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Canvas

CSUN is Moving to Canvas!

Throughout the 2017 calendar year, CSUN is transitioning from Moodle to Canvas -- a modern, open, user-friendly teaching and learning platform for today's faculty and students. The CSUN Canvas environment is now available at http://canvas.csun.edu. Log in using your CSUN user ID and password.    

   

Background. CSUN has been on Moodle since 2009. Since then, learning management systems (LMS) have evolved, offering increased usability, features and integrations with other eLearning tools. In Spring 2016, as part of the system-wide evaluation of LMSs, Provost Li invited a group of CSUN faculty to evaluate and recommend whether CSUN should consider an alternative to Moodle. The majority said yes, and the favored LMS was Canvas.

 

Why Canvas? In Spring 2016, four LMSs were evaluated as part of both CSU system-wide and CSUN evaluations. CSUN faculty scored Canvas the highest. For students, Canvas offers an enhanced, contemporary learning experience. For faculty, Canvas offers superior performance in terms of ease-of-use, analytics, grading, course migrations and openness. These advantages provide an enhanced teaching experience for faculty and an enhanced learning experience for CSUN students. 

Timeline. To enable a Moodle to Canvas transition, CSUN has enacted a multi-semester timeline for faculty to migrate their existing course content and have time to attend CSUN-delivered Canvas training and workshops. Faculty could choose to teach using Canvas in Spring 2017. Others can explore Canvas, refine their courses and elect to teach using Canvas in Summer 2017 and/or Fall 2017. At the end of December 2017, Moodle will be discontinued, and the entire campus will have switched over to Canvas.

The timeline for the Canvas implementation. Fall 2016 = Moodle only. Spring 2017 = Moodle & Canvas. Summer 2017 = Moodle & Canvas. Fall 2017 = Moodle & Canvas. Spring 2018 = Canvas only.

Support. CSUN faculty will receive support with the transition from the Faculty Technology Center (FTC). Check out CSUN’s Faculty Canvas Support Website for resources on getting started in Canvas and receiving additional support. View the We're Moving to Canvas (,pdf) for a quick overview on how the Faculty Technology Center can help. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key features of Canvas?

Canvas has all the features of a modern learning management system including the ability to accept and grade assignments, conduct discussions in forums, administer quizzes and exams, store and organize course resources, communicate with students, etc. Canvas has multiple grading tools including rubrics, audio/video feedback and a dedicated grading app. Students can access course materials, view course calendars, to do lists and set their own preferences to receive notifications on their mobile devices.

Is there a mobile app for Canvas that we can use?

Yes, the Canvas by Instructure app is available on Android and iOS devices. After downloading the app, enter CSUN's Canvas URL to access the mobile app. The URL is canvas.csun.edu. See the Canvas mobile guides for more information.

What are the similarities and differences between Canvas and Moodle?

The California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative created a comprehensive guide comparing tools available in Moodle and their equivalent in Canvas. It also includes instructions, how-to guides and examples.

Will external tools like Turnitin and Respondus still work in Canvas?

Canvas supports many external tools including Turnitin and Respondus so faculty will be able to continue to use these applications in their courses. In addition, there are new external apps available within Canvas such as the ability to directly embed YouTube, Wikipedia, Educreations, Khan Academy, etc.

Can I import my Moodle course content into Canvas?

Yes, most content can transfer over to Canvas. Canvas provides a Course Setup Checklist that walks you through the process of backing up your Moodle course materials and importing the content into Canvas. However, some Moodle tools have no Canvas equivalent or will appear differently when imported. See this comprehensive guide for a comparison of Moodle and Canvas tools. 

Is there a recommended browser for Canvas?

Canvas is accessible with any Web-standard browser, including the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Respondus Lockdown Browser. See this Canvas guide on supported browsers for more information about operating system, browser and device requirements.

What are the accessibility features in Canvas?

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a tool used to evaluate Canvas' conformance with Section 508 accessibility standards. View the Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template and guide on Accessibility within Canvas for information on screen readers, browsers, keyboard shortcuts, and accessibility within specific Canvas features.

What can I do now to learn more about Canvas?

Canvas provides extensive user support resources including video tutorials, how-to guides and documentation, and instructor training courses. Canvas hosts a number of Community Forums for reviewing answers to previously asked questions, posting new questions, and voting up enhancement requests.

Here are some recommended resources: