Canvas Instructors FAQ

What is a DLE?

DLE is an acronym for Digital Learning Environment. A digital learning environment is a federated, online environment that includes services and tools purposefully brought together to support the needs of teaching and learning in all modes (i.e., face-to-face, blended/hybrid, and fully-online). The UW-System DLE is based on the work of Brown, Dehoney and Millichap, in their 2015 EDUCAUSE whitepaper on the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE). The five hallmarks of the UW System DLE are accessibility, analytics, collaboration, interoperability and a personalized experience.

What is an LMS?

LMS is an acronym for Learning Management System. The traditional role of an LMS is as the single platform for managing course documents, quizzes, videos, and other material used in the teaching and learning process. Desire2Learn and Canvas are examples of learning management systems. In relation to a Digital Learning Environment, the LMS is a tool for delivering and managing instructional content. The ability to integrate with other tools in the DLE raises the potential effectiveness of the tool for both instructor and student.

Will I be able to move my course content from D2L to Canvas?

Yes, you will be able to migrate your course content from D2L to Canvas. For more information, see Moving a D2L course to Canvas.

When will training on Canvas for Instructors be available?

Training Resources are being populated on the Canvas@UW-Platteville website. Early Adopters wishing to teach their course(s) in Canvas are now engaging with training. The rest of UW-Platteville courses will be in Canvas in Spring 2019. Online and face-to-face workshops will be offered in Fall 2018. Drop-in hours and one-on-one help, in person or via Skype, will be available throughout Summer 2018.

I teach at another UW-System institution. Will they be using Canvas as well?

Although the exact timelines may differ, all UW colleges and universities are moving to Canvas. UW-Richland and UW-Baraboo are scheduled to begin using Canvas after the 2018-2019 academic year.

I've spent years learning how to use D2L. Will those skills help me in Canvas?

Yes. While Canvas and D2L may look and feel different, your ability to use D2L in pedagogically-effective ways will translate to Canvas. And when you are looking for ideas, the Canvas Community has many best practice and innovative teaching ideas.

How will faculty and students be trained and supported?

There will be a variety of training options for both faculty and students. Beginning in April 2018, online migration and training resources will be available for instructors on the Canvas@UW-Platteville web page. Many of these resources are links to Canvas-supplied materials. Suggested resources will be highlighted to help the campus community become familiar with the Canvas community. To support the Early Adopter cohort, drop-in hours and information sessions will be scheduled in spring and summer. In addition, UW-Platteville has 24/7 Support through the Canvas Help button. For students in courses that will be part of the Early Adopter cohort, face-to-face training will be provided at the beginning of the semester for those who want some additional guidance with Canvas.

How different is Canvas from Desire2Learn? How hard will it be to learn a new system?

Canvas and Desire2Learn are both Learning Management Systems. They have a different look and feel, but their role is to help organize and present learning materials, and provide instructors with an efficient administrative component. They are tools for instruction and learning. Canvas offers the tools and functions of a traditional learning management system, such as the ability for instructors to upload content, facilitate online discussions, provide student grades, and develop online quizzes. Although there may be a different interface, these tools function in similar ways. There will be plenty of support and training available throughout the early adopter phase. This will include online documentation, face-to-face sessions, and a voice on the other end of the phone when you have a question. To help visualize some of the differences see this Canvas-D2L Tool relationship diagram.