The switch to Canvas and its many changes


When school started back up in August, it was to be expected that HR would face many changes due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and one of the larger changes to the school was the switch to Canvas for online work. The platform of Canvas is definitely a change from Google Classroom, the online learning platform HR used last year. This new platform and its many differences from Google Classroom will impact HR well into the fall semester.

Canvas itself is an online learning management tool designed for educators to have complete control over how their curriculum is delivered online. On the Canvas website it even states that, “With next-generation learning tools that support instructor innovation, student engagement, and widespread connection and collaboration, Canvas is far more than higher education software. It’s a platform for student success.” Despite being described as a platform for student success, some students certainly do not seem to see it that way.

“Well, in my opinion, Canvas is, it’s okay; it’s just a bit flawed,” said Nicholas Wessling, junior. He sees the platform in a more negative light than some, believing that it isn’t necessary.  “A lot of the teachers, they have it a bit different for each of them,” Wessling said. This belief that Canvas was used inconsistently among the teachers seems to be shared among multiple other students throughout the school. The change has most definitely been hard on some of the students due to seemingly different expectations and a low knowledge of how to operate the platform. The relationship between the students and this new system seems to be fickle at best, and many wonder why the administration adopted this system when we had Google Classroom last school year.

“Well, it was a district decision to move the high schools to Canvas,”  said Donna Goodwin, professional learning specialist. “I believe the switch mostly came from parents wanting some more consistency with the online learning.” Goodwin played a large part in teaching the faculty how to use Canvas. Goodwin said, “I think that just like in any regular classroom, our teachers are learning Canvas, and they’re at all different levels of understanding of it.”

Goodwin is mostly concerned with getting everybody to understand the platform so that the students and teachers alike can get the most use out of it. She said, “Step one is learning how to use the tool, and that’s what we’ve been mostly been working on. Some teachers have been able to move onto best practices in online instruction and blended learning.” The integration of Canvas into HR  has used a lot of resources put into its proper utilization. Goodwin said, “I think we’re going to get better at it as we go, and I think that’s something to look forward to.”

Cooper Sellers, Staff Reporter