We're Moving to Canvas!

Beginning in Summer 2018, Lawrence Tech will officially move from Blackboard to Canvas. Canvas brings with it exciting new features that instructors have asked for, a new look and feel as well as the familiar options that were available in Blackboard.

Yes, getting used to the differences may take getting used to but the new enhancements and changes will be a worthwhile addition both our students and faculty.

Features available in Canvas

Canvas has a clean, user friendly interface. Scalable by platform (PC/MAC, IPhone, Android or IPad)
Canvas offers 24/7 support (yes, 24/7!) so if it is Sunday evening and you need help desperately, Canvas support is available.

Faculty has been asking for this for a long … time. The attendance option allows faculty to:

  • “Take Rollcall”, view as a list of all students or view as a grid (seating chart) with drag/drop option
  • Set % for “lateness”, or “mark all present”
  • Creates a column in the Gradecenter
  • You can export an Attendance Data Report

Appear in Canvas’ news stream on the User Dashboard. Announcements in Canvas function similarly to those in Blackboard but have more functionality including:

  • Announcements can be searched or filtered by unread.
  • Announcements can be used for external RSS feeds.
  • Students can update their notification settings to additionally receive announcements via an/?

Use analytics  to track and analyze what students are doing within the course

  • Activity: when students view a page or participate in the course.
  • Submissions: View assignment submissions - assignment on-time, late, or not at all.
  • Grades: Use box and whisker plot to show the distribution of grades in the course.
  • Student Analytics: Shows page view, participations, assignments, and current score for every student in the course.

When instructors add assignment, quiz, and discussion Due Dates calendar entries are created and accessible immediately on student’s calendar from any platform. Want to move due date from Tuesday to Thursday? Just drag and drop!

  • Scheduler (Calendar): Create time slots where students can schedule appointment time slots for advising, project assignments, etc.  You set up  an Appointment Group, specify date, time range and time blocks (e.g., 30 minutes). Students would get notified and see that they need to sign up for one of the specified time blocks so they can pick a time that works for them.
  • Calendar Agenda View: Provides an aggregated view (all course calendars if selected) of upcoming agenda items such as assignment due dates
You can send a message to your whole class or selected individuals or groups. Students will get the messages in their Canvas inboxes and through the notification method they have selected. (same as Bb). You can see your messages by going to the Inbox and selecting by course, by messages Inbox, Unread, Sent, Unread, and Submission Comments.
Yes, a history is kept of communications this is a major functional difference from Blackboard.
You can record and post audio and video to embed in pages, posts, messages, and even in Gradebook for assignment feedback

(Canvas terminology)

Instructors lay out all course content in one place grouped by units, chapters, or weeks to help control the flow of the course. Can be optimized by using optional scheduled release or prerequisites before viewing later materials


  • Canvas course navigation links have the same name in every course and although cannot be modified, instructors can reorder and hide links. (Note: links that do not contain content will not be shown to students and will appear faded to instructors).
  • Links can be rearranged or ‘hidden’ from student through Settings, Navigation

You can view a course the same way that students view your course through Student View (similar to Bb). Enabling creates a Test Student in your course (activate Student View in Course Settings).

  • “Test Student” is shown in the Gradebook and SpeedGrader and is automatically added to your course. Each Canvas course has a separate Test Student account.
  • Use to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view quizzes, and view the calendar. You will see only what you allow your students to see.

Note: attendance, conferences, conversations, collaborations, differentiated assignments, external apps, groups, peer reviews, and profiles do not work for the Test Student. Submissions and scores for the Test Student do not affect course analytics.