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Transition to Canvas

Canvas By Instructure


Why transition to Canvas?

  • LMS is a key component of the College’s technology infrastructure. It also links directly to the PC200 strategic plan, and its goal focused on creating “an extraordinary academic experience” for our students. Canvas is fully functional on mobile devices, includes a modern user interface, and has a strong focus on user accessibility, which is necessary for the College’s compliance with Federal Section 508 accessibility standards. In addition, Canvas has greater integration with third-party apps and publisher resources and has greater potential to integrate with Microsoft Teams and other technologies used by PC faculty and students.   
  • We also plan to implement the Canvas Studio video hosting platform, which is fully integrated with the LMS. This advanced level of video capability within the LMS will enhance the teaching and learning experience for all students and faculty and will better position the College to offer distance education courses and programs through the School of Continuing Education and our graduate programs. 

How was the decision made to transition to Canvas? 

Discussions concerning the potential switch to a new LMS have been ongoing for the past few years. Several faculty members participated in the Learning Spaces & Instructional Technology (LSIT) Steering Committee’s technology planning forum discussions a couple of years ago. During those discussions, the topic of Sakai and a new LMS was a common theme among the student and faculty groups.   In Spring 2019, RFPs were sent out to vendors and the LMS Task Form was formed by the Provost and CFO.  During the Fall 2019 semester, the LMS Review Task Force invited all faculty and staff to participate in on-campus vendor demos — which included Canvas and Sakai — and to offer feedback on these options.   Faculty were also invited to participate in sandbox environments of the systems and provide feedback on their use.  The transition to remote learning and the unpredictability of the 2020-2021 academic year postponed the decision, but many lessons were learned about faculty needs and students expectations of an LMS.  Canvas offers more in these areas.  Spring 2021, the LMS Task Force wrote a report and recommendation of Instructure’s Canvas, as it aligns with PC200.  Fall 2021, Canvas was approved as a financial and support commitment of the college.   

Preparing for Sakai’s retirement in June 2023

  • Students: we recommend you back up any content from your past classes, if needed. Student content will not be migrated from Sakai to Canvas and we recommend backing up content regardless of LMS system for future use and access. 
  • Faculty: Information will be distributed about migrating recent content from Sakai to Canvas as we get closer to Sakai ‘sunset’ date. We also recommend you back up past content to ensure access as a later date. For more information about archiving course materials, visit https://itdp.providence.edu/course-archiving/ and our Instructional Continuity guide https://sway.office.com/R5G6ugANjtOe09dD?ref=Link
    • Regarding First Day Complete, you can get more information at https://www.bncollege.com/academic-solutions/first-day-complete/ or from our bookstore; essentially, Providence College pays for students to have access to their materials.  This is a great resource for students, but recognize that this will only be available for a single LMS at a time — and right now, that LMS is Sakai.  First Day Complete will not be available to Canvas until all courses that use FDC are ready to switch to Canvas.
  • More details TBA