Transition to Canvas - 2013-2014
During academic year 2013-2014, Highline is transitioning from the ANGEL Learning Management System to Instructure's Canvas. This site is the home of faculty support for the transition.
The Canvas pilot is under way. Faculty volunteers are currently preparing their courses for Winter Quarter. Stay tuned in early January, when more faculty will have access to begin learning Canvas.
Updated: check out the FAQ!
What's the schedule?
The transition schedule is:
- Summer 2013 - Systems integrations, transition testing
- October 2013: Pilot goup access to Highline's system, Continued system integration, first orientation classes.
- Winter 2014 – First students on Canvas, Training available to all faculty
- Spring 2014 – Continued transition: Some faculty in ANGEL, some in Canvas
- Summer 2014 – ANGEL available for backup, no classes are taught on ANGEL
What should I do now?
Between now and the beginning of your transition, you can:
- Check out Canvas (see info below)
- Figure out which ANGEL courses you plan to export. Most likely, it's the most recent version of a course that you've just completed.
- Clean house. Canvas will import everything in your course, including all those handouts you haven't used for years. It'll take some clean up work. Start in Angel, with this list of tips.
- Have you wanted to make some changes to your courses? Restructure how you present materials to your students? Are you getting complaints from students abotu the course? Now is the time to give your course a makeover. (E-mail Us to discuss your ideas!)
As you may be aware, the Blackboard company bought Angel Learning Systems in 2009. Blackboard has indicated that version 8.0 of Angel, released Fall 2011, will be the last major upgrade to Angel. While they expect to provide maintenance, they are focusing on the BbLearn product for development.
Our experience to date has been that Angel is not keeping up with updated browsers and the growth in use of smartphones and tablets; in addition, bug fixes have all but stopped. Our license expires in August 2014, and will not be renewed.
During early 2012, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the state-funded 4-year instituions participated in a competitive RFP to search for a successor to Angel. Instructure's Canvas was the winning product from that process.
Since then, 32 of the 34 Community and Technical Colleges have migrated, as have all but one of the publicly-funded four-year schools. This includes colleges where many of our students and part-time faculty also study and work: Green River, Bellevue, all Seattle District schools, Tacoma, and Pierce.
Adopting the same system as other local institutions eases the transition between colleges for students and part-time instructors, supports collaboration with our peer institutions, and enables us to take advantage of shared training and support resources.
What's Canvas Like?
In a lot of ways, Canvas is like any other LMS: there's a place to post documents, have online discussions, give quizzes, etc. It separates itself from the market through:
- Stronger Mobile tools
- Ability to attach to other tools (e.g. Google docs, Facebook, etc.)
- Real-time data about student activities (Analytics)
Canvas has received positive reviews for the interface and for responsiveness to clients.
- Home Page
- Communication Preferences
- Drag and Drop file management
- Mobile/iOS (Android released 1/2013)
- The 3-minute Canvas Course