The key to an effective Canvas implementation is planning! Whether you have a short time frame or plenty of time, the more you plot out what needs to get done, when, and by who, the better. We spent the first part of our transition getting the technical staff ready and then really focused on faculty and student training. Below you’ll find some key documents to how and why we rolled-out Canvas the way we did.
Communication with stakeholders (yes, even students) is crucial. The more informed people are about what is happening the easier the transition is for everyone. In addition, with the right marketing you can create a positive hype around the transition to Canvas that will get your College excited about using Canvas. In our experience, after some well-placed marketing, faculty and students were vying for the opportunity to be Canvas test piloters! The documents below highlight some of the different ways we reached out to stakeholders.
|Canvas Marketing Strategy|
|Increasing Online Student Retention (infographic)|
|Canvas Coffee Stickers|
|Coffee Stickers Example|
|Canvas Training for Faculty and Staff – Now Available!|
|Angel is going away - Learn more about the program taking its place!|
|Canvas is Coming (Posted in Division Office)|
|Canvas 20x30 poster|
|Canvas 11x17 poster|
|Canvas 11x17 poster with pull-off|
Canvas is very user-friendly and in general our faculty found it easy to transition to from Angel. Yet, there are definitely places where training is not only useful but much needed! To accommodate the wide range of faculty training needs and to standardize our training for accreditation purposes, we developed our own Faculty Training Course. This is a mandatory course that all faculty wishing to use Canvas must complete. As faculty work through the training course they are also required to build a real course (that they are planning to teach) in a Canvas sandbox course. This sandbox is then reviewed and must be approved before the instructor can teach using Canvas. Documentation and the link to our Canvas instructor training course can be found below.
|Canvas Instructor Training: Learning Goals|
|How does the Canvas Instructor Training work?|
|Building in Canvas with your sandbox course|
|Preparing for Canvas|
|Canvas Course: Instructor Training|
The Canvas Instructor Training Course is the public version of our Instructor Training Course. We make it available to anyone who is interested in checking it out. If someone would like to use our resources we ask for them to contact us about getting them the materials; we are pretty open and have already given away the entire course to another College free of charge. [Additional side note: In the real version we use with faculty, faculty must complete the quiz at the end of each module with 100% before they can move on to the next module. I have taken off this requirement for the public version so people can freely get in and review the resources.]
|Start of Semester Canvas Checklist|
|Angel vs. Canvas Comparison|
|Canvas Course Review Checklist|
|Canvas Course Review Rubric|
|8-week Course Design Plan|
|16-week Course Design Plan|
Student success is the focus of everything we do and this is especially true with our Canvas implementation. Students who piloted Canvas liked it a lot (much more than Angel) and found it much easier to navigate and find things. The only real issue was that many weren’t familiar with an online educational environment (aka LMS). They were great on Facebook, but unsure how to manage their time online, submit assignments, access online College resources, keep their computer virus/spyware free, and be a good online student. To help prepare students to be successful in an online environment all students (regardless of whether they are taking online or traditional courses) must complete the Canvas Student Orientation before they are provided access to their courses. The Orientation is completely automated, but is hands-on and requires students to work through the materials and complete various activities. Documentation (including the positive impact the orientation has had on retention) and the link to our Canvas Student Orientation course can be found below.
The link above is for the public version of our Student Orientation Course. We make it available to anyone who is interested in checking it out. If someone would like to use our resources we ask for them to contact us about getting them the materials; we are pretty open and have already given away the entire course to other Colleges free of charge; we did the same thing for our student orientation in Angel. [Additional side note: In the real version we use with students, students must complete the quiz at the end of each module with 100% (or other module activity) before they can move on to the next module. I have taken off this requirement for the public version so people can freely get in and review the resources.]