Instructional Design & New Media team begins ASU Online migration from Blackboard to Canvas

ASU’s dependance on the Learning Management System (LMS) has grown to the point where the university can no longer function with a system, like Blackboard, that requires many hours of downtime each year to accommodate updates and routine maintenance. ASU needs a cloud-based system that is available 24x7.

After a lengthy review of (LMS) that included course pilots and feedback from the ASU community, ASU has decided to move to Canvas. The current Blackboard LMS will be available until June 30th, 2019. During the transition period both systems will be available. More information, including training resources and an FAQ can be found here.

At ASU Online, beginning in July, the Instructional Design & New Media team will officially start moving thousands of courses from Blackboard to the Canvas (LMS). These courses will be widely offered to students starting in Fall B session.

The course migration is a holistic effort among EdPlus with a focus on promoting a positive student and faculty experience. Various groups including the marketing and communications group, the data team, the Action Lab and the student success center, besides the work of the instructional design team, are all participating in the plan.
 
With a high focus on the student experience, EdPlus is creating communications to promote the changes to students including on-demand training resources. We are also working with the University Technology Office so that our data team has access to the Canvas system to track and analyze data that will assist success coaches with keeping students moving forward.   
 
In addition, we are working with various academic units we serve to make a full switch from Blackboard to Canvas to sync with a particular session. This approach will reduce having the students in Blackboard for some courses and Canvas for others, which could negatively impact the student experience.  
 
According to Philippos Savvides, technology manager and DeAnna Soth, manager of Instructional Design, the new system has many benefits.  Canvas is cloud based and outages are not expected. Canvas has dedicated partnerships with many other educational technology vendors so those tools are easy to integrate into the platform to expand our teaching and learning tools. Faculty instructors are expected to have an improved overall user experience with Canvas. 
 
The instructional design team expects less time spent on technical issues and more time for design consulting for faculty to build a better teaching and learning experience for students. 
 
As a practical matter, the Instructional Design & New Media team, the Action Lab, the Data team and Success Coaches are expected to feel the most impact from this change. Continuing and Professional Education is already using Canvas. More information on the rollout of the Canvas LMS can be found here. Questions can be directed to DeAnna Soth or Justin Harding.