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

Any questions, please reach out to

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 ( 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

LMS Update: Recorded Demo Links, Sandboxes, and Surveys

Links to recorded demos, active trial sandboxes, and surveys for your feedback.


It has been an exciting few weeks here in Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT)! We have already had the live demos from two vendors with state-of-the-art LMS for Widener to consider. If you did not have a chance to attend the demos on the dates offered, you still have time to view the recordings and weigh in with your feedback.

Recording and survey links have been emailed to all faculty. Please let me know if you have not received that email.

Pick and choose any date. Please review BOTH choices and then complete the short survey for each one. We want to provide the absolute best option for teaching and learning, with the most comprehensive and efficient, yet elegant and easy-to-use platform as possible. We expect a final decision to be made in the next few weeks.


In addition to the recordings, we have arranged for you to have sandboxes in each LMS that allow you to login and really see what it is like to design and teach a class. Please do log in and test them out. I also encourage you to check out the additional learning and design resources available for both CANVAS and D2L at

Test Kitchen Dates

We are holding an open Test Kitchen on May 2nd and 3rd, 3:00-4:00 pm in ACN – HAL Lab (first floor). Bring your device or use a lab laptop to play in the sandbox together – we will be there to collect feedback and work with you in this discovery stage.

CANVAS Sandbox Link: ‘Need a CANVAS Account’

Click “Need a Canvas Account” on the login page to create their account. Then, click “Start a New Course” on the dashboard to start playing in Canvas.

Canvas Trial

D2L/Brightspace Sandbox Link: ‘Get Trial’

Fill in the information and submit for a 30 day trial and start playing in D2L/Brightspace.

d2l trial

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x1345) or email me

Learning Management System (LMS) Update

Project team plans demos and other chances to review potential new systems.

As mentioned in previous announcements, we have kicked off a project to select and implement a state-of-the-art LMS that will serve our current and future teaching and learning requirements. (The current LMS is the “academics and classes” portion of our CampusCruiser portal). Though the entire process will take at least 18 months to complete, we are working very hard to get through the identification, demonstration, and stakeholder involvement steps before the end of spring 2017 so that ITS can do the necessary technical work for launching. (For more information, see CIO Eric Behrens’ Big IT Projects post.)

We welcome you to review (and come back to) the information in the WU Community Docs (LMS 2017) shared documentation folder. In this initial stage, you will find the LMS project charter and the selection process background, and we will add more docs as we progress.

Things are looking good! We have been working very closely with Faculty Council TIRC and have been engaging in conversations all across campus. The demand is clear to us for an easy to use, powerful, reliable, and student-centered tool. Among many other things, it also must have a great mobile interface. There are dozens and dozens of LMS options; we have worked hard to narrow it down and are now pleased to offer our first two vendor open demos! They will last about 60 minutes and will include time for Q&A.

There are multiple ways to view the demos:

  1. We have booked the Freedom Theater for those that would like to join us in person
  2. We are making the VIRTUAL web-conferencing link available
  3. The vendors have agreed to record the demo and provide a link to the recording for those that were not available for the live sessions

Live Demo #1: CANVAS (Instructure) – Tuesday, April 18th, 3:00pm –  Meeting #:807 138 723, Call-in toll-free (US/Canada) 1-877-668-4493

Live Demo #2: D2L/Brightspace – Wednesday, April 19th, 3:00pm – iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,177710875# or +16465588656,177710875#

Short (online) surveys will be distributed after the demos in order to collect and. analyze feedback. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x1345) or email me