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Saint Francis to switch from Blackboard to Canvas

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At the start of the 2017 summer semester, Saint Francis will discontinue use of the learning management system (LMS) Blackboard and begin using a program called Canvas.

Canvas will provide Saint Francis students and faculty with many different options regarding course curriculum.

The change is being made in part because Blackboard does not seamlessly integrate itself with other computer programs and, at times, poses practical problems.

Canvas seamlessly integrates itself with other programs, such as Google Chrome. It is also equipped with many more tools than Blackboard.

Canvas is more customizable for faculty and students. There will be many more notifications for students, such as finding find new grades and reminders that they have an upcoming test.

One of the Canvas features is a quizzing tool. This is an activity stream that allows students to receive notifications from teachers or the University in their SFU email, and also in their private emails and cell phones if the students prefer.

Canvas will also be a less expensive LMS for the University than Blackboard.

Theresa Wilson, the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Saint Francis, was closely involved in the decision to switch to Canvas. She noted that the decision to change programs was not based on cost savings, but rather to provide a much-improved LMS for students and faculty.

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