Canvas opens new opportunities for FBE subject design

Matt Dyki, Teaching Fellow in the Department of Accounting (Faculty of Business and Economics), shares his experience as one of the first subject coordinators to jump onboard the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) Pilot, and the new learning design opportunities.

“Canvas is going to be a much better platform for us – it’s definitely more user friendly and has a cleaner interface. It gives us flexibility in delivery that Blackboard just didn’t have”.

Matt specifically notes video assessment options, group and sections tools, and the calendar as elements contributing to flexible delivery.

He is excited about, “putting the power back into the students, who have the opportunity to customise Canvas, but also see consistency across pages.”

Outside FBE building

While he did experience challenges with the discussion board and group enrolment, Matt appreciated working with Learning Environments on solutions.

During the new LMS workshops he adapted Canvas to his own needs, and he can see how it will enhance subjects.

His advice to colleagues is, “don’t leave it to the last minute – it’s intuitive, but a different form of intuitive” and for early adopters to “help those who haven’t been involved, share your ideas”.

Matt mentioned that migration was the opportunity for a fresh start and to rethink fundamental design.

“We copied everything across [from Blackboard] thinking it might be an easy way to do it, but we ended up just redoing everything from scratch,” he said.

He recommends cleaning up Blackboard first before migrating subjects, to ensure only needed content is populated in Canvas.

Matt is keen to use Canvas to greater potential, citing the opportunity for he and his colleagues to collaborate across subjects.

Canvas updates and more information

Project Evolve and Learning Environments are currently working on a solution for linking in with limiting groups to tutorials or workshops and considering sub-topic options for the discussion board with the vendor.