Uni first in nation to adopt innovative digital learning system

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The University of Adelaide is the first in Australia to adopt Canvas, an online-based learning management system that enables a deeper level of engagement with students and underpins innovation in teaching by staff.

By the start of 2017, all students at the University of Adelaide will have their courses taught with the help of the cloud-based Canvas – to be fully integrated with face-to-face teaching and group discovery – as part of a major transformation of the University's approach to teaching and learning.

Canvas replaces Blackboard, which has been used by the University for the past 14 years.

The new system will enable students to interact with their teaching and learning experience via smart phones and tablets, receive notifications, submit assignments, receive grades, and conduct peer assessment and group work.

Canvas also introduces a range of features that will help staff to become more innovative in their teaching, and includes reporting and analytics of student achievement and engagement with the subject.

Other benefits of Canvas will include using digital learning materials produced through the University's highly successful Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) program for the benefit of enrolled students.

"This is a bold and innovative move by the University to deepen student engagement and ultimately improve student learning outcomes," says Professor Philippa Levy, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).

"Students will benefit greatly from this change. Through this easy-to-use and intuitive technology, we will enhance face-to-face teaching, as well as integrate use of the system into active and collaborative learning, which is central to the University's distinctive small group discovery experience.

"Our adoption of Canvas signals the University of Adelaide's aim to become a leader in best-practice learning design among Australian universities," Professor Levy says.

The University's Chief Information Officer, Mark Gregory, says: "We are thrilled to be bringing these digital environments to our students. Canvas' adaptable and extensible properties will ensure this is an evolving learning ecosystem, helping to best position the University now and into the future."

Students and staff showed their strong preference for the Canvas system during a consultation period last year, citing its ease of use and high level of functionality and interactivity. Around 3000 students were involved in assessing the various systems being considered by the University of Adelaide, including Canvas.

All courses at the University of Adelaide will use Canvas from January 2017.


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