- Canvas is dependable.
- Canvas encourages engagement.
- Canvas has an easy-to-learn interface.
- Canvas has a clean and uncluttered look.
- Canvas is mobile-friendly.
- Canvas allows you to structure a course with an integrated calendar and syllabus system with a notification stream to inform students and faculty of upcoming events and activities.
- Fall 2014, the Texas Woman’s University Distance Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) was charged by Provost Robert Neely to evaluate Blackboard, TWU’s current learning management system (LMS), and provide details, context, and recommendations regarding potential LMS options for the purposes of contingency planning.
- DEAC conducted faculty, staff, and student surveys to inform the committee’s recommendations.
- Strategically selected LMS evaluation teams engaged in several in-depth conversations with LMS providers and universities that utilize the services of different LMS providers.
- Spring 2015 semester, DEAC organized hands-on evaluations for faculty.
- Eduventures, a research consortium of which TWU is a member, provided in-depth data on LMSs, analyzed the data from the TWU faculty/staff and student surveys, and examined TWU’s needs relative to LMS providers. These methods allowed DEAC to collect pertinent information and to conduct three in-depth reviews of Blackboard, Canvas, and Desire2Learn.
- Summer 2015, DEAC evaluated the results of the study and proposed the following recommendation: DEAC Recommendation for Pilot: Continue using Blackboard & pilot Canvas to assess its viability for TWU.
- The LMS Discovery Pilot Project began in Spring 2016 with faculty training, and the offering of the first courses in Canvas occurred during Fall 2016. This project included 30 instructors from all levels (adjunct, full-time faculty at all ranks, lecturers, and lab coordinators). Participants received training with instructional designers and were required to utilize both Blackboard and Canvas. A full list of participants and courses offered may be reviewed in the full DEAC Report - Appendices A-B (pp. 25-29).
- Faculty and students in each pilot course were surveyed regarding their experience. Student input, combined with faculty participant input and technical needs, were evaluated and form the basis of the key recommendations.
- As a result of the Canvas Pilot and the resulting feedback, DEAC made the recommendation that TWU transition from Blackboard to Canvas.
*The background was taken from the DEAC Canvas Pilot Report.