Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Canvas LMS training session at Wytheville Community College on October 26

VCCS instructional designers are taking the lead in the latest round of training sessions for Canvas, the system’s new Learning Management System (LMS).

Instructure, the publisher of the Canvas platform, hosted training sessions this month on five college campuses for about 700 VCCS faculty members.

By mid-November, another 800 faculty will have been trained at sessions at 15 more colleges, organized and conducted by eLET, the VCCS’s eLearning and Educational Technology committee.

“This is our moment to step up and serve as VCCS rolls out a new system-wide software platform for delivering and tracking instructional and training programs,” said eLET Chair: Kenyada McCleod, instructional designer at John Tyler Community College.

“By sharing our expertise we raise the level of knowledge and practice at every college. We all have the same end goal here: to ensure student success by empowering faculty,” added McCleod.

The next eLET Canvas Roadshow training sessions are planned for:
• November 1-2: LFCC, DCC, PHCC, RCC, SVCC
• November 5-6: TNCC
• November 8-9: GCC, JTCC, ESCC

Faculty with questions about Canvas training opportunities are encouraged to reach out to the instructional designer on their college campus. To see a list of instructional designers at all VCCS colleges, click here.

“These large training sessions are valuable because learning is a social experience for many,” said Sheri Prupis, VCCS director for teaching and learning technologies. “We want to create a community of learners among faculty for the new LMS, but we also recognize that scheduling and distance pose problems for some folks.”

In addition to the eLET roadshow in early November, volunteer instructional designers, led by David Dick, Wytheville Community College’s coordinator of online learning and instructional technology will organize another series of training sessions in the spring.

College instructional designers also will provide additional faculty training opportunities on their own campuses.

“System-wide, nearly 7,900 full-time and adjunct faculty members teach at Virginia’s Community Colleges,” said Cat Finnegan, VCCS assistant vice chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness. “Our goal is to have 80 percent of our faculty trained on Canvas by May of 2019.”

Small teams of instructors on seven VCCS campuses are spearheading the successful early rollout of Canvas during the 2018 fall semester. The new LMS will replace Blackboard, the online platform that VCCS has used for the past 16 years.

The new LMS rollout expands in the spring semester which begins in January, when small faculty teams from all of Virginia’s Community Colleges will transition their courses to Canvas.
Starting with summer courses in May 2019, all courses currently in Blackboard must be transitioned to Canvas. The VCCS contract with Blackboard ends in June 2019.

In addition, Canvas tryout sessions are currently available online for all VCCS faculty and staff, so people can become familiar with the architecture of the new LMS before they face the pressure of a new semester.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

1 Comment

  1. ?

    lisa allen

    As an Adjunct I would absolutely love to attend one of these sessions in person- it is very important and many of us are learners that need “tactile” and “in your face” lessons. But alas, most of us Adjuncts have day jobs and need late afternoon or evening sessions. I know the Webinars are available but they lack the comradery and help that working with people supply.


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