LMS adoption, why Canvas?

Community Member
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Hi, we're currently evaluating our LMS (Blackboard). I'd like to know what the main factors were when you decided to adopt Canvas. If this is the wrong place to ask this, please let me know.

Thanks.

John B.

3 Comments
Adventurer

John,

We've been using Canvas since June 2015. We were forced to change LMSs because we were using ANGEL, which had been purchased by Blackboard a few years prior. ANGEL was coming to end of life, and we had to choose a replacement. We looked at Blackboard, D2L and Canvas. We used a rurbric we developed that listed all of the features and items that were important to both our Online Education department and our IT department. We asked each of the vendors to go through the migration process of a couple of our courses into their LMS, and then show us how to navigate that content in their LMS. The Canvas migration was pretty smooth, and the structure made sense. It software is extremely intuitive and easy to learn. We havent' regretted our decision once, even when we had a somewhat major catastrophe a few months after switching. We are still thankful we have Canvas. The transition was a lot smoother due to the guidance we received from our CSM. Our IT department loves how open Canvas is about their code, and encouraging of the integration with our other systems. My department, Online Education, loves how easy it is to support Instructors and students. It has been great!

Community Member

Thanks, Tracey. I appreciate your comment. Were there aspects of D2L that were positive? That is the other LMS that we are seriously looking at, and because the cost is markedly lower than Canvas, it has a lead in that regard and we want to give it a fair shot. Also, we are concerned with the learning curve for instructors (we're not so concerned about students...they can handle anything) moving from Bb to another LMS, and want to know how much kick-back you got from instructors. What were the stumbling blocks? Thanks again.

John

Adventurer

John,

I reviewed our notes from comparing the different vendors, and D2L was a close 2nd, but the issues we saw were- pricing is by piece, even in the core product. On the rubric we used to compare the different vendors we had 36 evaluations items where we looked at everything from appearance and branding, instructional utilities, administrative utilities, analytics, integration with our systems, and platform specs. There was only one item that D2L outperformed Canvas in our view, support, we were worried about only having email support from Canvas. As it turns out, it hasn't been a problem. Our office manages most Canvas support issues, if something needs escalated, we can get a fairly quick response from Canvas. We can also work with our CSM to resolve problems. We have never felt like our support was lacking.
As far as the transition from ANGEL to Canvas, it was amazingly smooth for the Instructors. We created online training and offered multiple face to face sessions, mostly for the Instructors who would be using it in their face to face courses. We did have training available and were available to train via webinar if needed, but the Online Instructors didn't seem to need much training. The product is extremely intuitive. Also, at our college, our online courses use master courses. So our online Instructors do not create content, they may add personalization, but the structure of the course is already there. All they needed to do was learn how to interact with it. Here is a link to our Instructor Orientation course, we created multiple short video tutorials to help the instructors -LearningZone Instructor Essentials 

Honestly, we had an extremely fast migration, we purchased Canvas in late January of 2015, and June 1, of 2015 we completely switched, turned off ANGEL and turned on Canvas. So we offered some training to our course developers in late April, and our office migrated all of the master courses, about 150 for the Summer session and another 150 for the Fall session. On June 1st we waited to see what the reaction was, and because of the large amount of communication (I believe) we had zero problems. Our tech support department was amazed. Most of our Instructors waited to get training the week before Fall classes began.