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Implementation of Canvas by Summer 2021 to Come in Waves

Published on Mon 04/13/20
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Texas A&M University has begun implementation of the new Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas, and we anticipate it being available for piloting for faculty teaching during the second summer session. To best serve the Texas A&M community and to ensure a quality online teaching and learning environment for our faculty and students, we are utilizing a data-driven approach to target waves of faculty and their associated courses, with the goal of having all faculty utilizing Canvas by Summer 2021. This approach will ensure we appropriately mobilize resources, and can take critical implementation milestones generated from each wave and apply important lessons learned to subsequent waves. 

The Training and Support Model:
Faculty who elect to use Canvas will receive focused training and assistance with migration needs during their respective wave (see below). The AI Service Desk will prioritize help tickets for each wave to ensure we can support the campus community and onboard as many faculty as possible by the official launch for the Fall 2020 semester, while we also support TAMU’s commitment to Keep Teaching during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

Wave 1:
Faculty teaching in Summer 2 who elect to use Canvas
School / College Academic Technologists who can serve in a train-the-trainer capacity

Wave 2:
Faculty who want to build from scratch and teach in Canvas for Fall 2020

Wave 3:
Faculty who require assistance migrating Blackboard courses to Canvas to teach in Fall 2020

Wave 4:
Faculty teaching in Spring 2021 who elect to use Canvas

Wave 5:
Final effort to migrate all courses out of Blackboard by the end of Summer 2021 so that the university is fully migrated to Canvas for Fall 2021​​

Additional details will be forthcoming on what faculty may expect after key technical processes are complete and system testing is underway.

Steps to Help You Plan Ahead:
  • KeepTeaching.tamu.edu will shift to a guide to support best practices for teaching and learning in an online learning environment for faculty who will teach Summer 1 and during the 10-week Summer term. These same best practices will be promoted in the shift to Canvas. Any faculty can review this resource and plan ahead for a move to Canvas. Available early May 2020
     
  • LMS.tamu.edu is in development now and will draw on lessons learned from KeepTeaching.tamu.edu and KeepLearning.tamu.edu. This resource will contain steps to clean up your course in Blackboard, which are best practices developed by Canvas and recommended for all faculty ahead of transitioning. Available early May 2020
     
  • On-Demand training resources will be available for all faculty as we begin training and supporting Wave 1. While subsequent waves will not yet have access to Canvas, these will be helpful resources you may familiarize yourself with ahead of time. Available Early June 2020
     
  • Academic Technologists in the Schools/Colleges will be trained and supported during Wave 1 and will serve as a key resource throughout the Canvas implementation. Beginning early June 2020
     
  • Social media channels to provide tips and tricks specific to Keep Teaching and Learning, which will shift to focus on the Canvas implementation in the coming months. Available now!
     

While this current operational environment is challenging, please know every effort is being made to meet this timeline and plan, and to ensure the functionality of Canvas will meet the needs of faculty as we roll it out. We will continue to keep you informed as we meet critical milestones as the project progresses. We appreciate your efforts to Keep Teaching and look forward to working with you as we move to Canvas in the coming months.