myCourses/Canvas Adoption Exceeds Expectations

April 10, 2017

by Sabrina Meriano

Academic Technology ran a pilot of myCourses in spring of 2016 and moved all courses over to the platform starting in the summer of last year.   Students and teachers alike are getting quite comfortable with it. It’s easy to understand and navigate and more faculty are adopting it than many had expected. When myCourses initially rolled out, the Academic Technology department intended for it to create a more consistent student experience with the goal of increasing adoption of the system to 55% among faculty in the first year. As of right now 67% of UNH courses are in the myCourse system - a significant increase over Blackboard.

We have seen strong support for adoption of myCourses features. For instance, over 90% of courses use the syllabus tool - a significant gain over Blackboard. Similarly, we have seen high usage of the other key tools such as the calendar and gradebook.

Currently there are over 1000 faculty and staff members trained in Canvas with 5,143 courses published on the platform. Over 16,500 users logged into the site during each of the fall and spring terms.

French lecturer Emilie Talpin was one of the faculty members that volunteered to be a part of myCourses pilot testing group. Previously Talpin had been to conferences where other language teachers showed her what they were doing with Canvas in their own schools, so when opportunity knocked she acted on it. She is among one of the users that use the gradebook feature frequently.

“I know that the gradebook is a controversial topic, but for my courses, I really like it.” French Instructor Emilie Talpin over an e-mail. “I use the speedgrader and I can grade students’ papers directly on Canvas...I also like that by switching from Blackboard to Canvas I was forced to reconsider how I presented my material and to review the organization of my courses. It was beneficial for my teaching and for my students overall.”

“I think certain aspects are easier,” Senior Kat Greenan said.  “As a grade-oriented person I like being able to see how you did compared to others in your class.”

Canvas will continue to get better and better as time progresses and feedback is given.  A major feature scheduled to be rolled out at the end of spring term is an automatic grade upload feature, which can automatically upload student grades in myCourses to the WebCat student records system.

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