Wow, big news about Canvas for Spring: instead of being opt-in, it will be opt-out. Unless faculty specifically ask to use D2L, they will all be on Canvas in the Spring. You can read the email here.
Given that I am an Internet enthusiast, I was disappointed that there were no links in the email for learning about Canvas or for connecting with other faculty who are using Canvas now — thanks to Kevin Buck, we have an OU Canvas Community all ready to go, and that’s why I created this blog, crossposting everything here inside that OU Canvas Community space.
In addition, I was sad to see that there was no mention of the option to create open syllabuses in Canvas, something which is very different from D2L and, in my opinion, one of the most useful things about Canvas, even for faculty who don’t use many LMS features (I fall into that category). I’ve written several posts here about the way that Canvas (unlike D2L) has some great open options, including both open syllabuses and also open courses.
Most of all, I was disappointed that there was no mention of OU Create, OU’s Domain of One’s Own initiative, which gives all faculty access to web space of their own, beyond the LMS, so that they can create content which would be impossible to design or manage inside the very constrained space of the LMS. And even for faculty not developing content with the OU Create project, it really is handy to be able to create your own Canvas URLs.
Faculty don’t get a lot of mass emails related to teaching, so I see every such email as an opportunity to let faculty members know about some of the really exciting new things that are going on, like OU Create. I don’t really care about Canvas one way or the other (being an LMS minimalist), but I really do care about opportunities for faculty to connect and to do more open sharing of their work.
Which is why I am blogging here. Hope springs eternal. And now that Canvas is going to be our default LMS already in the Spring, I am even more pleased that I got this blog project up and running already in the Fall. Plus, I am even more motivated to carry on with this blog, hoping it can be useful as the record of one faculty member’s learning experience with Canvas on our campus.
So, if you want to connect with others and share your experiences, check out the OU Canvas Community and/or start your own blog (either with OU Create or any of the many blogging options online). Are you at Twitter? That’s another great place to connect. I’m @OnlineCrsLady, and there are lots of OU faculty and staff who you will find on Twitter; I keep a list. Plus, I try to remember to use the #OUCanvasCommunity hashtag on my Twitter posts. It’s easy to connect and share. 🙂