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LMS Architecture Committee


Meeting Schedule 

Every other Thursday

Standing Agenda 
ORCA Updates, LMS Administration Updates, Service Desk Updates, Training Updates, and Communication and Outreach Updates
November 4, 2021
November 18, 2021
December 2, 2021
December 16, 2021

LMS Executive Committee



Alan Sams
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President



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Joseph Pettibon
Vice President for Enrollment & Academic Services




Ed Pierson
Interim Vice President for Information Technology & CIO



Juan Garza

Juan Garza
Associate Vice President for Academic Services 
Ex-officio Member



Dr. Jocelyn Widmer

Michael Johnson
Interim Assoc. Provost for Faculty Success & Interim Assoc. Vice President for Faculty Affairs


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Mauro Sericano
LMS Project Manager​



Academic Liaisons



Academic Liaison

Bush School of Government & Public Service  Lisa Brown Lynn Cagle
Doug Thornton  
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences  Vidya Patil Dan Murany
College of Arts and Sciences Shweta Kailani Evan Peterson
Kim Ritchie Irene Ai
College of Engineering Ted Seidel Gerry Pedraza
Mays Business School 'Jon Jasperson
School of Architecture TBD
School of Dentistry Carmina Castro Jeffrey Lowry
School of Education & Human Development  Jere Liu Kevin Lawanto
Saurabh Singh Sarah McCorkle
School of Law Xiyao Huang Mark Collins
School of Nursing Ashley Swinney Kyle Armstrong
Jana Roman Carol Peckinpaugh
Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy Gilbert Reyna Steve Leggio
School of Public Health Patty Luna-Arvizu  
School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Laura Hammons Beth Garza
Texas A&M University at Galveston Lexis Fentanes Shanael Williams
Texas A&M University at Qatar Miklos Kovacs Karawan Alsaleh
School of Medicine Jennifer Maldonado-Castillo Mark McCall
School of Visualization, Performance, and Fine Arts Christine Bergeron

Guiding Principles for the DLE

The LMS Implementation Teams have collaborated with the Governance structures to build the following Guiding Principles that serve as the foundation for how the Digital Learning Environment is supported at Texas A&M:  

1. Single University Template Applied to all TAMU Courses

Purpose: The Texas A&M University template is automatically applied to all courses in Canvas to enhance the student experience and is 100% accessible out-of-the-box. This template is in place to create a consistent experience across all courses at TAMU so students can easily navigate and predict the structure of their courses.

We have curated resources to better assist in enhancing the template. If you have already modified the template and would like to move content from one semester to another, view the Copying Canvas Materials Between Courses section to determine which method you should use to move content, guidance on both methods, and additional best practices for setting up your course.

Below is a timeline of noteworthy milestones for how the template has evolved since its inception:


Summer II













70 published courses 


Used accessibility checker and instructional design to ensure accessibility  

23% of course sections published in Canvas  


Added dedicated Instructor resources

Created student-facing Academic and University resource pages 


Applied student feedback from Fall 2020 to create the Syllabus page 


Streamlined the left-side Navigation based on Instructor and student feedback

Accessibility rating becomes priority with a 54% accessibility score

First full semester exclusively on Canvas 


98% Accessibility  score  


96% of 100 and 200-level courses using Canvas

100% Accessibility score  


Reduced embedded files from 250 to 138 


Reduced storage capacity of the template files from nearly 8 mb to 2.85 mb

Consolidated University and Canvas Resources page for student ease of use

Adjusted page Heading structure for ease of use and accessibility, including Syllabus page

Moving forward, we are exploring the use of individual templates per subaccount (representing each school, college, or branch campus), although we would do so balancing our commitment to accessibility and student success. 


2. Training Requirements for Course Associate Roles

Purpose: Course Associate roles that would like to be added into a course in Canvas are required to complete and stay-up to date on training offered through TrainTraq. These trainings were carefully selected by the LMS Implementation teams to ensure those individuals in these roles that receive access to sensitive material such as student grades are compliant.

We have also created a process to allow for non-student employees that do not receive access to TrainTraq to have an opportunity to complete the required training.

3. Section Merge Deadline Ahead of the Start of a Semester

Purpose: As course sections are automatically provisioned for instructors, TAMU has launched ORCA where instructors and Academic Liaisons can request to merge sections of Canvas courses. When course sections are merged after students interact with a course, which typically is after the first day of classes, those interactions are lost and cannot be recovered. To prevent the loss of student interactions, we have applied a course merge deadline that falls before the start of classes. 

4. Third-Party Tool Integration Process

Purpose: The LMS Implementation teams have collaborated on developing a third-party tool process that encompasses a call for requests, security and accessibility reviews, FERPA compliance, testing, and integration in Canvas. This opportunity to participate in this process has been extended to Academic Liaisons to submit the requested tools for their Academic Units.

Requested tools will move through the process and their status is updated for the campus community to stay up to date on where their requested tool is in the process. Once approved, the tools will be implemented at the requesting unit’s subaccount where the Academic Liaisons will lead the training and support for the tool.

5. Course Storage Capacity

Purpose: In an effort to promote student success in teaching and learning, all courses at TAMU have been provisioned with 1 GB of storage. This quota allows for faculty to leverage cloud storage solutions so students can securely access content without requiring them to download and load files.

6. TAMU System Records and Retention Policy

Purpose: TAMU System Records and Retention Policy requires the Instructor of Record to export and securely store student academic records (e.g. completed class tests, examinations, course papers, and instructor grade books) for safekeeping for one year past the course end date. After the Instructor of Record submits final grades in a course for posting on students’ academic transcripts, the Office of the Registrar is the official records custodian of the permanent academic transcript.

Courses in Canvas at TAMU are available for students to interact from the first day of the start of term until the last day of the late grading period. This policy has automatically been applied to all courses. After the last day of the late grading period for the term closes, the course will be available as read only to all users.

LMS Outreach

Faculty Outreach

The LMS Operations Team provides a video update to the Faculty Senate each month to highlight key implementation milestones for Canvas; review continuous improvements to the digital learning environment; and provide relevant data points. The videos are posted on the Faculty Senate Current Agenda the Friday before the next meeting.
DLE Update - August 2022   LMS Update - January 2022   LMS Update - December 2021   LMS Update - November 2021   LMS Update - October 2021   LMS Update - September 2021   LMS Update - August 2021   LMS Update - July 2021   LMS Update - June 2021   LMS Update - May 2021  
LMS Update - April 2021
LMS Update - March 2021
LMS Update - February 2021
LMS Update - January 2021
LMS Update - December 2020
LMS Update - November 2020
LMS Update - October 2020
LMS Update - September 2020


Student Outreach

The LMS Operations Team provides updates to the Student Senate on relevant student-facing features and improvements that will impact the student experience in Canvas.
Start of Semester Reminders for Students   5 Reminders for the Texas A&M 
Digital Learning Environment
  Championing The Student Experience
with Sven Lohse
  4 Reminders for the Texas A&M 
Digital Learning Environment
  Our Year with Canvas at Texas A&M  
LMS Student Update - Spring 2021