Q:  When can I migrate to Canvas/when do I have to?

A:  In order to accommodate the varying needs of the campus community, we’ve set up two options for faculty to begin using Canvas:

  1. Begin using Canvas in one or more of your Fall 2019 courses.  

  2. Begin using Canvas in all your Spring 2020 courses.  (Note: no new CLEo courses will be created after the Fall 2019 semester. Existing CLEo courses will remain accessible through the end of 2020 and possibly longer.)

Option one has a very distinct advantage:  you have the summer to experiment with and learn about Canvas before actually using it in your courses.  Option two will buy you some time if you’re not willing/ready/able to make the switch for Fall, but the transition you make for Spring may feel more abrupt.  Our recommendation is option one, but the decision is yours.  Rest assured that whichever choice you make, we will provide you with support and training opportunities during and beyond this transition.

Q:  I’d like to start using Canvas in Fall 2019, but can I just try out Canvas with one of my courses and have the others in CLEo?

A:  Yes, just let us know at canvas_help@whitman.edu that you’d like to do this and which with course(s).  However, please consider that doing this may cause confusion for both you and your students.

Q:  I’d like to start using Canvas in the Spring 2020 semester, but can I just try out Canvas with one of my courses and have the others in CLEo?

A:  No. As of Spring 2020, no new courses will be created in CLEo.  All courses will be created in Canvas. If you’d like to try this mixed approach, you’ll need to do this during the Fall 2019 semester.

Q:  I’m on sabbatical during all/part of the 2019-20 year.  What does this mean for me?

A:  When you return from sabbatical, you will need to be using Canvas.  You will still have access to CLEo to migrate some site content (see “Will my existing courses in CLEo be moved to Canvas” below for more info).

Q: Will my existing courses in CLEo be moved to Canvas?

A:  Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that moving material is possible, no in the sense that it won’t happen auto-magically, and it won’t be a seamless move of structure and content.  Migrating a course from CLEo to Canvas is not a “one-click” operation. Some content from CLEo tools (e.g. Resources, Quizzes) are easier to move than others. In all cases, it is the structure and files you created that can be moved, not student-created content.  If you want to migrate material from CLEo to Canvas, we will work closely with you to move as much as possible.  Alternatively, you can have fresh “blank slate” courses created, and continue to access your old CLEo courses as “read-only.”

Q:  Will I still be able to view my old CLEo courses after I start using Canvas?

A:  Yes.  We plan on keeping CLEo sites accessible until at least the end of 2020, and possibly longer (we are still examining when to fully shut down CLEo).

Q: Will my new courses be automatically set up in Canvas?

A:  No. We are still working out the mechanics of how Canvas courses are created, and will have more information on this soon.

Q: I have a non-course site (aka “project site”) setup in CLEo.  What will happen to that site?

A:  We will be reaching out to the owners of project sites to discuss options.  In some cases, migrating the site to Canvas may be appropriate, while in others, migrating to a Google Team Drive (will be renamed by Google to “shared drive” in summer 2019) may be a better choice.

Q:  When can I access and start using Canvas?

A:  Through myWhitman, anytime after your course has been set up.  Created courses will begin to be available mid-June 2019. Please stay tuned for more information on this.

Q:  How do I learn to use Canvas?

A:  We are in the process of gathering resources and preparing training opportunities for how to use Canvas.  Please stay tuned for announcements on this topic. Naturally there will be no substituting the time/experience of actually using Canvas for your courses.  Faculty members on the 2017-18 pilot testing team remarked that using Canvas is a very intuitive experience. You can also view the Instructor Guide for Canvas here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460

Q: Will my students know how to use Canvas?

A:  Based on our experience with the more than 500 Whitman students who participated in our 2017-18 pilot program, we expect that students will readily adapt to using Canvas.  However, we will alway extend offers for help and training to students.

Q:  I heard a rumor that I won’t be able to email my whole class the way I do with CLEo email addresses.  Is that true? What are my options?

A:  It is true.  Canvas’ method of contacting students is based around signing in to Canvas to send messages and announcements, not emailing the entire class.  We recognize this may be a disruptive, unwelcome change for some people, so we are seeking potential alternatives to address this situation. Please stay tuned for more information.

Q:  How was the decision to use Canvas instead of CLEo made?

Whitman began using CLEo as a replacement to Blackboard back in 2006.  CLEo has served us well, but to do our due diligence, we in WCTS decided that we should investigate whether or not CLEo still met the campus’ needs.  During the 2017-18 school year, 22 faculty members and over 500 students conducted a pilot project using platforms that compete against CLEo. The end result, and the recommendation of the faculty pilot testers, is that we conclude our use of CLEo and begin using a product called Canvas, due to Canvas’ superior tool set and usability. 

Q:  Who should I contact with questions and/or if I have trouble with Canvas?

A:  canvas_help@whitman.edu.  This email goes to the subset of WCTS that will most closely support your work in Canvas:  Austun Ables, Rich Hinz, Colin Justin, Bryan Lubbers, Mike Osterman, Dustin Palmer, and David Sprunger



Created: May 3, 2019

Last Updated: May 3, 2019

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