Canvas Transition: Top 3 Tips to Overcome the Learning Curve

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A faculty member walked into my office this week and proclaimed, “the change to Canvas energizes me — I love the challenge!” Another faculty member admitted concern with the change, but they appreciated how faculty are being empowered and supported. Another said they never used Moodle and were apprehensive about using Canvas. Yet another made a tutorial video for importing Moodle courses into Canvas. While the overall response from faculty, staff, students, and administration is positive, it is proper to recognize that there is a learning curve for everyone. Regardless of where you find yourself on the Canvas learning curve, there are three things that will reduce stress

1. Reach out to your Canvas Fellow (Canvas Fellow program discontinued as of Fall 2023)

The entire idea for using Canvas Fellows comes from the faculty here at CU. Faculty who served as pilot testers for both Brightspace and Canvas asked that CTL assist at least one representative from each school or department to train and support their colleagues. Your fall courses are already available to you, and your Canvas Fellow can get you started with setting up your syllabus, assignments, and gradebook for your face-to-face courses (CTL will handle your online courses). They can often field most of your questions and concerns, and they know the challenges you face. So, reach out to your Canvas Fellow today.

2. Use the Canvas 24/7 Support

When your Canvas Fellow is not available, you can get support directly from Canvas via telephone, chat, or email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can access this support while logged into Canvas through the Help menu on the lower left-hand side of the screen. Additionally, if you call the IT Help Desk at (937)-766-7905, you can access Canvas Support by pressing 1 on your phone.

Canvas support is excellent. When you contact them, they can see your courses and help you with your request. Most calls and chats last less than five minutes with faculty getting the answers they need. Canvas Support staff are located in the United States and are thoroughly trained to resolve your Canvas support needs.

3. Take Small Steps

Finally, the best way to transition into Canvas is to use it. CTL created a self-paced course that guides you through everything you will need to be successful in using Canvas. This Canvas Instructor Orientation course has five modules. Each module will take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on your skill level. Once you learn a particular skill in the orientation course, you can practice it in your fall courses. If you struggle or get stuck, you can reach out to your Canvas Fellow or contact Canvas Support. Using the resources provided and practicing the skills taught through small steps is the best way to conquer the Canvas learning curve.

Note: edited September 11, 2023, to note that the Canvas Fellow program has been discontinued.

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