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Canvas: It works.

Luna Rajbhandari is an Executive MBA student in her second year. This quarter, she is taking four courses, two of which are using Blackboard and two of which are using Canvas. Her entire cohort, in fact, is using the two systems at the same time.

How did you learn about Canvas? On the first day of class, both Professor Petersen and Professor Allon went to the URL for Canvas and showed how the navigation system works.

Do the professors use Canvas in a similar manner? No, their teaching styles and use of LMS are very different. Professor Allon posts everything online; students submit their cases online; and he grades online. Professor Petersen is very interactive. He gives quizzes online, and he really encourages discussion groups. He uses the discussion board a lot and posts things that are related to the topic of the class. For example, he just posted a piece about the Twitter IPO on the Canvas discussion board.

Was it confusing to have two systems? Yes, it was hard to remember where to go at first. But now we’re all getting a lot of email reminders that basically bring you to the right system.

Can you compare Canvas and Blackboard? I love the Canvas mobile app, which is free. Blackboard’s mobile app isn’t free. Canvas’ usability is better – it is very intuitive. The icons are very straightforward. I like the master calendar, which shows what is due when for all of your classes.

What has been frustrating this quarter? Our TAs run tutorials that are recorded on Adobe Connect. You can’t download them. And you have to go to a different URL to find them. Students want all their class related information in one place, not separate places.

Any last thoughts? For me, Canvas is an improvement over Blackboard. I would love to have only one destination for my class material. It is less obtrusive than Blackboard. It works.