutions’ prospective involvement. When school discussions do take place, care is being taken to keep them quiet. For example, a video recording of a presentation to faculty about Unizin at Colorado State University has since been removed from public access after it received some attention on Twitter (although e-Literate downloaded a copy of the video before it was removed from public access)…

…there are no definite commitments to join this group yet other than from Indiana, although University of Michigan and Colorado State University are beginning to socialize the idea on their respective campuses…The ten potential Unizin members (along with their current LMSs) are as follows:

  • Colorado State University (Blackboard)
  • Indiana University (Sakai)
  • Oregon State University (Blackboard)
  • Purdue University (Blackboard)
  • University of Florida (Sakai, with some use of Canvas)
  • University of Maryland (Canvas)
  • University of Michigan (Sakai)
  • University of Texas (Blackboard, with at least one campus in the process of moving to Canvas)
  • University of Wisconsin (Desire2Learn)
  • University of Utah (Canvas)

While the group seems only loosely connected to the Big 10′s Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the group does share some common key players with an earlier position paper by a CIC task force motivated by the perceived need to take back control of distance learning from MOOC providers such as Coursera.”

This could be an interesting development and worth following.



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