Community Engagement

How did you engage the Western community? 

Input from our instructors and learners was important as we searched for a new LMS. Here’s how we connected with the Western community during the Community Feedback and Requirements Assessment and Request for Proposal phases of the OWL Migration Plan: 

Community Surveys 

We sent community surveys to students, faculty, and staff to gather broad requirements and feedback about the LMS. We received 600 responses to the faculty survey, 2,929 responses to the student survey, and 1,215 responses to the staff survey.

Listening Sessions

Informed by what you told us in the surveys, we hosted listening sessions for learners, instructors, and staff on a range of topics including accessibility, assessments, and large classes. These listening sessions provided more in-depth insight into the impact of these topics on the way we use and experience an LMS.

We also met with groups who have special technical or functional requirements for OWL to understand their concerns and use cases.

OWL Migration Plan Advisory Committee (OMPAC)

We assembled a committee of representatives from learners, instructors, and staff who provide valuable feedback, advice, and insight throughout the upcoming phases of the project.


We continue to connect with a variety of key stakeholder groups through presentations, providing an overview of the project, updates, and opportunities to ask questions. Some of these groups include academic leadership, student leadership, Faculty Association leadership, and staff units.

Demo Sessions

Demos for shortlisted vendors took place in February. Five demo sessions were hosted with each vendor with the following topics: General Sessions, Course Content Creation, Assessments and Grading, Tracking, Analytics, and Reporting, and Administrator Functionality. Participants were required to complete evaluations for each session they attended.

Community Sandbox

An invitation to participate in a sandbox evaluation of shortlisted LMS products was extended to the Western community in February 2023. Over 150 participants completed the evaluations for the products, providing valuable feedback to the evaluation committee.

Full details about our community engagement initiatives can be found in the following report:

Community Survey and Listening Sessions - Public Report

OWL Migration Plan Advisory Committee

Current membership as of May 14, 2024

Faculty Representation:

  • Susan Lewis 
  • Andrew Johnson 
  • Laura Murray
  • Dan Shrubsole
  • Thomas Streeter
  • Vicki Sweeney 

Student Representation:

  • Mariana Batista
  • Maria Farooq
  • Mia Lily-Ann Haug
  • Elizabeth Mohler
  • Sara Falahatpisheh

Administration and IT Representation:

  • Michele Anderson
  • Erika Basile
  • Nica Borradaile
  • Nicole Campbell
  • Colin Couchman
  • Deanna Grogan
  • Robert Glushko
  • Katrina McIntosh
  • Corinne Morris
  • Holly Scanlon

Evaluation Committee

The evaluation committee was responsible for the final evaluations of the submissions to the Request for Proposal. Each evaluator was provided with full information from the community feedback surveys, attended all demos, and participated in each sandbox. A detailed and consistent scoring tool comprised of over 150 criteria was used to evaluate each LMS. The committee was comprised of:

  • (1) Academic Leadership
  • (1) Academic Lead
  • (1) Technical Lead
  • (1) Instructor
  • (1) Student