Castleton University adjusts to Canvas

The Vermont State College system has recently changed their programs from “Moodle” to “Canvas” because Moodle wasn’t meeting the standards that the VSC system anticipated.

“Canvas has a lot more potential for us,” said Sarah Chambers, Castleton’s IT Professionalist, “for working with student data and I think that it is more user friendly than Moodle.”

Canvas offers an app that meets students where they’re at, she said, whereas Moodle was kind of non-existent when it came to an app for students.

“So far I definitely like Canvas better than Moodle,” Weslee Thompson, a senior majoring in health science and psychology, said. “It’s more accessible. I felt like Moodle there was a lot of buttons that people didn’t know what they did and Canvas seems to be more streamlined.”

So when the debate goes around asking if Canvas is better than Moodle or if students are liking it, there is an easy way to answer that. If students want to succeed, they will have to use Canvas for assignments and homework, Chambers said. They don’t really get a choice, they just have to adapt.

But Chambers has noticed that most teachers are trying it out and “trying to make it work for them.”

“I have never really been one to use Moodle, but I’ve started to use Canvas and I think I’m going to continue to use it little by little,” said Harry McEnerny, Chair of Theater Arts.

But just like McEnerny said, it will take time to understand Canvas and get a better view of it. Sophomore Maxwell Boulerice, majoring in Nursing, agreed.

“The layout seems neat and organized and the ‘To Do’ column is extremely helpful, but I think I just need time to adjust to the new program before I can actually say something I’m confident about,” he said.

More time for students to adjust to Canvas means there are more goals for the VSC system to hope to achieve. Chambers believes that this program is going to help the VSC system with data.

 “I know that the Vermont State College system is looking at how can we use data to help students be successful,” Chambers said. “If we can get people using Canvas then we’ll have data that can help us with students and retention, engagement on the student level.”

Canvas has the potential to help out the students and professors and the VSC system, but for now we can only wait to see.


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