Last week we started to explore the difference between an LMS (Learning Management System) and a DLE (Digital Learning Environment). One of the key strategic observations is that the UW-System is in the process of migrating from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas Instructure as the main tool “hub”. The emphasis is on creating a seamless, consistent, and accessible student experience. Having said that…what does that mean for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater? What should you expect this fall and what do you need to know? How do you get help and support to meet your instructional needs throughout this migration? This week’s “TED Tip” hopes to answer some of those questions.
Do we have to migrate to Canvas?
Yes. All UW-System schools (except for Madison) are in the process of moving to the Canvas platform. Madison has already been using Canvas. This migration project is managed by the UW-System, with input from individuals on each of the campuses. This does not diminish your academic freedoms; it provides a common platform for delivering content throughout the UW-System.
When does the migration affect us?
The migration process is already well underway. Fall 2018 is the first semester that Canvas is available to use for your courses. Spring 2019 is the last semester that Desire2Learn will be available. Starting in Summer 2019, all courses will be required to use Canvas. Existing content stored in D2L will be accessible to instructors through Spring 2020 for migration.
For Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, you can choose what platform you want to deliver your courses. Having said that, the choice of platform makes a lasting impact on students. As we examined last week, one of the goals of the UW-System supports a consistent Digital Learning Environment. Because we are moving towards building this long lasting and supported environment for students, The University of Wisconsin Whitewater strongly encourages you to develop freshman-facing courses in Canvas. This should make things easier for new students, by limiting their need to learn both Canvas and Desire2Learn. It is possible that you will have courses in D2L and Canvas; it is possible that students will be taking courses in both D2L and Canvas.
Some courses, departments, and/or colleges may have other specific transition requirements. If you are unsure, it is always helpful to double check.
What other help is available?
The Learning Technology Center (LTC) has been offering a variety of services to help prepare you to teach in the fall in Canvas. Look for a series of in person, hands-on workshops. Some are offered remotely via webinars.
If you are just getting started in Canvas, a “Canvas Hands-On Introduction” workshop is the place to start. These introduction workshops cover the basic functions and core tools in Canvas. These are great if you have never used Canvas. They are interactive and provide the opportunity to ask questions along the way.
“Canvas Construction Zones” are hands-on, workshops in computer labs specifically focused on transitioning content from D2L to Canvas. The construction zones use a course complexity application tool to help estimate the time of work you will need to put into setting up your course in Canvas.
“Canvas Deep Dives” are more in depth explorations of how to leverage specific tools or topics, often exploring various options to best meet the needs of your teaching. These are more advanced workshops but cover fundamentals like grading in Canvas, leveraging the syllabus and calendar tool, providing feedback, and creating new content in canvas.
Colleges may also offer additional Canvas training opportunities. For example, the College of Business and Economics, has its own Canvas Training program. Check the University of Whitewater Event Sign up tool for additional training opportunities. Finally, there are also a series of asynchronous recorded workshops that can help acclimate you to the environment and get address specific needs you may have.
You are not alone!
In addition to the workshops and trainings, the LTC has college-specific faculty peer mentors available to help provide assistance with the Canvas Transition.
The peer mentors are available to:
- Help answer transition questions.
- Provide training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
- Work to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.
Additional Services and Support
Canvas itself has a more robust technical support service line that includes 24 / 7 toll free hotline and live online chat interactions. These can be reached from the Canvas 24/7/365 Support website for basic how-to questions.
This weeks TED tip covers a lot of territory regarding the status of the Canvas Migration project, the training and support opportunities available, and where to find assistance and support. Next week we’ll focus more closely at one of these important tasks: how exactly DO I convert my D2L course to Canvas.
– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
Canvas Migration Website: http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal
Canvas Training Videos: http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/training
Course Complexity App: http://dl.uwsa.edu
Want to learn more about Canvas? Join the LTC at one of our online or face-to-face workshops this summer! Signup at: http://go.uww.edu/ltc-workshop-signup
University of Wisconsin Whitewater Event Sign-up tool: https://my.uww.edu/signup/Home
Peer Mentors: http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/peer-mentors
In Depth UW System support for the Course Content Migration: https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/implementation/teams/uwsa-workstreams/course-content-migration/