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Marjon Canvas

Canvas is Marjon’s new Learning Management System (LMS) and will support teaching and learning across the university. Canvas will be fully implemented and available for all staff and students by the start of the academic year 2021/2022.

A collage of photos of Marjon students

Coming soon

There is plenty of activity going on between now and Canvas going live.  This includes an early roll out of some distance learning modules and a training programme that will be available to all staff from April 2021.

Mobile Apps are also available for Teachers (Canvas Teacher) and Students (Canvas Students) and can be downloaded from the relevant App store.

Help with Canvas

Support is a cloud-based service delivered by Instructure (suppliers of Canvas) and as part of our agreement with Canvas, Plymouth Marjon staff and students have tier 1 support that is available 24/7 via live chat, email or phone.  This support can be accessed via the Help menu in the global navigation in Canvas.

Further support for Canvas can be accessed via the Canvas user guides, Canvas video guides and Canvas Mobile Guides.  Alternatively, if all these avenues fail then please contact the Digital Innovation team for help.


Why has Marjon chosen to replace LearningSpace now?

It is clear that digital teaching and learning is here to stay, and our Hybrid Model of Learning will continue.

Marjon needs to ensure that we are using technology in a strategic way to make our student experience even better. 

To support this, we're ensuring that students have access to the digital infrastructure for learning and teaching which can best meet their needs; the rollout of Canvas is an important step on that journey.


Why/how has Marjon chosen Canvas as the replacement for LS?

Marjon went through a robust competitive tendering process in 2020, including a full evaluation of the existing LearningSpace. Canvas was chosen on providing the best solution on balance of price and most importantly, performance.

Canvas:

  • Is the market leader in universities, colleges and schools
  • Is easy to use with a great user interface
  • Comes complete with a mobile app for both students and teaching staff
  • Is so much more flexible and provides a great user experience – both for students and teaching staff

There is a great video available, which showcases the rollout of Canvas across some other Colleges and Universities


Who else uses Canvas?

Canvas is now the world’s number 1 Learning Management System, having overtaken Blackboard a few years ago. 

50% of the World’s top 50 Universities use Canvas.

Other organisations using Canvas include:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Birmingham
  • London Business School
  • University of Liverpool
  • Newcastle University
  • Swansea University


What are some of the great features of Canvas?

Canvas is:

  • Simple
  • Engaging
  • Open
  • Reliable, with 99.9% uptime

Canvas provides:

  • Mobile apps for academic staff and students
  • Connectivity with students directly through Canvas
  • Automatic and seamless updates as it is cloud-based

There is 24/7/365 support available from Canvas for all Marjon staff and students. This is available by phone, email or live chat. 

We are assured of a rapid response to any help requests, within:  

  • One hour for webform/email tickets
  • 120 seconds for phone calls
  • 120 seconds for live chat


What are the timescales for the Canvas implementation?

Canvas goes live to all students and staff in September 2021, and from this date, LearningSpace will no longer be available to use for teaching and learning activities with students.

  • We are planning to roll out training opportunities to all academic staff in April 2021, shortly after the Easter break, and initial training will be completed by the end of May

  • We will be encouraging Academic staff to use June and July as time to gain some experience of using Canvas offline, and to get their courses set up for the new semester in September

The intention is to have everyone prepared as much as we possibly can by the end of July, so that August can be reserved for some much needed down-time.


Have we tested Canvas?

Yes we have.  We’ve been testing Canvas with a group of Masters’ students on one of the distance learning programmes.  

We are also in the final phase of testing the integration of Canvas within our other systems at Marjon.


What is the implementation team working on at the moment?

The team is currently working on finalising the training plan for everyone, completing some of the final technical implementation elements, and on setting up user accounts for everyone.


When will I be able to have access to Canvas?

Training opportunities will be available for all academic staff from April 2021 onwards, shortly after the Easter break.


Will existing courses/modules be transferred over from LS?

You could choose to use the roll out of Canvas as an opportunity to build brand-new content for your students in Canvas.  It can be quite time-effective to follow this path, as Canvas is an intuitive and easy to use.

However, if you’d rather re-use your content from previous modules, rest assured that the project team along with the Canvas implementation consultants have spent a considerable amount of time looking at this, and have created a solution which will provide support and assistance to all Marjon academic staff whilst ensuring the Quality Control of any migrated content.

The process is rather like moving house, where the removal company moves the boxes into the new house for you, but you’re responsible for the final unpacking.

This migration and ‘unpacking’ process is relatively straightforward, and will be supported by full training for everybody.  The process will take some time though, so it is important to ensure that you look at this through June and July once the training is complete.


