Canvas as new learning platform

Alex Gervás reports on the change to Canvas as learning platform for the University

Alex Gervas
6th October 2020
During May, Academic Register announced the University’s learning platform change from Blackboard to Canvas.

The University email described it as a beneficial change, regarding ease of use, adding: “it will be the place to go to for any of your online learning materials and assignments.”

A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “This change was heavily influenced by students’ feedback with many being involved in surveys, focus groups and user testing. Canvas was the best fit for enabling key areas of the University’s Education Strategy.”

Education Officer Sian Dickie issued a statement through the University’s website saying: “The change to this exciting new platform couldn’t have come at a better time for students, considering how much of our learning will take place virtually in the new academic year.”

“The change to this exciting new platform couldn’t have come at a better time for students, considering how much of our learning will take place virtually in the new academic year.”

Sian Dickie, Education Officer

Media student Ewen Cristoph said: “Canvas has been pretty simplified and organised looking, which makes it much easier for me to find the information I need.”

Ewen added: “My favourite feature of the platform is that you can choose to receive a weekly report and such notifications can remind me of things like an upcoming deadline, which is jolly helpful.”

The change was finalised on the 31st of July, meaning that deferred assessments and resits that took place during August were done through Canvas.

Course contents from the academic years of 2017 to 2020 were automatically transferred to the students’ Canvas account starting from the week commencing on the 20th of July.

However, journalism student George Boatfield said: “modules that migrated from Blackboard required ‘activation’ before becoming accessible on Canvas.”

“I deferred my assessments, so while resuming modules after months was disrupting enough, the delay in simply accessing module content was not appreciated.”

The University's spokesperson said: “All students should have access to a ‘Getting to Know Canvas’ course to orient themselves with the platform and the Canvas website has a dedicated section which includes answers to FAQs and how to get help including access to the dedicated 24/7 Canvas support.”

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