University announces upcoming switch to Canvas

by Delaney Appelhans

On Tuesday, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Kevin Pitts sent a university email to the campus community announcing that the campus Learning Management System will transition from Illinois Compass 2G, a Blackboard product, to Canvas. The transition will begin this semester and will be completed by June of 2022.

While several professors on campus already use Canvas as their primary system for their respective courses, this switch will make for all courses offered at the university to be housed on the platform.

Pitts said in the email that this transition is being made to alleviate “frustrations, streamline support and maximize future resources.” He further explained that 11 of the 14 universities within the Big Ten Academic Alliance already use Canvas as their Learning Management System.

University officials determined the need for this transition after several semesters worth of review and feedback from instructors and students alike.

Though the timeline of this transition may pose challenges during a majority online learning format as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the university ensures a smooth transition with the help of Technology Service and the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL). The transition is also being driven by an advisory committee of 20 faculty and staff members, as well as two undergraduate students and a graduate student.

Alongside the email announcement, the university also linked a new website where more information on the transition can be found, as well as a “Transition FAQs” page and “Contact Us” link for further feedback.

The university’s “Canvas Transition” website states that the platform is currently being used by over “3000 universities, school districts and institutions.” Photo by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The official transition timeline from Compass 2G to Canvas will be done in phases throughout the next 16 months. The first group of courses will begin migrating to Canvas starting in the summer of 2021 ending with the final set of courses migrating in the summer of 2022.