Instructional Design and eTeaching Services - Boston College

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The Canvas implementation began in September 2013 with a small pilot. In addition to the pilot, IDeS is working with a group of Canvas early adopter faculty who began using Canvas in the Spring of 2014. Full implementation, bringing all courses into Canvas, will happen by Fall 2014. While Canvas and Blackboard Vista share some similar features, Canvas offers more robust tools that interact in many ways to enhance teaching and student engagement. This transition is a great opportunity to review your course and explore how your course content might be freshly constructed in Canvas.

WHY ARE WE MOVING TO A NEW SYSTEM?

We need to move to a new learning management system by Fall 2014 because Blackboard Vista will no longer be supported in 2015.

WHAT IS CANVAS?

Canvas is Boston College’s new Learning Management System (LMS). Representatives from the faculty, students and staff chose Canvas because it has rebuilt the LMS from the ground up on modern web technologies with a strong emphasis on usability. The modern web technologies behind Canvas will make it easier to connect with other teaching tools on campus, whether it be library resources, i>clickers, or lecture capture. Canvas will regularly update to keep improving the tools and services available for teaching at BC. Here are a few of the highlights that Canvas offers:

  • EASE OF USE Canvas has a clean, simple interface that brings the LMS into the 21st century.
  • TEXT AUTHORING A powerful rich text editor makes it easy to create and edit documents right in the browser and to pull in media from a variety of sources.
  • COLLABORATION Intuitive collaborative tools allow students to work together on projects and actively contribute content to their courses.
  • COMMUNICATION Canvas allows instructors to post announcements and send emails to students.  A customizable notification system sends everyone in the course automatic notifications by email or text message, based on personal preferences.
  • ANNOTATION AND FEEDBACK Canvas allows you to provide online comments and annotations on student papers, and gives students the option to respond.
  • AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDING You and your students can record audio and video in the browser and have it published immediately in your course.
  • MOBILE SUPPORT Apps for Apple and Android devices enable students to access course content even when they are not at a computer.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CANVAS?

Canvas was developed by Instructure. For more information click here.

WHEN CAN I GET STARTED WITH CANVAS?

If you would like to get started with Canvas now, please email us: canvassupport@bc.edu.

WHAT SUPPORT WILL BE AVAILABLE?

IDeS will support instructors through the transition by offering workshops, individual consultations, and online resources such as video tutorials and written instructions.