April 28, 2016 

St. Joseph’s College will adopt Canvas as its new Learning Management System (LMS) just over a year from now. As of Summer 2017, Canvas will be used within both online and on-ground venues.

The advantages of this LMS were not universally shared, as the Faculty Technology Committee reported earlier in the semester. After a successful pilot of Canvas during the last academic year, however, many instructors found that it offers a wide variety of new features and, in particular, that it has real potential to enhance student engagement.
In particular, Canvas: 
  • Aligns with SJC strategic goals for growth in online education, learning innovations and outreach
  • Provides SJC the opportunity to reimagine and advance online learning capabilities to meet new teaching and learning expectations
  • Features a great user interface, one that doesn’t “get in your way,” thereby allowing both faculty and students to do exciting new work in their course web sites
  • Boasts an intuitive design and layout, rendering it simple to use
  • Improves communication with and between learners via its video and audio tools
  • Offers a foundation for improved mobile experience for both students and faculty
  • Offers “hands-free” upgrades; that is, updates are pushed out regularly with virtually no downtime
Although the primary consideration in vetting LMS systems was quality and enhancement of the student experience, we should say that cost was a secondary factor: Canvas will save the College approximately $60,000 per year, which is not an insignificant sum.

This LMS initiative is a college-wide transition that will impact all modalities of courses taught at SJC: traditional face-to-face, hybrid, online and continuing education courses. By Summer 2017, all faculty members who use a learning management system will use
Canvas. There will be a very intentional, well-planned training program in place for all faculty members, regardless of level of use desired. Training for faculty members teaching in fully online courses is already underway, and additional training will be rolled
out on May 2, 2016, and continue until full implementation. The College’s current Learning Management System, Blackboard, will continue to be available until June 30, 2017.