Dear Faculty and Staff,Over the past six months, faculty and students piloted a new Learning Management System (LMS) called Canvas. Canvas was adopted by UNL and UNK before the 2017-18 academic year, and UNMC just announced they will be adopting Canvas as well. I wanted UNO to do a full review, gather feedback and explore the new product before making any decisions that would impact faculty and students.
With the review of the pilot complete, the Canvas Task Force has recommended the switch to Canvas as UNO’s official LMS.
A transition plan is in place allowing faculty to move courses out of Blackboard during the 2017-18 academic year. By summer 2018, all courses will need to be using Canvas as the Blackboard contract expires mid-summer.
FeedbackFeedback from faculty and students during the pilot, clearly supports switching to Canvas:
- 94% of faculty and 63% of students surveyed prefer Canvas over Blackboard.
- Students results can be traced back to student’s comments within the survey. Students were happy with Canvas and are looking forward to one LMS where all their courses will be.
Plans to assist
We have a full plan to assist faculty and students with this transition. This includes:
Daily in-person sessions for faculty over the next month with more planned in the summer, fall and throughout the transition. These sessions will be held within colleges across campus and online.
For dates, times and more information, visit events.unomaha.edu/canvas
- Virtual support:
- Canvas Community – includes instructor guides and videos
- 24/7 support (phone, chat and email) offered by Canvas for both faculty and students
- ITS Canvas Support page
- Self-paced “Canvas 101” courses for faculty and students
Help and Questions
I know change isn’t easy, but the feedback and pilot of Canvas has been overwhelmingly positive. Canvas gives students and faculty a more mobile- and user-friendly experience than Blackboard. Having peers throughout the system using the same LMS can be advantageous for creating a community of practice as well.Again, support will be available for this change. Dr. Jaci Lindburg, Director of Digital Learning, can be contacted for more information or assistance (firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-554-2020). There is also a full breakdown of the pilot, survey and timelines of the transition on our website (its.unomaha.edu/canvas), in addition to ongoing training and support.
Thank you again,
Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs
Our Campus. Otherwise Known as Omaha.
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