Pierce officially makes campus wide transition from Moodle to Canvas

Canvas will replace Moodle as the new college-supported learning management system (LMS) in the coming weeks after a pilot during spring semester and everyone will be moved over from moodle by Summer 2016, according to Distance Education Coordinator Wendy Bass,

In a review conducted by the California State Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office’s Online Education Initiative task force, Canvas was considered the most user-v friendly platform by the students and faculty on the task force. The senate voted that all DE/hybrid instructors need to get re-certified to teach in Canvas.

“The statewide committee that was selected specifically for this purpose chose Canvas, and that says a lot,” said Michael Cooperman, member of the Distance Education committee.

Bass said all classes will get Canvas shells starting in Summer 2016. Moodle shells will no longer be offered, however, you will have access to your old shells for referencing and student data for one year.

“I use both Moodle and Canvas, and I think Canvas is a little more elegant and well-designed,” said David Schamus, chair of the Computer Science and Information Technologies department.

The adoption of Canvas will position Pierce for participation in the Chancellor’s Office’s Online Course Exchange, which will make key online courses available to students statewide, according to the Distance Learning Department

Additionally, Bass states that canvas will be providing tech support nights and weekends when Pierce has no one available. And, because Pierce’s portal will be changing in the coming year, Canvas will become the standard digital front end for all courses, not just the online ones.

Moodle can continue to be used through the Spring 2017 semester. As of Fall 2017 all online courses taught in the college-supported course management system will be in Canvas. Pierce College is obligated by accreditation and federal requirements to systematically authenticate the identity of students who take online courses, According to Schamus.

During last semester’s Pierce College Council meeting the Distance Learning department stated that all Moodle courses will need to be transferred into Canvas. Faculty will be provided with staff support, training sessions, and step-by-step instructions on this process once conversion begins.

Bass said instructors of online, hybrid, and Distance Education courses will need to complete 40 hours of workshop training with Canvas. Instructors who teach traditional courses and only supplement their class with Moodle will not be required to undergo the Canvas certification training.

“I’ve gone through Canvas training to allow me to become a trainer for our campus and we will be offering Canvas trainings here at Pierce. Additionally, we will still be contracting through @ONE for the Intro to Online Teaching for all faculty who are interested in becoming online instructors. Faculty who have already been certified need to get re-certified, but will have a different class opportunity,” Bass said.

Pierce faculty can choose to learn about Canvas by attending hands-on training sessions or completing a self-paced online course. Professors will still have access to info on moodle for one year, according to Bass.