The end of Blackboard

How students and teachers feel about the switch from Blackboard to Canvas

The deadline for professors to move permanently to Canvas is fast approaching and many people on campus seem to think it is the right step.

While Blackboard may be more familiar to some students, it is undeniable that a shift is necessary. In addition to loading issues and trouble finding pages or assignments, many students were reporting submissions were not going through to professors.

“I prefer Canvas because it’s easier to use and I don’t have to worry about if my professors received my assignment,” said Ferris criminal justice senior Casey Evans.

In addition to the technical errors, Blackboard’s usability left some things to be desired. While the discussion boards were a useful feature for comparing thoughts, creating threads required unnecessary steps and it was difficult to always read through everything. Canvas, however, makes it possible to skim through a discussion briefly.

Professor Tina Arduini agrees, “This makes it seem more like a social media platform than a learning management system, which I’m hoping will entice students to feel more comfortable sharing ideas.”

There are many other aspects of Canvas professors appreciate, such as the easy-to-navigate dashboard, the modern interface, clickable hyperlinks and more.

Though Canvas is expected to be used by every professor this fall, some are sticking with Blackboard until the last moment, hoping to use the summer to familiarize themselves with Canvas and prepare in order to make for a smoother transition between platforms.

“I heard it’s a better system,” said Professor Deirdre Fagan, “but it’s another learning curve for students and faculty and … I need a summer to adjust.”

Many professors who did not use Canvas last fall have switched to it this spring, continuing the decline of Blackboard before it is fully cut off. Unfortunately, this has caused some confusion in which system different professors are using even if they’re impartial to the change itself.

“I don’t like that some professors are still using Blackboard because I forget to check both,” said welding technology sophomore Riana Carnes. Next fall will certainly bring about some new and exciting developments, the least of which being the full integration of Canvas into the Ferris community. Hopefully, without the struggles of Blackboard, students will continue to benefit from the Canvas Learning Management System.