In a constant bid to improve teaching and learning, UA&P has recently adopted a new learning management system (LMS). Canvas, the fastest-growing LMS platform in the United States, will be the University’s LMS come August 2018.
Faculty members previously using Google Classroom, Edmodo, Canvas Free, and other LMS platforms will now benefit from a wider array of cloud-based tools that not only automate many of their classroom management tasks but also provide analytics that can turn learner data into meaningful insights to improve teaching and learning.
“As teachers, we want to know how effective our teaching methodology is, or if our students are learning,” said UA&P President Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog. “Answers to these can only be addressed if we closely monitor the outcomes of our course content and its delivery. When we use an LMS to monitor the performance of both our students and ourselves, we will be able to make adjustments and improve our effectiveness as teachers.”
Canvas—used by 3,000 universities and institutions around the world including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton School of Business, and Columbia Business School—aggregates data, generates reports, and simplifies grading.
“I use Canvas (the free version) to put out online assignments, send additional announcements,
and disseminate grades in exams,” Mr. Giuseppe Ng of the School of Sciences and Engineering stated. “I also use it to send feedback for the exams I administer. This gives a permanent reference that students can look into at a later date,” he added.
This chosen LMS also allows users to set up their own learning object repository, where the sharing of learning materials in whatever format is made unimaginably easy.
Ms. Margeaux Valdez, program director of UA&P’s Six-Year Integrated University Program (6YP), shared her liking for the LMS. She was one of the select faculty members who participated in the evaluation session of the LMS early this year. “Students will no longer shift between Facebook and Google Classroom to be updated about teacher announcements,” she said. “They just need to access Canvas to get all the info they need for all their subjects, whether readings, lecture slides, assessments, announcements, videos, etc. It is easy to use and navigate. There is also a student app [for Android and iOS] that will allow them to access Canvas on the go.”
The UA&P Canvas Project Team, led by Mr. Jason de Villa of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Office, will roll out the workshops and other communications over the next 10 weeks to help all faculty members learn the basic functions of the LMS. Full onboarding will be done in phases over the next three school years.
“I know that there will be birthing pains as not everyone is on the same level of digital engagement,” said Dr. Yvette Camacho, UA&P Vice President for Faculty Affairs, “but in the rollout plan, there is room for those differences.”
“The possibilities for research on curriculum, teaching effectiveness, and student learning have yet to be discovered as we explore the breadth of data and analytics that the LMS offers. For us to reap all these benefits, we need complete data, hopefully in an increasing number of functions as the semesters go by. Thus, we need everyone to be on board.”