by Holly Tapper

The Learning Management System (LMS) Task Force met with the Canvas implementation team on July 13 to officially kick off our relationship and make plans for a fall rollout.

The switch to the Canvas learning management system includes other ancillary tools and services that have now been finalized.

  • Learning Ally will be integrated to provide accessibility features in all of our Canvas courses.
  • Turnitin is the newly selected plagiarism tool in Canvas, as we gradually move from using SafeAssign and VeriCite to a singular source for plagiarism detection.
  • Panopto lecture capture services will be part of our e-learning platform, along with the transfer of many other tools currently used in both Engage and Blackboard.

Key elements of our Canvas solution will include mobile capabilities, 24/7 user support, and migration assistance. Our top priority is to develop a migration strategy that focuses on the student experience, while ensuring our faculty and staff are prepared to use Canvas. Find more detail about our faculty training plan in a separate feature in today’s Cardinal Update.

Getting started: A service we are excited to announce is K16, a scaffolded migration solution. The Canvas migration team, along with the K16 migration team, will assist Saint Mary’s in quickly moving the most robust courses from Blackboard into Canvas. (We will migrate simpler courses ourselves.) Consider the K16 vendor as a professional “moving team” like you would hire to move your heaviest belongings from one home to another. They will “pack and move” items to the new home (the Canvas course) and set the moving boxes and furniture in the correct rooms (the Canvas course modules). Our staff and faculty may have to unpack some of the boxes (make adjustments to the Canvas course). We have a year-long agreement with K16 to assist us with moving designated courses throughout the entire migration process. Our initial goal is to use K16 to migrate 400 Blackboard courses by fall. Check out this video to learn more.

SGPP – Engage migration: Our fully online courses currently offered in Engage will be migrated to Canvas beginning in the spring semester. We have developed a course-by-course migration plan that begins with all first-semester courses our newly enrolled students would need to complete in spring 2021. All second-semester courses will be migrated by summer 2021, third-semester courses will migrate in fall 2021, and any remaining courses will move to Canvas in spring 2022.

SGPP – Blackboard migration: Our SGPP course migration from Blackboard to Canvas will follow a different pattern. It is likely those courses that were already built as fully online in Blackboard and those that were in a “high blend” format will be selected to migrate to Canvas first, but that timing is not finalized. We are currently examining all the courses needing to run this fall semester in a fully online format due to COVID and will contact program directors in the next week or two to formulate a possible plan. Stay tuned for more detail as this plan is developed in collaboration with program staff and faculty.

Undergraduate College – Blackboard migration: Our Winona undergraduate course migration plan is also underway. Certain chairs have already reached out to our team to request an early migration to Canvas. About a dozen fully online courses will likely migrate sooner than face-to-face courses. As the university has already announced, students will return to the Winona Campus in the fall for a traditional on-campus experience. Our team is working with the COVID-19 planning group to collaborate on Canvas training and migration schedules.

As the LMS task force receives more detail from Canvas on comprehensive project planning, you can expect to learn more about the migration schedule, training for faculty, staff, and students, assistance with course development, and technology support. Updated information can be located on the LMS intranet site and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) websites.