Canvas History at KSC

Canvas: the transition project

Blackboard has been the learning management system at KSC for close to a decade and during that time the LMS industry has evolved dramatically. Given the changes in the educational technology industry and the contract with Bb expiring soon, the timing is right to look at an alternative LMS.

So why are we looking at Canvas?

Canvas integrates rich media into its core – students and faculty can create media content on the fly without having to leave the Canvas environment.

Mobile – Canvas is available on iOS and Android devices.

Integration – Canvas works well with other web based applications. This flexibility encourages students and faculty to use the best tools for their course.

Cloud based and built on open source architecture  This means that when new tools or functionality is needed, it can be done quickly without disruption to end users.

Compliance with accessibility standards – Canvas was awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to Instructure Canvas by the National Federation of the Blind.

Speed and efficiency – functions like the Speed Grader, feedback tools, and easy Peer Grading support reduce the amount of time faculty need to invest in routine tasks, freeing up time for other higher-impact endeavors

A strategic initiative proposal to pilot Instructure Canvas was submitted in April ’12 and accepted in November for a spring ’13 pilot. The pilot is small and consists of the Academic Technology Steering Committee faculty representatives and a small subset of IQL faculty. Full time faculty, adjuncts and teaching staff are all represented in the pilot and will be asked for their feedback along with their students, towards the end of the semester. Input from Academic Technology is critical and will also be asked for their feedback.

Faculty in the pilot:

Stephen Bismarck (Mathematics and Academic Technology Steering Committee – ATSC)
Cynthia Cahoon (Nursing – ATSC)
Celine Perron (Theater and Dance – ATSC)
Armagan Gezici (Economics – ATSC)
Jonathan Schwarz (Film – ATSC)
Jeff Timmer (Physical Education – ATSC)
Kara Young (Mason Library – ATSC)
Tamara Stenn (Integrative Quantitative Literacy – IQL)
Dick Jardine (IQL – Mathematics)
Kim Schmidl-Gagne (IQL)
Patrick Lagace (IQL)
Seif Habib (IQL)

Canvas Pilot Support at KSC:
You can ask questions to the Canvas support team at canvas@keene.edu or utilize Canvas’ online help library. The support team consists of KSC’s Academic Technology Staff and Instructional Consultant.