Spring Early Adopter Feedback and Preparing for Summer

This spring we launched an early adopters’ initiative on Canvas including approximately 40 sections and 700 students. This group has been working hard to explore Canvas, provide feedback, and pave the way for more courses launching in the summer term. We are gathering their feedback in multiple ways: 

  • Early Adopter Faculty Office Hours every other week; 
  • Feedback surveys sent to all faculty and students at key points during the term;  
  • An online collaboration area for early adopters to share feedback and questions; and 
  • A feedback form on Canvas for students and faculty to submit their thoughts at any point in the term.  

Initial Feedback Results  

The initial feedback results from our survey of faculty were overwhelmingly positive.  After trying it, 96% of faculty were more enthusiastic about teaching in Canvas as compared to past terms using Blackboard. We asked, “what would you want other faculty to know as they are beginning to use Canvas?” We heard overwhelmingly that it was “so much easier” than Blackboard. One faculty member wrote:  

“At the beginning, as in any change, it is normal to have a bit of discomfort in using the new platform, but after a very few days everything remains very easy and with excellent results. It is user-friendly and it has many interesting and useful functions for our courses. Its layout is more modern than Blackboard’s.” 

Student feedback echoed these sentiments:  

  • “[Canvas] feels like a much more modern and streamlined platform.”  
  • “Canvas is so much better than Blackboard…It’s also so much easier to tell what assignments I have and when they’re due. The submission portal is also much nicer.” 
  • “Much more readable interface and more user-friendly compared to Blackboard.”  

Based on the feedback, we expect that faculty and students will ultimately find it easier to use Canvas after the initial transition. 

A Better Mobile Experience 

100% of faculty and 92% of students were somewhat satisfied or satisfied with the Canvas mobile experience. This feedback aligns with the evaluation data we collected during the selection process. Blackboard’s mobile experience was rated quite low, and one of the key stand-out features was Canvas’s Student App and Teacher App. A student described the mobile experience by saying, “Easy to use, modern design, quick navigation.” Overall, we expect that faculty and students alike will enjoy the apps and be able to easily connect with their course content on any device.  

Growing with Canvas  

As with any new system, there are elements that can be improved. Faculty and students provided targeted feedback on features and tools in Canvas that help us refine the system before the summer launch. Their feedback has already assisted us in resolving an early notification issue for all future terms, customizing the way to organize courses, and tailoring summer training plans for divisions. We will continue to gather feedback throughout the early adopter initiative to make additional improvements.