Will students have access to modules from previous years?

Students will only have access to modules related to their present year of study.  If they need to have access to previous modules for a particular reason, there are options to facilitate this.

Once students graduate from Marjon, their access to Canvas will be switched off.


How will my course and enrollments be managed?

There will be no change to the process that we use at the moment.


Will my courses be rolled over automatically every year?

This is a very straightforward process in Canvas, and instructors can copy last year’s course into that of the following academic year with just a few button clicks. 

Full training will be provided.


Will I receive training?

Yes, each member of academic staff will be expected to attend one of the 90 min ‘connected’ training sessions which will commence from Mid-April and run through to the end of May.

  • There will be 8 options around dates/days for the 90 minute training
  • Catch up sessions will be available for new members of staff, or for temporary/casual lecturers who join close to the start of the new academic year
  • Short, refresher training sessions will be available from September
  • Optional training sessions on more advanced Canvas functionality will also be available
  • The online Canvas Guides are also excellent


Is the training mandatory? How will the training work?

Yes, the 90 minute ‘Canvas Driving Licence’ training is mandatory for all academic staff.

  • Each member of academic staff will be expected to attend one of the 90 min ‘connected’ training sessions which will commence from Mid-April and run through to the end of May.
  • There will be approximately 8 options around dates/days to choose from between mid-April and the end of May.


What about training for students?

Canvas is very easy to use, and extremely intuitive and we don’t anticipate many problems from new student users, or from those moving to Canvas from Learning Space.

However, we have a short e-learning training course on Canvas use for students, which we will make available for all students within their Canvas environment. Don’t forget, that students also have access to the 24/7/365 Canvas support.


Will getting to grips with Canvas take much of my time?

Canvas is extremely intuitive to use, and everyone should be fairly confident users after the 90-minute ‘Canvas Driving Licence’ connected training course and a bit of practice time.


Is there any follow-on or refresher training available?

Catch up sessions will be available for new members of staff, or for temporary/casual lecturers who join close to the start of the new academic year.

  • Short, refresher training sessions will be available from September
  • Optional training sessions on more advanced Canvas functionality will also be available

There is excellent support within Canvas, including a Knowledge Base, the Canvas Community and the Canvas User Guides.


Will DigitaI Innovation be available to help with problems?

There is a clear pathway to follow to get help with Canvas:

  1. The Canvas user guides
  2. The Canvas Community – an amazing online resource which can answer many questions (it’s rather like Google, but just for Canvas)
  3. Making a Canvas Support call
  4. Contacting the Digital Innovation team via the Helpdesk


Does Canvas also have LTIs and Plugins just like LS?

Yes, and the implementation team has been working hard to ensure that these are all in place before the training roll-out in May.

 

(LTI: Learning Tools Interoperability)


What devices does Canvas work on?

Canvas will work on laptops, desktop computers and mobile devices (Android and Apple).

 

The browser and computer requirements can be found on the Canvas Basics Guide.


Can I use it on all browsers?

Please visit the Canvas Basics Guide for an up-to-date list of supported browsers.


Can I get at all my old courses/modules from years ago?

We will be archiving all module content from LearningSpace, but only the modules from 2020-2021 will be available by default.

If you need access to any older material, please get in touch with Paul Fenn (pfenn@marjon.ac.uk).


Are there any risks to our student experience?

The project team has looked at this extremely carefully

  • We are confident that students will find Canvas to be an outstanding learning and teaching tool given its reputation and widespread use in the sector
  • We’re providing full training to all users to ensure that content is available to students in Canvas from September 2021

This content will have a Marjon look and feel through the use of a supplied branded template for courses.


What is expected of me and when?

You are expected to:

  • Attend one of the mandated 90 minute ‘Canvas Driving Licence’ training sessions ASAP after the Easter break

  • Complete the migration of any modules you want to use in 2021-2022 in June/July or build new content for your modules if you prefer


Is LearningSpace being switched off?

 Yes, LearningSpace will no longer be available to use from September 2021.

 


Who should I contact if I have further questions/feedback?

Paul Fenn, Digital Pedagogy Manager (pfenn@marjon.ac.uk)

Richard Thain, Director Learning Solutions and Innovation (rthain@marjon.ac.uk)


I am a continuing student, how will Canvas affect me?

As you’ll have seen above, Canvas is very intuitive and straightforward to navigate, but we will also be adding a training course into Canvas for all students. 

In case of any issues, all users will be able to access the 24/7/365 support that Canvas provides.