article by: Julie Szaj
The WashU IT Canvas team continues to prepare our WashU community for the final changeover from Blackboard to our new learning management system (LMS), Canvas. To do this, we have instituted a diverse training and communications plan.
Our instructional support specialists continue to offer training opportunities (drop-in labs and office hours) for faculty and staff. In response to user feedback, an improved reservation system has been created and added to our HelloCanvas website to simplify the process of requesting a session.
To support Canvas School Admins, the project team holds bi-weekly meetings to provide project and university-wide cohesiveness. During these meetings, project leaders share progress made, discuss any issues that have arisen, and invite others to share their questions or concerns.
Current communication efforts focus on alerting the community aware that Spring 2019 is the last semester for which Blackboard will be available for teaching, and Canvas will be used for all courses beginning Summer 2019. Methods for communication include digital signs across both campuses, website updates, email, and the Canvas Insider newsletter.
All efforts made by the Canvas team have definitely paid off. The Team has seen a steady rise in Canvas adoption rates since the Fall 2018 semester. For Spring 2019, 74% of published courses offered are now in Canvas, while only 26% of courses remain in Blackboard.
In order to provide instructors ample time to build their summer courses, summer courses were provisioned in early February. This allows instructors several months to set up an appointment with one of our instructional support specialists to receive help with course design, if needed, and begin creating their courses.
In the months ahead The WashU IT Canvas team will continue to provide opportunities for training and communication across both campuses. To learn more about the project, visit the HelloCanvas website.