| February 18th, 2018

FAMU no longer using Blackboard as its official learning system and instead switching to Canvas

By: Journey Associate
FAMU no longer using Blackboard as its official learning system and instead switching to Canvas

By| Brea Hollingsworth

FAMU will no longer be using Blackboard, university officials confirm. The university is switching to a new learning management system called Canvas. The program is currently used by Florida State University, Florida SouthWestern State College, University of Florida, and University of South Florida among other Florida University systems.

“The institution is currently in the very early stages of implementation for Canvas Learning Management System,” says FAMU director of instructional technology, Franzetta Fitz.

Canvas will feature all the bells and whistles that Blackboard has but provide a cleaner look. Founded in 2008, Canvas’ goal is to create an “educational revolution” powering the world’s largest classroom. The Canvas learning system is currently used by more than 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world.

“I can’t think of anything bad about it,” said Joia Nolton, who used the program when she attended Florida SouthWestern College. “I like that you can send an email to the professor directly, and you can sync the notifications to your phone.”

Many students from other Florida colleges and universities have positive things to say about the program.

“Canvas is very organized and easy to use, the only thing I would say I don’t like about it is that different professors can put files in different places amidst their class page which can be confusing, but as always, every professor is different so after you get used to the setup of the professor’s individual page it’s a breeze to navigate,” said Megan Card who attends the University of South Florida.

In 2016, the Florida Board of Governors voted to use Canvas as it’s official online learning system as part of the State University Systems 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education.

“I hope this new Canvas app is easier to navigate and allows more resources,” said Krystie Snype, a sophomore student at FAMU. She recalled that her difficulties included connecting to the FAMU library database, I-rattler, and the post office among others.

Other students are going to miss the Blackboard system but are excited for a new change.

“I do like using Blackboard. I like the fact that you can find all your class materials and instructions in one spot, have your professor’s information, turn in assignments, and check grades,” said Eriana Redix, a freshman student at FAMU, “The only issues that I have with Blackboard is that several of my professors have said it is difficult to enter our grades or make changes to our grade using Blackboard.”

There is no expected release date for FAMU’s Canvas system. The FAMU Office of Instructional Technology declined to go into any further details about the project considering the fact that they are still in the early stages of development. The university plans to have a more detailed layout in June.