Transitions & Transformations

Mark EatonA lot of transitions are happening right about now. We just moved our blog to our own website – (Applied Instructional Design & Technology). The previous blog posts are now here and we will be shutting down the old site in about 30 days.

Another major transition is happening at Avila University where we are implementing Canvas as the platform for out new learning community. We currently have a pilot with 28 course sections on Canvas during the Spring 2012-2013 academic term. This represents about 13 faculty and over 600 students. Most interesting is that only one of these course sections is a fully online course. The rest are traditional on campus courses.

The faculty are recognizing the power of Canvas in developing learning communities with their students who can participate in activities with their iPhones, iPads, and Androids. Plus students can set their own preferred methods of notifications including registering personal services like Twitter and Facebook.

We started this process when Blackboard announced that they would cease operational support of ANGEL in 2014. They have since changed their business strategy and will now continue to support ANGEL, but we felt this was a good time to analyze and compare the benefits with staying with ANGEL or moving to a modern platform. We also asked a faculty committee to do the analysis with a focus on pedagogy first. They recommended Canvas because of its ease of use and its social learning and collaborative features. On the administrative side we liked the decision because Canvas is affordable and a modern web 2.0 platform.

Canvas Logo

Moving from ANGEL to Canvas is truly a transformational process. Our faculty are interested in more than just replacing ANGEL with Canvas (i.e. using it the same way they used ANGEL). They want to know how Canvas can extend learning and student engagement beyond the classroom. It is a great time to be at Avila University.



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