While spring semester is winding down, the university is in ramp-up mode for its transition to Canvas as the new Learning Management System.

The summer is a great time for faculty to use the available resources to be ready to start teaching in Canvas in the fall.

What you need to know

Faculty can teach in either ANGEL or Canvas through the Summer II 2017 session.

By fall 2017, faculty will need to make the transition to Canvas, if they haven’t already done so.

“I realized early on that it’s like learning a new language,” said Kent Matsueda, who teaches for World Campus. “At a certain point, you need to start thinking in Canvas as opposed to starting off with your knowledge of ANGEL and trying to translate that experience into Canvas.”

It’s Your Canvas… Summerfest

After spring finals are wrapped up, ITS Training Services is offering a week of free, online training during Canvas SummerFest, from May 9-13. Sessions will cover a variety of Canvas topics, including using the gradebook, creating effective assessments, and more.

ITS Training Services has also developed the Canvas Learning Center, a one-stop shop for faculty and staff to learn how to use Canvas at their own pace in a self-directed curriculum.

To access the Learning Center or to see the schedule for training sessions, including those during Summerfest, visit http://canvas.psu.edu/#training.

Instructure training

Representatives from Instructure, the company that makes Canvas, are holding It’s Your Canvas… Training Days at two eastern and two western campuses in May.

The Canvas overview will cover topics including course design, creating and grading assessments, course delivery, collaboration/group work, and a guided exploration of the various functions and tools available.

Training is set for May 16 at Penn State Harrisburg; May 17 at Penn State Hazleton; May 19 at Penn State DuBois; and May 20 at Penn State Altoona.

Faculty and staff from any campus can attend this training offered at no charge; registration is first-come, first-served.

Register for the May 16 session in Harrisburg by May 15.
Register for the May 17 session in Hazleton by May 16.
Register for the May 19 session in DuBois by May 18.
Register for the May 20 session in Altoona by May 19.

Training in New Kensington

The instructional designers from the New Kensington and Fayette campuses are holding three days of training May 11, June 20 and August 1 at Penn State New Kensington for faculty at the western campuses.

The hands-on workshops will include an overview of Canvas tools, setting up course organization and navigation, adding files, creating assignments, using the gradebook, and creating discussions and quizzes.

Each training day will be identical and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To register, visit http://goo.gl/forms/GBZV1NgkRO and fill out the form. After you register, you will receive an email with additional details.

For more information, please contact Deborah Sillman at dys100@psu.edu or Cheryl Tkacs at cft10@psu.edu.

Other training and support

The TLT Canvas Instructional Support Team offers Virtual Office Hour consultations each week. Faculty can request a 30-minute appointment in advance, or “drop in” for assistance during open slots. To request a Virtual Office Hour session, visit https://tltcanvasinstructionalteam.youcanbook.me/.

Faculty who are not sure where to start should contact the Canvas Liaison for their campus or college. Liaisons are equipped to link faculty with available options to facilitate a smooth transition to the new LMS.

“When I heard that the university was going to push a new system, and even require it, I was filled with dread. Imagine my pleasant surprise when Canvas was not only easy to learn, but actually made many of my preparation tasks easier,” said Allan Bassler, who teaches Freshman English at Penn State Altoona.

It’s Your Canvas … Penn State. Learn more about the new Learning Management System and what it can do for your teaching experience.

Stay connected

To keep up to date on news about Canvas, subscribe to the Canvas listserv. Email L-CANVAS-AT-PENN-STATE-subscribe-request@lists.psu.edu and type “Add Me” in the subject line and at least a few characters in the body of the email to help it pass through the spam filters.

Faculty and staff are also encouraged to join the Canvas Yammer Group, where users with questions or concerns can get timely feedback and help from fellow Penn State users.

For additional information on everything related to Canvas at Penn State, including news and updates, tips, and best practices, please visit Penn State’s official Canvas website, canvas.psu.edu.

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