University of Delaware

Pilot program

Canvas offered as complement to Sakai@UD


2:38 p.m., June 19, 2012--In fall 2012, IT will extend a pilot program that began in the spring to evaluate using Instructure Canvas as a complement to Sakai@UD. 

Canvas will not replace Sakai@UD. Rather, this idea is to provide faculty with a flexible environment that will best suit their needs, whether a course is face-to-face, hybrid, distance learning or self-paced.

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Canvas provides many of the features UD faculty have requested for a learning management system over the years, including working on any browser and on mobile devices. It offers a modern, easy-to-use interface, significantly faster grading tools, easy-to-use rubrics and improved communication with students through integration with social media like Facebook and Twitter as well as with Google Apps. Drag-and-drop usability throughout the program makes for easy file handling.

Several faculty have participated in the pilot so far:

• Rachel Klein, associate professor in the School of Education, is using Canvas for a 100 percent online summer course. Klein shared some of her impressions about Canvas: “The creation and integration of video are features that stand out to me. The SpeedGrader works well because the rubric is embedded within the grading screen, allowing me to view the student's work, the rubric and my comments all in one area.”

• Anu Sivaraman , assistant professor of business administration, taught with Canvas in the spring and is also enthusiastic about the SpeedGrader and Canvas’ ability to work on a variety of Apple devices. Sivaraman said she likes the chat feature, too. “The Chat feature in Canvas is very good. I held online office hours multiple times during the semester (late in the night!) via Canvas. Canvas has video chat, audio chat and text chat features,” she said.

• Fred Hofstetter, professor in the School of Education, is finding Canvas useful. "I have been so impressed with Canvas that I have decided to teach both of my summer courses with Canvas instead of Sakai," Hofstetter said.

This fall’s pilot will involve a limited number of students. To use Canvas in the fall, faculty must have approval by IT-CS&S, agree to have their students complete surveys about the LMS, and provide feedback to IT about using Canvas.

To get access to Canvas, contact IT-CS&S through the IT Support Center. Requests will be accepted until mid-August. 

To get a first look at Canvas, attend IT’s Learning Management System Day on Thursday, June 21, in 010 Smith Hall. A demonstration of Canvas will be held at noon.

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