Beginning this upcoming summer semester, Lorain County Community College will introduce its students to Canvas, an online learning management system set to replace the current ANGEL system.
Canvas open-lab sessions will be held starting May 18-22 and continuing May 26-29. These sessions will help students and faculty adapt to the new system and answer questions about the upcoming transition.
Distance Learning has been working closely with the marketing department to make the switch easier for students. LCCC has not changed learning management systems in 10 years, so Distance Learning is making an effort to spread awareness of their plans to implement the Canvas system, according to Luz Rivera, administrative assistant to the Distance Learning team at LCCC.
Canvas will offer new features including a global dashboard, where students can view assignments listed for all of their classes on a single calendar, as well as a mobile-friendly feature. With these additions, course materials will be made more accessible through most mobile devices.
“There will be a ‘what if’ button where students can calculate what their final score would be in a course if certain assignments received certain grades,” said George Taylor, a technical application specialist with Distance Learning.
Taylor added that students will be able to view assignment grades via most mobile devices as soon as the instructor posts them with a notification feature.
Instructors will also have notifications that allow them to view and grade coursework and assignments as soon as students upload and submit them.
“[The notifications] will appear somewhat like a text message would on your phone, and instructors can then see and read the files immediately,” Taylor said.
Student reactions to the upcoming changes have been mixed, with some looking forward to the advancements and others not looking forward to having to learn a new system.
“I like Angel a lot, so I don’t want it to go away,” Amanda Davis, a middle childhood education major with the Ashland University Partnership, said.
“Everybody’s used to using Angel right now, but if this new program will be easier to use, then I suppose it’s okay,” said Mackenzie Murray, a general arts major.
“There have been many [Canvas] training sessions for faculty as well as student lab aids,” said Rivera. “We would like to have some ambassadors that know the system well enough to help other students become more comfortable in using it.”
“I think changing [Angel] is for the better,” Sandra Saldana, an undecided major and student worker in Student Life, said. “I’m pro all updates in technology at LCCC, especially if it’s going to make navigation easier.”
The Canvas learning management system will offer 24/7 support to resolve technical issues as quickly as possible, and the Distance Learning office will continue regular hours of operation for technical support as well.
Alex Delaney-Gesing contributed to this article.