Canvas has Arrived!

We have exciting news for you about Canvas! 

All faculty and staff now have access to Canvas!  Click on the graphic or go to (https://westerncarolina.instructure.com/) and log in with your WCU username and password. 

The entry point is the Dashboard where you will see:

Development Shell ScreenshotDevelopment Shell – you are the instructor and can use this to experiment with different functionality in Canvas

Growing with Canvas screenshot

Growing with Canvas (technical training on how to use Canvas) – you are the student in this course. 

 

All Canvas related information is on the CFC’s website – Canvas Central – canvas.wcu.edu

If you want to get started on your own, the Canvas Community is a great place to find text and video tutorials and self-paced courses. We suggest starting with Growing with CanvasPreparing to Launch, and Higher Education: First Day Ready. You can access the Preparing to Launch and Higher Education: First Day Ready self-paced courses through the Training Portal. Follow these steps:

  1. From within Canvas, click on the Help icon in the left navigation menu.
  2. Then click on the Training Services Portal link. This launches the training portal
  3. Authorize the portal.
  4. Go through the Tutorial that is presented if this is your first time accessing the portal.  On repeat visits, you can close the tutorial by clicking on the X in the corner.Launch Training screenshot
  5. Click on the Launch Training button in the upper right corner.
  6. You can scroll through the courses, search by name, sort, or filter to find a course.

 

Canvas migration timelineWe know this will be an important transition and we are here to partner with you. The CFC has a team of instructional designers working to migrate most of your 2020 courses from Blackboard to Canvas; if you have a 2020 course that will not be auto migrated you will receive an email from us. This will require some work on the individual faculty member to get the course ready for the next time it is scheduled. You will be receiving more information from the CFC about the migration and additional training offerings coming in the spring.

The implementation team is working alongside the LMS Committee to produce a detailed migration plan, allowing for an easier transition among faculty and staff. Transferring classes to a new system is no simple task. To help mediate this exchange, it has been decided that all Blackboard courses will remain accessible for spring 2021, but all succeeding courses after that semester will be transferred into Canvas. 

Canvas by Instructure is the new Learning Management System at WCU

After an extensive process of review by faculty, students, and staff, Canvas by Instructure has been chosen as our next Learning Management System (LMS). Canvas provides a superior user experience for faculty, staff, and students, as well as mobile capabilities and simplicity of integration and management that competitors, including Blackboard’s newest product Ultra, are unable to match. Canvas is a twenty-first century learning environment that will support WCU’s needs for the next 5-10 years for online, hybrid/blended, and face-to-face instruction.

The implementation team, in consultation with the LMS Committee, is working on a detailed migration plan to guide faculty and staff in their efforts to learn the new platform, adapt their courses and workshops to the Canvas structure and workflow, and take advantage of the superior user experience to optimize the learning environment for students.

During the 2021 spring semester, Western Carolina will be working through a migration and implementation process that will move the university from Blackboard Learn to the Canvas Learning Management System. Courses will remain in Blackboard for Spring 2021, but all courses that begin after the conclusion of the spring semester will be delivered in Canvas.

Blackboard Learn will be turned off on June 30, 2021. In the coming weeks, we will provide instructions for exporting Blackboard courses for retention.

More information is coming soon, so watch your email box for the Provost’s newsletter, subscribe to the CFC content (Faculty News) in Inside WCU, look for the LMS migration section in the IT Weekly email from the CIO, and feel free to check our information page at our new Canvas website!

Innovation Fridays

Innovation Fridays serve to enhance the climate of innovation and research at WCU by creating opportunities for innovation, connection, and collaboration across campus. So that we don’t let Covid-19 deter our collegiality and innovative mindsets, we have a couple of options for continuing the spirit of Innovation Friday this year.

  1. Consider joining us for Innovation Friday at Innovation Station in Dillsboro on the following dates for fall term:  October 9, November 13.  Spring term Innovation Friday dates are February 12 and March 12.  To keep us safe, we are asking for folks to RSVP and limiting attendance to 10.  Masks and social distancing are required. To RSVP for the October 9,  at 4 pm click here.  The first round of drinks is sponsored.
  2. Join our Teams Innovation Friday (or any other day) Group and join in for asynchronous collegiality, brainstorming, informal mentoring, interdisciplinary connections, and support for innovation in research and teaching.   Join the Team Here.
  3. Let us know your desire and ideas for synchronous remote Innovation Friday (or any other day)  via Zoom or other synchronous or asynchronous events by completing this very brief form.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Bloom

Professional Development Grant: Upcoming Deadline

Established in 2012, this grant supports the strategic mission of WCU by providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities in areas such as teaching and learning, scholarship, leadership, certification, accreditation, assessment, and other related areas. This program replaces and expands upon two former grant programs: Microgrants and Provost Instructional Improvement Grants. Maximum Award: $1,000.

Deadlines for 2020-2021 Submission are September 25, 2020 / January 29, 2021 / March 26, 2021

View the application and guidelines

Fall Preparation: Blackboard Offers Webinar Training Sessions

Blackboard Logo

In preparation for the fall semester, the CFC is encouraging all instructors who are not familiar with Blackboard or who want to expand their use of it to take advantage of these online training sessions offered by Blackboard. 

Due to increased demand for our services and our limited capacity, the CFC will not be conducting any Blackboard training sessions.  We will be hosting a number of drop-in Q&A sessions but we are asking instructors to go through the training modules and/or attend the sessions provided by Blackboard before attending a drop-in session.

Blackboard is offering a full menu of webinar training sessions for all experience levels.

About the Webinar Series

Many of you had to quickly transition to remote teaching in response to growing concerns on the spread of the coronavirus. The journey to teaching remotely is a process, and we want to ensure you have the tools you need to be successful for both you and your students. Whether you are brand new to teaching online or looking to make some improvements to what you have started, we designed a set of webinars from basic topics to advanced. We added more topics to help you as you prepare for your next semester

The Blackboard website provides descriptions of each webinar, the dates being offered, and a link to REGISTER. 

Click on a topic below to learn more:

  1. Getting Started with Blackboard Learn Original Course Experience
  2. Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Getting Started with Bb Annotate: Inline Assignment Grading in Blackboard Learn
  4. OFFICE HOURS: Ask the Experts About Blackboard Learn and Collaborate
  5. Assessment & Assignments in Blackboard Learn (Original Course Experience)
  6. Guide to Building Mobile Content (Original & Ultra Course Experiences)
  7. Improving Student Engagement (Original Course Experience)
  8. Setting up the Gradebook (Original Course Experience)
  9. Grading Workflows for Discussions, Assessment & Assignments (Original Course Experience)