Canvas Selected as New LMS for St. Edward’s University

On April 24, the Task Force for Learning Management System (LMS) Evaluation voted in favor of a  recommendation to switch from Blackboard, our current LMS, to Canvas. The LMS is an integral part of our St. Edward’s learning ecosystem that expands learning beyond the classroom by allowing students to interact with their instructor, fellow students, and course content outside of face-to-face course meetings.  Based on this recommendation, the Offices of Academic Affairs and Information Technology (which had jointly charged this task force), have decided that St. Edward’s University should transition from the Blackboard Learning Management System to Canvas beginning in Summer 2015 with all courses migrated by Summer 2016. 

Why Canvas?

The task force chose Canvas based on its service reliability, its design for digital learning, and its potential for serving future learning needs of St. Edward’s University students and faculty. Faculty input played a major role in the creation and evaluation of criteria used in making this decision. The task force included faculty from every school, drew on input from faculty surveys in 2010 and 2013, and evaluated data on current faculty use of the learning management system. Furthermore, eighteen faculty piloted Canvas in spring 2015 (including two teaching the same course in both Canvas and Blackboard) and their feedback gathered through three surveys and two course demonstration focus groups was a valuable asset in the task force recommendation. The task force also held vendor demonstrations, consulted with OIT staff who support Blackboard, and heard from other staff who support the academic mission.  The full recommendation report, which details criteria and data, is available online: Final LMS task force recommendation

You Choose When to Move to Canvas

Canvas is available to all faculty now, and courses for summer and fall 2015 are already populated, but faculty can choose to move when it is convenient to them at any point during the next academic year. Courses will be automatically set up in both Canvas and Blackboard for the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. Beginning in summer 2016, active courses must use Canvas for their learning management system.  To see Canvas, go to and log-in with your SEU username and password.

You Choose How to Learn Canvas: Visit

To help faculty make this transition, Instructional Technology is offering a range of training options:
  • Introduction to Canvas Workshops: All courses are scheduled in the Library Training Room (Munday Library 115). Introductory workshops will be offered weekly in May and June, with additional workshops at all levels offered throughout the summer, in fall 2015 and spring 2016. The first available workshop dates and times are below.
    • Tuesday, May 5th from 1-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 13 1:00 – 2:30
    • Thursday, May 14 10:00 – 11:30
  • Do It Yourself with the Canvas Training Center—it’s a public course, so you can join anytime.  Go to and log in with your SEU username and password.
  • One-on-one consultations: Instructional Technology Staff can help you back-up your materials from Blackboard and set up your courses in Canvas.  Open times in the Faculty Resource Center (Premont 110) will be from 10 am – Noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Appointments may also be scheduled with Instructional Technology staff by emailing

Canvas and Cupcakes: Brought to You by OIT

 On May 4, 2015

Join OIT on the Ragsdale Lawn

from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

We will have free cupcakes and a blank canvas in need of your artistry to promote our adoption of Canvas (a new learning management system like Blackboard).

Not to mention, you deserve a free treat during finals week!

Check out our Twitter, Facebook or OIT Blog for more details.

Twitter: @StEdsOIT


OIT Blog:


About Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Frost Davis Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology Rebecca Frost Davis joined St. Edward’s in July 2013 as Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, where she provides leadership in the development of institutional vision with respect to the use of technology in pursuit of the university’s educational mission and collaborates with offices across campus to create and execute strategies to realize that vision. Instructional Technology helps faculty transform and adapt new digital methods in teaching and research to advance the essential learning outcomes of liberal education. Previously, Dr. Davis served as program officer for the humanities at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), where she also served as associate director of programs. Prior to her tenure at NITLE, she was the assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and an assistant professor of classical studies at Rhodes College, Denison University, and Sewanee: The University of the South. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in classical studies and Russian from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Davis is also a fellow with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Davis will develop a literature review relevant to intercampus teaching, which will cover contextual issues such as team-teaching, teaching through videoconferencing, and collaboration; a survey of intercampus teaching at NITLE member institutions; and several case studies of intercampus teaching at liberal arts colleges, including interviews with faculty, students, support staff, and administrators. This work will be summarized in a final report or white paper to be published by NITLE. At Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World, ( Dr. Davis blogs about the changes wrought by new digital methods on scholarship, networking, and communication and how they are impacting the classroom. In her research, she explores the motivations and mechanisms for creating, integrating, and sustaining digital humanities within and across the undergraduate curriculum.
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