The LMS Task Force has lots of news to share with you on the progress of the Canvas implementation. While we have been piloting our first canvas courses this fall (in Spanish, no less) we have also added to our team.  We are grateful to have our new Director of Instructional Technology for the Twin Cities, Abram (Abe) Hedtke, join our team. He has even created a short video to summarize the big updates:

Access to Canvas

The biggest news is that you now have access to Canvas! That’s right. You have been hearing about it for a long time, but you can finally try it out by going to https://smumn.instructure.edu. You’ll log in with your Saint Mary’s username and password (just like Blackboard now). If your regular username doesn’t seem to work, try using all CAPS. Once you are logged in, you will see that you have access to a self-paced training course called “Growing with Canvas” as well as a Sandbox course where you can try out anything and everything in the system. Our many thanks to Tianna Johnson and Lincoln Scully along with the IT team have done a lot of work to make this possible.

Migration Process

Second, as announced in a previous Cardinal Update, the course migration process is underway. Many SGPP Blackboard courses are being migrated right now to be ready for offering in Spring 1 and Spring 2 using the K-16 migration solution. LMS Task Force members Greta Poser and Abram Hedtke are working with the program leaders of the first programs identified for spring migration. The rest of the SGPP and College courses will be migrated during the spring so that everyone has plenty of time to tweak their course shells before their courses are offered in the Summer and Fall. This timeline will allow instructors to experiment with Canvas during the whole spring term(s) to learn the new LMS and get your courses just how you want them. For our SGPP online programs currently offered in the Engage platform, the timeline is a bit different but is also underway. With our Wiley partner leading this migration effort, the migration will include moving the courses into Canvas as well as a post migration professional clean up to ensure they are ready to teach. Our LMS Task Force members are working with respective program leaders on this migration effort as well.

Canvas Training

Finally, Canvas training is happening now. Once you log in to Canvas, you’ll see our first option for training: a self-paced course in Canvas called “Growing with Canvas”. For some of you, this is all that you will need to figure out the new LMS. But we are also going to give you many more opportunities, starting with official Canvas trainers later this month. Here is the schedule, which you can also find on CELT’s Calendar or the new Canvas Updates page:

  • September 30, 2-5pm: Canvas Basics Part 1: Canvas Orientation, Communicating with Canvas, and Assignments
  • October 2, 11-2: Canvas Basics Part 2: Quizzes and Tests, Grading, and Modules
  • October 15, 10-5pm: Free Canvas Conference: CanvasCon, for those who want to dive deep into all that Canvas can do

The first two workshops will be recorded for any who cannot attend and the recordings will be posted on the CELT site. After these initial sessions, we will hold internal training on these and similar topics, including sessions on polishing up your migrated courses and special sessions to learn how to do various Blackboard tasks in Canvas.

We thank you all for your partnership throughout the transition and look forward to exploring Canvas together with you. For more detailed updates between Cardinal Updates, and training schedules, you can visit https://celt.smumn.edu/canvas. You can also email lms@smumn.edu with any questions.

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