Canvas Expected to Make Teaching, Learning Easier
MELBOURNE, FLA. — After a three-year process involving dozens of faculty and staff and hundreds of hours of testing and analysis, Florida Institute of Technology has selected a new learning management system.
Akin to an online classroom, the new system, called Canvas, will allow faculty to put classroom-related materials, from syllabi and PowerPoint slides to videos and recorded lectures, online for use by on-campus, distance and online students. Canvas also provides sophisticated testing and quizzing features which include online analytics.
In addition to serving as a complete e-learning environment, Canvas will allow students to interact via text message and email. Faculty can also use it to take attendance, hold office hours and create video messages to students.
“Canvas makes interactive, media-rich course design an intuitive process, freeing instructors to focus on their students,” said Rose Petralia, an instructional librarian at Evans Library and frequent user of the university’s learning management system, or LMS.
Canvas replaces the previous LMS, known as ANGEL, which was used for the last seven years. The process that led to choosing Canvas began more than three years ago.
Composed of faculty and staff that represent the major stakeholders in teaching technologies, the LMS Committee researched and evaluated dozens of alternatives to ANGEL and settled on two finalists. Both were tested in pilot programs over the spring 2014 semester, with faculty from nearly every department using both systems. Canvas was the clear favorite.
“Our faculty focus groups put a lot of hard work into testing and selecting Canvas as our new LMS. I think we have a product that will enhance the in-class and eLearning experience for faculty and students,” said Eric Kledzik, vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Florida Tech. “Canvas provides enhanced multimedia learning features beyond anything we have seen before.”
Find out more by visiting Florida Tech’s Canvas information page at http://it.fit.edu/training/lms/canvas.php, where you can learn details about the LMS, log into it, take tutorials and more.