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Canvas to Replace Blackboard as University's Primary Learning and Teaching Technology

Canvas to Replace Blackboard as University's Primary Learning and Teaching Technology

Originally published in The Hub

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will move to a new learning management system over the next year in advance of the 2022-23 academic year, a change made after a comprehensive evaluation by a representative committee of faculty, students, and staff.

Beginning next summer, Canvas will replace Blackboard Learn as the core learning and teaching technology used to deliver online and hybrid courses, and to supplement in-person courses at JHU. In addition to the School of Medicine, this change includes Carey Business School, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences including Advanced Academic Programs, Peabody Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, School of Education, School of Nursing, Whiting School of Engineering including Engineering Professionals. The change does not affect courses at the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health and Center for Talented Youth.

The evaluation process that resulted in the selection of Canvas was led by a universitywide committee that unanimously recommended Canvas for its ease of use, modern user interface, superior mobile experience, and powerful ability to integrate with outside tools. Thousands of Hopkins faculty and students shared their input with the committee as part of the decision-making process.

"We want to thank the many students and faculty in addition to teaching and learning centers that participated in the process and shared their needs and experiences to help shape this decision," said Stephen Gange, executive vice provost for academic affairs. "We recognize this will be a major change that will impact instruction and are working to make this migration as easy as possible."

An image represents the Johns Hopkins Dome publication.

Most summer 2022 courses and all fall 2022 courses will be taught on Canvas and preparations for the transition to Canvas have begun. A universitywide LMS Migration Steering Committee, chaired by Brian Cole, associate director of instructional technology at the Center for Educational Resources, and several subgroups have been established, including a communication subgroup to keep the community informed of migration activities. The committee is working to select a small number of pilot projects, and the majority of the migration activity is planned for the spring and summer of 2022. Faculty and staff involved in the transition will have access to training and support resources throughout the process; more information on available resources will be shared at a later date.

Blackboard will end support for the product and configuration currently used by Johns Hopkins. Users will be able to access Blackboard until Dec. 1, 2022.

More details on the university's transition to Canvas, including timelines and frequently asked questions, can be found on the recently launched Canvas at JHU website. This site will be updated in the coming months as more information becomes available.

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