Migration at the centre of Science faculty's successful Canvas journey
Dr Mark Green, Director Teaching and Learning for the School of BioSciences in the Faculty of Science, reflects on his Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) Pilot journey from training and migration to becoming an early adopter for one of his subjects.
“Canvas has a fresh-looking interface and better functionality for students, in terms of mobile and computer access,” he shared.
Mark liked the Speed Grader, 'voice-to-text' function, marking capability within Canvas (rather than Turnitin), the Calendar, 24/7 customer service, and “the ease of which you could upload lots of documents in many different ways and embed lots of media in Kaltura.”
However, he did experience challenges with Grade Book’s importing and exporting functionality, as well as lack of options for Quiz output. Mark worked closely with Learning Environments to establish several suitable workarounds.
Mark involved his students in the Pilot, “they handled the transition very well, and they particularly liked the interface, consistency, and app – but had challenges with the Discussion board and Quizzes.”
He anticipates that students will see greater benefits once the new LMS is further enhanced and becomes more widely adopted.
Mark “thoroughly recommends going to as many workshops as possible, as early as possible, and to practice in your own subject.” He also says that the Migration team were “fundamental to allay any fears that I had and making sure that everything was a smooth transition from Blackboard. Their level of support and willingness to help resolve any issues was fantastic. They are very open to feedback to help improve Canvas where possible.”
His advice is, “don’t be scared to try new things. It’s a good chance to refresh subject content and delivery.” He also recommends that staff check subject layout in mobile and desktop to ensure consistency.
Mark is now keen to explore more Canvas capabilities and rethink how the modular layout can be used to his and his students’ advantage.
Canvas updates and more information
Following feedback from several Canvas Pilot participants, additional columns have been added to the Grade Book (student ID, first name and last name) which have improved the export/import process.