Canvas: What you need to know

Trevor Knabach

With the start of spring semester comes a new technological experience for most students. Access to Blackboard Learn will end on Jan. 5, 2018 and Canvas will be taking its place.

While many students, such as the ones attending the ‘Check Blackboard one last time and feel disappointed’ Facebook event, are welcoming the change, there is some speculation about how smooth the transition will be. 

Here’s what you need to know about the transition from Blackboard Learn to Canvas:

First and foremost, don’t panic. This is a time of change for both students and instructors, so both will need some time to learn the new system. Many functions remain the same, just with a different interface.

“Canvas is leaner, more user friendly, and better supported platform. It is better for both students and instructors,” said Derek Hanson, an early adopter of Canvas for his classes in the past fall semester. 

If you are having trouble getting adjusted to Canvas, there is a support page to get some practice.

It is also important to be patient with instructors as they get used to using Canvas as well.

“As attached as you might be to Blackboard, a student will only use it for four years. Imagine your instructors now, many of them have been using Blackboard for a long time,” Hanson said.

Finally, make sure to take the time to make the most out of Canvas. This transition was made in the best interest of the students at ISU, as Canvas was determined to be a better fit.

“It gives more control over to students. You get to determine how you receive notifications whether by email, text messaging, or even Twitter,” said Hanson when asked what he thought students needed to know about Canvas as a whole.

“You can integrate your Google Drive and CyBox accounts so you can keep track of all of your papers without worrying about losing assignments, even being able to turn in papers using either cloud storage system. Spend some time in Canvas, create a profile of yourself, add a photo, and really make it yours,” Hanson said.

Students already have access to Canvas and do not have to wait until Jan. 5 to login.