Green light still shining for Canvas and Osiris linkup

Tom Abel, TU/e's Chief Information Officer, is looking forward with healthy anticipation to Monday March 13. This is the date when Canvas, the new learning management system that become operational this week, and the student information system Osiris will be linked up. And, indeed, when three other systems will go live. “It is a major operation and we still have the green light,” says Abel.

Canvas and Osiris will soon replace the significantly outdated OWIS and Studyweb. And yes, for Tom Abel personally, the day on which the two systems will be linked up will be far and away the most exciting in his four-year career at TU/e.

“The last thing you want is to create problems for the university with this migration. But a huge amount of preparation has preceded the introduction of these two systems and the three others that go live on 13 March. As early as September pilots were already underway with large groups of lecturers and students, we have a thorough communication plan at the ready and on March 13 dozens of people will be standing by, ready to help out if any problems arise.”

Abel believes the introduction of Canvas and Osiris will bring an end to all the problems that regularly occurred thanks to the old OASE. “But this will also improve the communication between lecturer and student. You will no longer need to log into each system separately; a single log-in will give you immediate access to all systems.” 

He adds, “As well as Canvas and Osiris, on March 13 the Planapp will go live and everyone will get their own personal timetable: MyTimetable. What's more, on that same day students and lecturers will gain access to a personal portal, via which they can find everything of importance related to their jobs or studies.”


A couple of add-ons will follow in the course of 2017 says CIO Abel, such as a registration functionality and a case module concerning everything to do with exams. Executive Board member Jo van Ham is proud that TU/e was the first university in Europe to choose Canvas in April of last year. “Since then in the Netherlands the VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Twente (UT) have decided to work with it.” At the end of January UT announced that they hope to have Canvas operational by mid 2018.

Alex Dings, student of Software Science and a participant in the users' panel, continues to be enthusiastic about the possibilities Canvas offers. “It has more possibilities than you see at first glance. But soon it is going to be important that lecturers all start using it in the same way. If one lecturer enters data neatly in the prescribed way and another simply posts a PDF file it could sow confusion among students.”

In addition to this, Abel says that aftercare and monitoring will continue to be important tasks for his team after the introduction. “Consultation with the users' groups, students and lecturers will continue to be important even after March 13, in order to ensure that we are using the system in the right and optimal way, for future generations as well as ourselves.”

He expects that with these two systems TU/e will be well provided for for years to come. “Osiris has a payback time of about six to ten years, and for Canvas it's about four years.”

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