Xavier to transition to Canvas, suspend use of Blackboard

By: Hollis Conners

A new learning management system, Canvas, is slowly being acclimated into classes and replacing Blackboard.

Learning management systems such as Blackboard and Canvas are primarily used by professors to post and store materials related to the course. Students can also use the space to collaborate with one another on various assignments and class activities.

A selection committee, which consisted of faculty, staff and students, reviewed a number of vendors during the summer.

“Canvas was the run-away winner in design, mobility, open architecture, ease-of-use and overall faculty and student experience,” Tim Bucher, director of IT Projects and Planning, said.

The goal is to have Blackboard completely phased out of use by the end of the 2014 spring semester.

With the visual upgrade for Blackboard available, Xavier used the opportunity to explore other leading systems.

Xavier hoped that a new system could be more user-friendly and more student-oriented. The selection committee believed Canvas fulfills these traits and therefore chose it.

Canvas is also reportedly strong in the mobile category and can be integrated into social media tools. It also provided a Jesuit school agreement within the pricing structure.

Over 100 faculty members have already begun to use Canvas as their main learning management system. Blackboard may still be used in some classes until the summer 2014 classes begin.

Students and faculty who need to begin logging into Canvas can do so through the portal or at https://canvas.xavier.edu.

There is also an informational site, which contains “How to’s” on learning to use Canvas at http://www.xavier.edu/canvas.

If any students or faculty are still having trouble in navigating Canvas, they can call the Help Desk during the day at 513-745-4357 and after hours at 855-778-9967.