The call to review the role of Blackboard at Clemson is one that originated among faculty and students. In 2013, the Academic Technology Council (ATC), an advisory group of faculty and student representatives from across the university, conducted a survey of 345 Clemson University faculty members and found that over 65 percent of respondents supported investigating alternative learning management systems. In response to the study, the ATC drafted a resolution to pilot an alternative learning management system solution.
A limited pilot of Canvas was initiated by CCIT though the ATC During the summer of 2014. A total of 11 faculty members from various departments at the University participated in this original pilot. An online survey was later conducted among these early adopters, and the 115 responses from students and faculty were so positive that the ATC made recommendations to CCIT and Clemson Online to investigate purchasing an openly-programmable and cloud-based learning management systems like Canvas.
Over the course of several months last year, an interdepartmental committee of technologists, faculty, students, and support staff carefully compared a bevy of learning management systems as part of a formal purchasing process. Though Canvas was a popular choice going into the process, there was no guarantee that Canvas would be selected under South Carolina criteria. Ultimately, Canvas was selected above other platforms because its robust feature set, malleable functionality, high reliability, streamlined interface, and overall usefulness best complemented the current state of technology infrastructure and use at Clemson.
Members of Clemson's academic community who have adopted Canvas have celebrated the ways in which the platform promotes high-tech and innovative educational opportunities. After years of coordinating the Canvas pilot, working with Instructure support, and consulting other institutions about their transition, Clemson Online and CCIT leadership are optimistic about the ways in which Canvas will augment the future of teaching and learning at Clemson.
“Canvas is awesome because of its flexibility, customizability, and ability to cater it to your learning environment.”
Alex Byrd, Assistant Professor
“The one thing I like about Canvas is that it’s intuitive. It’s easy to use, it’s easy to get used to learning how to use, and it’s easy to instruct the students how to use it.”
Janice Lanham, Senior Lecturer
“Canvas is simpler than Blackboard. It seems very straightforward and there are not a lot of excess things all over the page. It’s just very easy to understand what you are looking at.”
Andrea Granbery, Undergraduate Student
“Canvas is the answer I believe a lot of us have been looking for over the years. It’s going to make things a lot more pleasant for us as faculty, but also hopefully for students.”
Dale Layfield, Associate Professor
“It's certainly feature-rich, but doesn’t have too much available that it’s hard to discern exactly which modules or which tools to use.”
Matthew Boyer, Assistant Professor
“I think the best thing that students have to look forward to with Canvas is its ease of use. I mean, Canvas is probably one of the easiest platforms I’ve ever had to use.”
Mette Kolind, Graduate Student
“Canvas is definitely easy to use and quick to learn.”
Erica Walker, Lecturer
“Canvas is a game changer.”
Freddy Paige, Graduate Student and Lecturer