Canvas LMS is ready for instructor preview

Implementation of Iowa State's new learning management system (LMS) is underway, with instructor access now available. In June, Canvas was chosen to replace the current Blackboard LMS. Blackboard still is available for use during the fall semester; Canvas will be fully implemented for spring courses.

"This summer, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and information technology teams have been working on the numerous components necessary to integrate Canvas with the local ISU systems, as well as implementing a comprehensive course migration protocol to move existing ISU course materials from Blackboard into the new Canvas platform," said Ann Marie VanDerZanden, associate provost for academic programs. "Our goal is to create a successful first experience with Canvas."

All instructors are encouraged to log in to the introductory version of the Canvas LMS and access their migrated Blackboard materials. The full-featured version of Canvas will be available by mid-semester, allowing instructors to build their courses prior to the 2018 spring semester.

A host of resources -- including Canvas-led webinars, one-on-one support and 24/7 assistance -- are available on the ISU Canvas website, "MyCanvas: Teacher at ISU." CELT staff are planning additional online faculty development opportunities.

Early adopters

About 150 instructors (teaching 205 courses) agreed to serve as first adopters and received opt-in forms that outline the requirements for using Canvas for student instruction this fall. If early adopters choose to move eligible fall classes to Canvas, the courses can't be moved back to Blackboard.

"These pioneering instructors will provide feedback and suggestions to improve the experience for the 1,300-plus courses that will use Canvas in the spring semester," said Sara Marcketti, CELT interim director.


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