Teachers, students attempt to adapt to Canvas

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Change is hard. K-State students and faculty have been discovering this firsthand throughout the past four months. Last fall, the university was introduced to a new learning management system Canvas.

With this introduction came a transition period that allowed K-State students and faculty a year and a half to make the switch from the classic version of K-State Online to Canvas.

After doing some research and talking to some students, however, the overall consensus from the students is that of frustration.

“If we are going to switch from classic to Canvas, switch it all at once,” Jeff Dusin, junior in education, said.

Another complaint students made was that they are having trouble making the switch when some of their own instructors don’t even know how to work some of the features they are trying to use.

On the other hand, for teachers, there seems to be a positive trend towards the transition period and overall switch to Canvas.

“Some of the features are easier and more straightforward to use,” said James Sherow, professor of history who has already made the switch to Canvas. “I like how the transition has been over time, because I still have a lot of material on classic that I’m slowly and carefully migrating over to Canvas.”

Wesley Wise, assistant professor for journalism and mass communications, hasn’t switched over to Canvas. Though he has nothing against Canvas, Wise said he just wanted what’s best for his students.

“A key part for me not making the switch yet has to do with the students overall comfort level with Classic,” Wise said.

Wise plans to make the switch over the summer, so he has all the time he needs to get all of his materials and data switched.

With the transition in full force, Rob Caffey, director of the Office of Mediated Education, said that he knew going into the transition that it would be a complicated process. According to him, this is why the switch was decided to take place over a longer period of time.

“It would have been torches and pitchforks in the I.T. department if we would have made the switch all at once,” Caffey said.

Caffey said once teachers became familiar with the Canvas system it would make life easier on the students.

“Change is hard, and with a longer transition period there will be people frustrated,” Caffey said. “But I am certain that out of all the systems we explored, Canvas will be the one that students routinely like the most.”

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