Canvas is ready! Now it’s your turn.

Canvas_vertical_colorIn the first three weeks that Canvas has been open for Widener faculty, over 150 of you have already logged into http://canvas.widener.edu/. Today we’re happy to report that Spring 2018 courses are loaded.

 You’re going to start hearing more frequent news and updates from our team. For today’s installment, here’s our recommended action plan of four easy steps to get familiar with Canvas:

1)       Log in to Canvas with your regular Widener username and password. 

2)       Edit your Canvas profile with a picture, bio, title, and contact information. Hint: the Edit Profile button’s on the right of your screen.

3)       Try the Welcome to Canvas introductory training offerings. For beginners, we recommend “First Look” and “Course Basics.” (These links will take you to recorded webinars on Adobe Connect.) Later, advanced topics are under the “Building Block Series” heading.

4)       Check out one of your empty 2017-18 courses to review the course template that our project team and Widener faculty co-designed. 

Stay tuned for upcoming news about live training options, the future of course evaluations in Canvas, and other hot topics. 

Canvas Update

Things are progressing well on the Canvas implementation project. We know that many faculty members are eager to begin learning the new system and building courses, so we wanted to report on our progress so far:

  • Loaded faculty, staff, and students into Canvas and connected their logins with our single sign-on process
  • Created an easy-to-remember address: http://canvas.widener.edu
  • Collaborated with our Canvas project team and group of faculty volunteers to build a default course template
  • Activated the 24/7 Canvas help desk, which offers both Chat and Phone assistance to the entire Widener community
  • Enabled an interactive Course Setup Checklist for all courses.

We are currently finalizing your training options. You will have flexible and unlimited access to training on features and best practices. Options include:

  • Live Canvas-led interactive training webinars (WU-paid subscription)
  • Recorded Canvas-led webinars
  • Lynda.com Canvas courses.
  • TLT workshops in the FISHtank
  • Librarian-led content assistance via training, guides, and workshops
  • Small group and 1-on-1 assistance

Logo for Canvas by Instructure

We will load Fall 2017 template courses before the end of October. Your students will not be in the classes, but you will have the opportunity to build your courses.

We will load Spring 2018 template courses into Canvas no later than the middle of November.

Just as a reminder, the CampusCruiser portal will continue to include your classes through the end of summer 2018. Here is a link to the ITS blog with the full Canvas implementation timeline.

Coming Soon: Training options and details!

 

Start Packing! 6 Tips for the Canvas Move

It’s time to start planning your move.

It seems like a daunting task, but take another look at the transition timeline – you have enough time to pack up and move to your new course home. The key is to plan and be smart about what you pack and how you stay organized!

The infographic below highlights 6 important things to consider and start working on (and Tip 7 is get a librarian involved to help you find accessible course assets if your scanned copies are at all illegible or incompatible with screen readers).

So let’s get started. Take a good look at these 6 tips and plan your move. Want to see more of Canvas? It’s not quite ready or decorated for company yet, but go ahead and peek into the live environment at https://widener.instructure.com/

Any questions, please reach out to canvasteam@widener.edu

1) Now is the time to rethink course design without the constraints of CampusCruiser. You have the chance to take advantage of learning tools like never before. 2) Resist the urge to rush the process. (e.g., Is your content ADA compliant? Are your assignments engaging?) Use the time and support you have well. 3) Structure FOLDERS in MODULES. Include a simple word doc listing components (readings, assignment, assessment, video links); include every element in its module folder. 4) Do not dump course assets into groups (in this case

 

It’s Canvas

We are excited to announce that Widener University has signed on with Instructure to use Canvas LMS as our University standard. [Trigger confetti!]

We are confident in this decision because so many of you helped to make it. Faculty Council TIRC guided our selection process, and then dozens of faculty members attended product demonstrations or experimented with trial versions of the finalists. The feedback was consistent: both our instructors and our project team consistently agreed that Canvas was the best platform for us.

What now?

Much of the summer will be spent bringing Canvas to life for Widener. We will need to work out all the technical processes for integrating with our administrative systems, design its initial look and feel, and develop our in-house technical expertise. Consequently, only a small number of courses will use Canvas for the Fall 2017 semester. The coming academic year will be filled with activities to support migration of courses from Campus Cruiser and WebStudy.

For more information…

We know you will have many questions, only some of which we have the answers for today. Project leader Joanne Caione-Keating posted some initial information on permanent pages here (https://itsnews.widener.edu/canvas). Please bookmark the location and return there often for updates. In the meantime, you can email your questions to the project team at the address canvasteam@widener.edu.