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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

CPP faculty begin hands-on Canvas training

As Cal Poly Pomona makes the switch to Canvas, the campus community can now access the service via a Bronco login and faculty will be able to attend hands-on synchronous training sessions April 16 and April 30. CPP will begin using Canvas officially as its learning management system on Aug. 19, the start of the fall 2021 semester.


Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels.

On April 5, CPP faculty were able to access Canvas through their CPP credentials and automatically received a “sandbox” practice course, an empty course without student users intended to learn the system.


As previously reported by The Poly Post, the move from Blackboard to Canvas was supported by CPP’s Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence, IT Department and officials from Academic Affairs.


“The reason for switching from Blackboard to Canvas is to support our students better,” said CAFE Director Victoria Bhavsar. “Because a lot of high schools and community colleges use Canvas, many students come into CPP already familiar to Canvas. Also, the pandemic has made it necessary to have a lot more online presence and Canvas is a platform that supports that really well.”


According to Assistant Vice President of Learning and Research Technologies Teshia Roby, CPP paid $370,777 for a contract with Canvas for the next two years.


Samantha St. Claire, an English composition professor, has grown accustomed to using Canvas since 2018.


“Most instructors I know, just like myself, teach at multiple campuses which have Canvas, so most instructors are grateful and happy for the switch,” said St. Claire. “However, other faculty that are maybe full-time, to them it is insane since Canvas is so different.”


St. Claire emphasized that some faculty are overwhelmed as many recently learned how to navigate Blackboard when CPP shifted to full online instruction.


According to Bhavsar, CPP will be using an outside company, K16 Solutions, to help faculty transfer their Blackboard courses into Canvas for summer 2021, fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms. This will help speed up the process and ease the transition for faculty.


Students expressed their support for the switch to Canvas on Reddit after a post from Paul Nissenson, associate professor of mechanical engineering, summarized an email sent to faculty announcing the availability of sandbox practice courses. Nissenson confirmed that the sandboxes are useful and believe Canvas appears more user-friendly compared to Blackboard.


“Whenever you move to a new technology or new platform there is always a lot of effort you have to put upfront, which is never fun, but there are plenty of features that I like,” Nissenson said in an interview with The Poly Post. “One of them being that it takes a lot less clicks to get everything done, unlike Blackboard that barriers everything in some weird sub-folder.”


Faculty will be given the option to begin using Canvas for summer courses. Bhavsar advised students who attend summer courses to email faculty and ask whether they will use Canvas or stick to Blackboard for the summer.


To learn more about CPP’s move to Canvas or to find support and training resources visit https://www.cpp.edu/canvas/index.shtml.


(Originally published in The Poly Post.)


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