Canvas for Students
There is much to be done before the official launch to Canvas by Instructure in Summer 2013. This page will provide you as a student with everything you need to know about the transition to Canvas. This page will be updated with more information as we approach Summer 2013.
Canvas: The Next Generation LMS
Our focus group comprised of students, faculty, staff, and administration agreed: Canvas is the next generation LMS. Canvas provides new opportunities for students and faculty to interact with one another. Extensive testing was conducted with several vendors before deciding that Canvas could provide many of the features students have been requesting for years.
The LMS Selection Process
Why did we switch? Who made the decision?
The version of Blackboard we are currently using (Vista) is being retired. Of all the options we reviewed for a successor, Canvas by Instructure emerged as a clear choice. A focus group comprised of students, faculty and staff thoroughly investigated each of the options, and the Provost’s Office supported the overwhelming outcome of the process.
How will this change affect students?
All online courses will be moved to Canvas. Students learning in the classroom will have new opportunities to integrate technology into their courses. All students will be provided with training opportunities prior to participating in their first course in Canvas. We will also provide you with information, resources, and support to learn Canvas, which you can continue to rely on well beyond Summer 2013.
What are the benefits/notable features of the new system?
Check out this short video providing an overview of some of the features Canvas has.
- “Push” notifications for all activities in a course. You can set notifications to receive messages (feedback, grading alerts, due date changes, etc.) via email, social media, or mobile devices. Not only can you receive notifications in this manner, but you can also respond back to them without having to log in to the course!
- User-friendly, intuitive navigation and structure. You will be able to quickly and easily find your content and activities from anywhere you are in the course.
- Easily add many types of content to discussions and assignments, such as self-recorded audio and video, embedded YouTube videos, images, links and formatting.
- Canvas has been designed for mobile access - read more below.
- A robust calendar showing what activities need to be completed and providing direct access to those activities.
- Canvas is built using software that is hosted in the cloud, meaning you will experience very little downtime for upgrades and service interruptions as you learn.
Will I be able to access my Canvas courses from my mobile device?
Yes! Canvas can easily be accessed via the internet browser on your smartphones or tablet. Your mobile device’s internet browser is the best way to access the full features of Canvas.
Canvas Apps are currently available for iOS and Android devices. The mobile app is a great way to get course notifications and engage in basic interactions with your instructor and other students, but keep in mind you will not be able to view all course materials through the app.
Will user access be different for Canvas?
To ensure a seamless transition, you will continue to access your course through Connections as you currently access WorldClassRoom.
What Happens Next?
When will the migration occur?
Extensive testing will be conducted in Spring 2013 with a few selected online courses; students and faculty connected to those courses will be notified and provided with training. The official launch is set for Summer 2013. You will receive additional information as we get closer to the launch date.
When will students receive training on the new system?
Training options are currently being developed and will be held starting in Spring 2013. Options being considered include webinars, face-to-face trainings, self-paced online options, and others. These training opportunities will be available on an ongoing basis, as students continue to take courses in Canvas for the first time. Toward the end of Spring 2013, a full schedule of training opportunities will be published, so keep checking back for updates.
When will I be able to explore Canvas?
We hope to have a preview course available for you to explore soon. In addition, the training you receive will be based on a course using the Canvas platform.
Are faculty being trained on the new system as well?
Absolutely! All online faculty will be trained before teaching in Canvas the first time. Likewise, face-to-face faculty using the LMS to enhance their courses will be trained as needed.
Have a question?
Submit it here.