As I write this, USask has almost completed the transition from Blackboard to Canvas. While Canvas may be a lot different, many of the same tools and integrations instructors and students used in Blackboard are still available.
Panopto and various homework systems integrate with Canvas allowing for users to access materials without any additional account create or sign-on. This integration for homework systems helps to link homework systems to the Canvas grade book and protects students from any potential risks associated with purchasing access from a publishers website (access codes can usually be purchased through the USask Bookstore, which the university strongly encourages).
There are also new tools that instructors and students can make use of that can be accessed either directly through Canvas integrations or outside of Canvas, but using the same single-sign-on that they use to access Canvas and PAWs.
Unlike Blackboard, Canvas doesn’t have its own blogging tool, but USask has had WordPress available for instructors and students to use for several years and have recently updated this application to the latest version. Blogs are useful for activities involving reflection, sharing experiences and resources, and even connecting with a broader community for feedback. Instructors, staff, and students (for use with one or more classes) can request a blog..
Pressbooks has been used for the creation and adaptation of open textbooks at USask for more than five years. Accounts have been created for instructors working on such projects, and materials created have been shared widely, with USask open textbooks adopted by instructors at institutions throughout North America.
The Pressbooks integration with Canvas now makes it possible for students to make use of the platform as part of a course. For example, College of Education professor Paula McDowell has students in ETAD 874 adapting an open textbook as a class project, with all students accessing it through the Canvas integration.
With WordPress and Pressbooks becoming more easily accessible for everyone, students can move from being predominantly consumers of information to creators and collaborators. These tools allow new opportunities for using authentic assessment, addressing the Learning Technology Ecosystem Principles,
For more information on using WordPress and Pressbooks in your teaching, please contact the GMCTL.