In September 2022, Arkansas State University announced that the switch from Blackboard to Canvas was to commence at the beginning of the semester and was to be expected to join alongside other A-State school systems.
A-State in the past 10 years has utilized Blackboard, seen as its home learning management system (LMS), and through its evolution other systems and respondents have been widely accepted by other high education programs and institutes. Others such as Canvas and BrightShare were proposed as a “testing sandbox” alongside Blackboard, for A-State to review and compare.
The LMS reviews and surveys about the required and requested functionalities of the systems to better students academic sense has been conducted and since the latest review, Dr. William P. McLean, vice chancellor for faculty relations, said in a press release for the announcement of the switchover in 2022, “Canvas brings several extras to the table, most notably being designed and optimized for mobile devices.”
Canvas is a cloud-based LMS with its intention to make teaching and learning experiences easier and accessible. It is designed to be used online and on any mobile device. Benefits consist of automatic updates, full backup systems, its ultra-reliability and automatically increasing resources as it’s 100% scalable.
A-State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and A-State Online will host four canvas seminars, in which the training sessions will consist of virtual workshops on content creation, creating and uploading engaging content, 90-minute workshops on learning to properly page and utilize links, workshops for learning to add documents and media, checking for accessibility and much more. The session will be throughout this week, beginning February, 6-9 p.m. The seminars will be located in Suite 301 of the Dean B. Ellis Library.
For how A-State students feel about the transition, emotions vary from excitement, nervousness and sight concern.
“For me, I personally am unsure at the moment of how I feel about the switch but I think I could possibly help benefit in the future,” said Dustyn Odom, a sophomore in fine arts from Paragould.
“I’ve used Blackboard since I was in high school because of concurrent classes. I never liked using it because of how hard it is to navigate where school work is. I am excited for the switch to Canvas,” said Emma King, first-year computer science major from Jonesboro.
“I was kind of worried when I first learned about the switch from Blackboard to Canvas, just because it’s a whole application that I haven’t used before. Even though I never really liked Blackboard, I found it easy to learn and use. But, I have heard that Canvas is a lot better than Blackboard, so I’m hoping for the best,” said Taylor Abernathy, sophomore English major from Jonesboro.
The official transition date is July 1. Since summer I courses fall before this deadline, they will be offered on Blackboard, while those that overlap this date, full term summer classes and summer II courses, will be offered on Canvas.
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