There are many similarities between Blackboard and Canvas such as discussions, assignments, quizzes, and a gradebook. The difference between the two learning management systems is the foundational structure of the program and the process instructors and designers use to create an exceptional learning environment. Canvas uses Modules as the primary function for creating and organizing a course. The gradebook is created by adding assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions to those modules. Whereas you could create gradebook columns in Blackboard, you cannot in Canvas (they are created when you build an assignment).
Canvas is also built around quality instructional design principles and user interface design. This allows instructors to use Canvas in any modality: fully online, hybrid/blended, and yes, even a total face-to-face course.
The Coulter Faculty Commons has created a sequenced learning experience called Priming the Canvas for all instructors to learn how to maximize Canvas for their students. Priming the Canvas is a workshop/course built in Canvas and will be completed asynchronously, allowing the most flexibility for individuals to manage around their schedule. There will also be regular synchronous open Zoom sessions for faculty who have completed some of or all the modules in Priming the Canvas.
All instructors have been enrolled in Priming the Canvas as a student, providing the learner’s viewpoint. Each instructor has also been provided with a Development (DEV) course as the instructor, which provides a place to practice and create various assignments from the Priming the Canvas course.
What should you do next?
- Access the Priming the Canvas course. Start with the Getting Started module and progress through the other modules at your own speed (tip: leave your browser open when you finish, and you can return later to continue working through it).
- Register for one of the Zoom sessions held on Thursday and Fridays at 11:00 A.M.
- Instructors also have access to the Canvas Training Portal; also available by clicking Help in the Global Menu within Canvas.
How does this align to Canvas training materials?
- Visit canvas.wcu.edu
- Contact the 24/7 Canvas Help if you need help with issues as you are working in Canvas. (NOTE: 24/7 Canvas Help goes away on June 30 and Help will be taken over by the WCU Helpdesk which is not manned 24/7).
- Canvas Migration FAQ
- Register for one of the Zoom sessions which will be held on Thursdays and Fridays at 11:00 A.M. after reviewing the Priming the Canvas Course.
*Our next article will highlight Help options within Canvas; visit Canvas Blog to see more Canvas articles.