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Belmont transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas

Belmont University added Canvas to the launchpad on MyBelmont, officially showing that the University will transition from Blackboard to Canvas.

“It was long passed time,” Belmont professor Nathan Adam said.“Blackboard, just as a company, has not kept their software updated in a way that keeps pace with modern student needs.”

Not only was Blackboard not as updated as Belmont needed, but it also was not as easy for students and staff to work with, Adam said.

Some Belmont students who have had both Blackboard and Canvas agree.

“I liked Canvas more,” freshman Cece Benz said. “It looked cleaner, I liked that it was all white and it was easier to see and access everything.”

This is a shared opinion by other students who think Canvas will work better for students.

“It’s a lot easier to access and visually it’s a lot more organized,” Belmont student Dani Alexander said. “On Canvas, when you turn things in, it’s a lot easier to see them and getting teachers comments is a lot easier.”

Canvas’s easy navigation does not require the same amount of training that new students need on Blackboard.

“I know that each year through syllabus week they do an introduction on blackboard and where to find everything and I don’t think with canvas that will be as necessary,” Alexander said.

Different from Blackboard, each class page is laid out the same.

“The difference between Canvas and Blackboard is that in Blackboard teachers can make their own sections with whatever they prefer, but on Canvas the quizzes, modules, tests, files sections are consistent for each class,” freshman Lainey Seitz said.

This makes it easier to find where teachers have stored their information for students, leading to less confusion and more assignments turned in on time.

Canvas is not just easier for students to use, but also for the faculty, Adam said.

“Blackboard is just a nightmare of usability and user experience. Canvas’s software and usability for students and faculty blew the others out of the water.”

The Blackboard experience could be improved by Canvas’s new and constantly evolving software.

The most frustrating parts of Blackboard, like the fact that it refreshes the page too often and it’s hard to access without going onto MyBelmont first, will not happen on Canvas. For those who liked certain aspects about Canvas, generally the best parts are included in Canvas, Benz said.

“The things I like about Blackboard, Canvas also has,” Alexander said. “I don’t know if there’s anything Blackboard has that Canvas didn’t.”

The switch from Blackboard to Canvas should be relatively seamless as the sites are similar in their formatting and usability.

“I think that blackboard and canvas are more similar than you think, but Canvas is just prettier to look at.”

With all the best parts of Blackboard being included on Canvas in addition to the organization, aesthetics and overall function of Canvas, this will benefit people, Alexander said.

Adam looks forward to the experience for both faculty and students.

“When the usability factor increases for faculty and students,” Adam said. “Then the students just get a lot more benefit from the experience.”

This article was written by Maya Burney

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