As graduation ceremonies reached their culmination on May 14th, Southern Methodist University officially graduated into the next era of course management. Consistent with the announcement and transition plan set forth in last August’s message to faculty from the Office of the Provost, I’m pleased to announce that Canvas has been implemented as the sole course management system for university sources of record. If you haven’t heard by now, Canvas is a cloud-based course management system which offers a modern interface designed to better support the increased teaching and learning demands of higher education in functions such as blended learning, “flipping classrooms,” and providing a more robust overall framework for online education and distance learning activities.
After 12 years of long and faithful service, Blackboard is officially retired from course management duty; no further course shells or course enrollment data will be populated into Blackboard. Starting immediately, all course shells and course enrollment data will be published exclusively to Canvas. For faculty still needing to export course materials from Blackboard for use in Canvas, Blackboard (http://courses.smu.edu) will remain openly accessible for faculty access until June 30th, 2016. If you have any remaining materials on Blackboard, please proceed to retrieve them as soon as possible. If you need assistance with this transition, please contact 214.768.HELP or email firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible, as our time before now and the fall semester will become increasingly limited.
In conjunction with this transition to Canvas, SMU’s embedded Academic Technology Service Directors in each academic unit are in the process of contacting each and every SMU faculty member to ensure that plans are being made to accommodate the transition along existing project timelines. If you require direct consultation navigating this transition and have not yet connected with your department’s Academic Technology Service Director to make a plan, please refer below to the contact for your school or college:
Please make time between now and June 30th to export any and all course materials you’ll need in any future course. Do not delay! Being sure that you’re prepared now will save anxiety later on.
SMU faculty and students can login to Canvas using SMU campus login credentials. For SMU courses of record, course shells, instructors, TA’s and students are all automatically populated from enrollment data from my.SMU. Between now and continuing into the fall term, OIT will be offering webinars and in-class Canvas training opportunities which cover basic usage to more advanced topics such as utilization of the Gradebook and Assignments. Please find a training that meets your needs here. If you require individual training or coaching—don’t worry—your Academic Technology Services Directors will be hosting and scheduling Canvas Open Labs within each school as well to help you directly with Canvas course migrations.
SMU will retain Blackboard course archives for five years—special archive recovery services will be available after June 30th, but Blackboard archives will not be immediately accessible for use. Faculty may submit individual tickets to the SMU IT Helpdesk for recovery of past Blackboard course materials. Please contact the main SMU IT Helpdesk if you need further assistance at 214.768.HELP or by emailing email@example.com.
Important Upcoming Canvas Dates:
|May 12, 2016
||Spring 2016 Term Closes
|May 13, 2016
||Canvas transforms into sole course management system for courses of record at SMU (No further my.SMU enrollment data published to Blackboard)
|May 13, 2016
June 30, 2016
|Blackboard (http://courses.smu.edu) still openly available to SMU faculty community for the purpose of course material recovery and for faculty to be able to export past course materials for future usage or archiving
|July 1, 2016
||Blackboard (http://courses.smu.edu) will no longer be available for open access to SMU community. http://courses.smu.edu will be re-directed to SMU Canvas login splash page