USF Health Canvas Day Kick-off Attracts More Than 250 Students
More than 250 students participated in the University of South Florida Health Canvas Day Kickoff Event on Jan. 31. Canvas Day provided an opportunity for students to learn about the new Learning Management System called Canvas, which will replace Backboard in summer 2013.
“The whole idea behind the event was to get our students here at USF Health and become aware that we’re moving from one Learning Management System, Blackboard to the new Learning Management System, Canvas,” said Oma B. Singh, PhD, Associate Director of Educational Design & Technology at USF College of Nursing. “And we really got the students to come in and learn about the change, and we had a great opportunity to tell them Blackboard is going away and Canvas is coming along.”
Canvas Day was a collaborative event made possible by the USF Health Colleges’ Educational Design and Technology departments including USF College of Nursing, College of Medicine, College of Public Health, and College of Pharmacy. According to Dr. Singh, the USF Health colleges and their deans fully supported the event.USF Health Canvas Day
To make the event a success, the USF Health EDT Departments had 22 student volunteers to help manage the half-day activities—five of them were USF College of Nursing students. There were also eight student presentations, which illustrated the basics of Canvas. Nursing student, Michelle Russell, represented USF College of Nursing.
“Eight students, equally representing all USF Health colleges, presented Canvas from their point of view,” Dr. Singh said. “We showed them the main points, and they picked out the pieces. They showed students how to log in, how to get to assignments, how to view grades, how to look at course content, how to get to courses, and how to send emails. It was a student-driven event all the way around.”
Student volunteers stood at already-set-up learning stations with iPads, tablets, and laptops to teach students and answer questions about Canvas. USF Health EDT experts were also available to assist. To add on the fun, the volunteers helped at the entertainment stations filled with pizza, soft drinks, and there was also a free t-shirt giveaway at the end of each presentation. The students kept the crowd together throughout the event, Dr. Singh said.
“The event was a great success,” Dr. Singh said. “It was really enthusiastic, and fun. I’m happy with the turn out. Students got the message that blackboard is going away and canvas is coming in.”
Dr. Singh pointed out that Canvas will be part of students’ academic lives, so it is really important that they get the proper training. To accomplish that, the USF College of Nursing EDT team will put in place a learning station along with some giveaways in the College’s Gathering Space from April through beginning of May. The learning station will be available two to three times a week, and will repeat in Fall 2013. In addition, the USF Nursing EDT department will soon announce a Canvas online orientation course where students can learn more about the system.
“The system is easy to learn but there’s a learning curve, and we want to provide the avenues available for them to learn it quickly and easily here at the College,” Dr. Singh said.
The EDT team has also put together a video to summarize the Canvas Day activities, which can be seen below or on the official USF College of Nursing YouTube Channel.
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