August 5, 2016
Topic: Information Technology
Beginning with the fall semester, CTools will no longer be available for U-M classes — but Canvas will.
Across the Ann Arbor campus, faculty and staff are working together to prepare for the shift in learning management systems. Since announcing the transition from CTools to Canvas nearly two years ago, the U-M Canvas team reports a steady increase in the number of courses using the system.
"About 83 percent of summer courses and 89 percent of spring/summer courses were taught in Canvas. That's up from 64 percent during the winter term," said Sean DeMonner, executive director of teaching and learning at Information and Technology Systems. "We continue to partner with the Canvas Unit Contacts who represent each school and college to ensure all instructors teaching courses in Canvas this fall feel supported and prepared."
DeMonner said there are many support options for those who are new to Canvas, including e-learning, step-by-step guides, videos, and face-to-face support. Faculty can even request that their CTools resources, assignments, and tests be moved to Canvas via the Convert2Canvas service.
"We launched Convert2Canvas as direct feedback from faculty who had years of course files in CTools and were looking for an efficient way to reference and reuse many of them in Canvas," DeMonner said. "Convert2Canvas has been extremely popular — the team processed more than 2,800 requests."
For those who prefer hands-on, in-person support, Canvas Crew consultants are also helping faculty with their Canvas courses. The team, which offers both appointment and drop-in hours, has met with more than 100 faculty this summer.
"Chris, my Canvas Crew consultant, was just delightful. He knew three different ways to solve my issues and solved the first problem in 14 seconds," said Kathryn Clark, a School of Kinesiology lecturer. "I recommend the Canvas Crew so highly to other faculty. They are here to help, they know what they're talking about, and it was such a comfortable experience. If you have any questions at all, this is the place to go. "
Library, ITS, and LSA staff also will hold a Canvas Kickstart event from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 31 to provide "last minute" one-on-one support to faculty. Appointments will focus on each instructor's most immediate needs.
Those with questions about Canvas are encouraged to contact their school or college's Canvas Unit Contact or the ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357 or 4HELP@umich.edu.