Mount Introduces Canvas to Campus

This year the Mount will undergo a transition from using Moodle to Canvas.  Canvas is a Learning Management service that allows students and teachers to post and access course content, communicate with one another and more. This semester, professors will be able to use both Moodle and Canvas for their classes, but in the spring semester, Canvas will replace Moodle completely.

Canvas was used in a two-pilot program, where leadership tested the new platform in different courses with several faculty members.

“The University decided that Canvas was the best service to provide all of the necessary tools to customize teaching and learning regardless of the venue,” says David Sheads, Instructional Technologist.

Canvas has features that benefit not only undergraduate programs, but also graduate and certificate programs, regardless of whether or not the class is a traditional face-to-face class, a hybrid class, or an online course.  Professors will experience greater course flexibility and customizability for professors and third party integration will offer a wider range of learning and assessment tools.

The Canvas interface is a more intuitive interface for students and professors.  In addition to their mobile application that is already available, which can be found by searching “Canvas by Instructure” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, Canvas is creating additional applications, such as the “Teacher” and “Student” apps.

Students can enable notifications on their mobile device to receive updates on class announcements, discussions, activities, and when grades are posted in their courses. Many features are dependent upon whether or not the faculty is using them in their specific course, so particular features may vary depending on the class and professor.

Students should be aware of the new URL for Canvas, which is http://msmary.instructure.com.  The Mount is subscribed to email, online chat, and phone support for Canvas, all of which are available 24 hours a day.  To get help, log into Canvas and click on the “Help” icon in the lower left hand corner for support.  Login problems should be directed to the IT Help Desk at itsc@msmary.edu or 301-447-5805.

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