An exciting development at OLMC this year is the introduction of a new Learning Management System (LMS) – CANVAS – for many subjects. Currently at the College students and teachers use a combination of SIMON, Teacher Dashboard and Google Classroom for learning and the sharing of resources. The shift to CANVAS in 2022, with full implementation in 2023, will provide a more unified and consistent platform for learning, for both students and teachers. CANVAS is an LMS that is currently used by a number of universities and schools.
SIMON and PAM will still be used in 2022 and in subsequent years. SIMON and PAM are primarily our Student Management System (SMS) and they will continue to play an important role online for us. This includes such things as recording student attendance, providing permissions for excursions, as well as providing assessment feedback and results. End of semester reports will still be accessed through SIMON and PAM.
CANVAS is an LMS that will contribute in a meaningful way to student learning. In our Learning and Teaching Charter, one of the principles we uphold for our students is that they are active learners, taking responsibility for their own learning and contributing to the learning of others. The move towards CANVAS supports this principle.
CANVAS will more easily allow for students to be independent learners, as it will provide opportunities for self-paced learning as well undertaking consolidation if more time is needed on a topic or concept.
It also improves the transparency of access to resources for students, as well as the sequence of their learning in a subject. It will make it easier for students to locate lessons for their revision. Similarly, if a student is away, they will easily be able find out what they have missed. CANVAS will also provide ease of access to resources as everything will be in one location, for both students and teachers.
For our teachers, while the move to the new platform will require learning a new system, what will be gained will be significant. CANVAS will facilitate a greater collaboration in the planning of curriculum, and the construction of learning outcomes, assessments and learning activities. CANVAS allows this to occur more easily and more transparently than other platforms.
One of the other benefits of CANVAS is that it integrates with a number of platforms that the College already uses, such as Edrolo, Education Perfect and Clickview. It also works with the Google suite, while providing more features than are currently offered by Google Classroom.
Some classes in 2021 were part of a pilot group using CANVAS. Students and teachers involved in the pilot provided feedback so that this year’s staggered rollout of CANVAS is not only smooth, but that we maximise the tools available to improve student learning.
From the surveys over the year in 2021 of staff and students using CANVAS, one theme emerged clearly, and that was the greater ease of use after the initial learning curve. In ways that may be familiar to us as we move from an Apple phone to an android, or vice versa, it does take a little time and practice to know how it functions, how tasks can be submitted and how discussion boards contributed to. To support this move, students can access instructions and tips on using CANVAS via the Student Backpack – link on SIMON.
We have been looking forward to moving to CANVAS for some time and we are excited with the opportunities for learning that it will bring.