As We Transition to Canvas

With the start of the new semester, the University of New Haven has implemented a new learning management system (LMS), Canvas. This system has replaced Blackboard, the previously utilized system.

With Canvas, students are able to see their grades, emails and messages from professors, have easy access to class Zoom links, and be able to see what group they are in for on-ground classes. Students and professors also have access to another feature — studio — which allows you to create and add videos.

Canvas allows professors to fully teach online with its ability to collect assignments and administer tests. Canvas also provides app compatibility to allow students to stay connected to their classes at any time and in any location.

Discussions, another feature in Canvas, allows students to communicate with their classmates about topics related to what they are learning.

The to-do list is another helpful aspect of Canvas that allows students to see all upcoming assignments and their due dates.

“I do like canvas and how it’s set up, it makes everything organized and accessible,” said Idalyz Bordoy, a freshman clinical psychology major. “Especially zoom classes, links, weekly lesson plans, and such.”

With the change to Canvas, everyone, including professors, is learning how to navigate it and use it to its fullest potential. There are tutorials on the basic navigation of the site, as well as support provided by the campus card office.

Once everyone becomes more accustomed to the system it can potentially provide the same education as on campus.

“I am not sure if it will be exactly like the in-person education experience,” Lígia Correia, an adjunct professor said, “but so far, it’s very close and I hope that once all the professors are fully trained, and learn all its capabilities, it will be equivalent.”

When compared to its predecessor, Blackboard, Canvas has both its similarities and advancements. It presents more variety of tools and is more clear to some, while to others, the two systems have similar aspects.

“Canvas offers several additional tools and a clearer interface than Blackboard,” said Maddalena Lolaico, a university Italian professor “For example, an additional tool is Studio, the video system incorporated into Canvas. That is a great tool, in particular in my language classes.”

Susanne Murphy, a communication, film and media studies professor likes some of the aspects of Canvas but thinks that the two are very similar. “Canvas and Blackboard for me are roughly equivalent tools. I like some of the capabilities of Canvas better than Blackboard: it’s easier to integrate media, for instance.”

Although Blackboard is no longer being used mainstream for classes, the software will still be available for access and student organizations will continue to utilize it for the fall semester.