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Feb. 15, 2023 - Canvas--Updates and Soft Launch (summer and fall) interest survey

Dear Faculty,

As you know, we are transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas as our Learning Management System (LMS). We are running about 80 pilot sessions now, and the transition period will continue with soft launches in summer and fall. In Spring 2024, starting with the December minimester, all UHD classes will be offered in Canvas.

While there are differences between Canvas and Blackboard, Canvas has many benefits including clean, user-friendly, content-focused design, an excellent platform for connecting with other applications and publisher content, well-integrated app options, and frequent feature and tool updates. We are particularly excited that we'll have 24/7 support for all students, faculty, and staff via Instructure Canvas directly.

You can start exploring Canvas right now with your UHD login via our Canvas resource page.

We thank the Faculty Senate for leading conversation around recommendations from the LMS team related to retention of materials, common requirements for all shells, automatic shell opening timelines, and required trainings. These recommendations were endorsed by the Senate on February 6, 2023, and we will work to implement them, keeping faculty informed of any substantive changes that may be needed.

In this email, we provide updates the following activities: Soft Launch Opportunities, Access to Canvas, Required Training, BB Availability, and Migration Basics. We also refer you to our websites for information and support:

1. Soft Launch Opportunities—Must Submit Survey

We will offer more sections in Canvas in summer and in fall as part of the soft launch. Please let us know if you are interested in this opportunity by completing this online survey. You must complete the survey by March 1, 2023 to be considered for the soft launch options.

Our goal is to allow as many as we can, based on our ability to provide tech support. Those who participate will agree to the following:

  • Complete Canvas training (Growing with Canvas or equivalent) by April 1 for summer and July 1 for fall
  • Transition fully to Canvas (cannot teach from BB for any course in any semester after your transition semester)
  • Be available to work with TTLC staff on migration in the following periods (dates are approximate):
  • March 14-May 5 for summer
  • April 17-August 4 for fall
  • Communicate with enrolled students prior to term to tell them the courses will be in Canvas; put notes in BB to direct them to Canvas

2. Building Courses in Canvas Now

All faculty have access to UHD Canvas now via this link. This is the official UHD Canvas site and therefore any settings that you select will remain active until you change them and work that you do can be copied into your courses each semester.

You will see one blank, unpublished Canvas shell that you can start building a course in. If you want additional shells, you may request them online here.

3. Required Training

Per Faculty Senate endorsement, all faculty will be required to complete a basic training in Canvas that will be finalized and available on March 1, 2023. The training will be a slightly modified version of "Growing with Canvas." We plan that the training will consist of 5 content modules, each with a short 4-5 question completion quiz and one summary module with a 10-question quiz. The quizzes can be accessed directly in each module; you are not required to complete any tasks prior to attempting the quizzes.

Faculty must pass all 6 assessments. We will provide more details on the module content when we announce the availability of the training.

4. BB Availability—until December 2023

Faculty will have full access to BB and all of their courses until December 31, 2023. If you want anything from BB, you should remove it before then. [Note that archiving or downloading a BB shell in some kind of batch will not help because after December 31, you will not be able to open any BB-formatted resources.]

IT will have access to an archive of all BB materials for at least a year beyond 2023 and could access them upon request.

5. Migration Basics

We are working with Canvas to better understand the efficacy of moving materials from a BB shell into a Canvas shell (migration). As a general principle, once we migrate your courses from BB to Canvas, any updates that you make to your BB courses will not be captured in Canvas (e.g., we will not continually migrate BB changes), so the timing of the migration will be important.

We will be in touch with more details on what the migrated courses might look like and what the timeline will be.

While we work out the migration details, here are a few points for you to consider in preparation:

  • Build from scratch in Canvas: per our Canvas pilot colleagues, a best strategy is to build courses from scratch in Canvas, using your migrated materials as a resource repository to draw from as needed. This also takes advantage of the built-in accessibility tools in Canvas. You can start now—just log in to Canvas and start working in an unpublished shell!
  • Sort your materials: we understand that the following types of materials from BB do not migrate to Canvas in any usable way: wikis, journals, links, student data, discussion board content (though prompts will move), announcements, blogs
  • Student data: Extract all student data from Blackboard that you might want as soon as possible (including anything for promotion files, research, etc.). Student data will not migrate to Canvas, you will have access to your BB shells until December 31, 2023.

Thanks to all the Canvas pilot faculty for their insights and efforts as well as the TTLC, CTLE and LMS committee members for leading this process!