Annie Dietz, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
Near the end of the summer, several students were surprised to learn that their classes this semester are not on VikingWeb, as they have been in years past. Currently, Berry is in the transition from Jenzabar’s eLearning platform, more commonly known as VikingWeb, to a new program entitled Canvas. Canvas, with a cleaner design, continuous updates, and a course module system, is hoped to make online access to course materials easier.
As Penny Evans-Plants, chief information officer, explains, we are currently in phase one of the transition. At the end of last spring, full-time faculty applied to use Canvas for this semester. Selected faculty members are currently using Canvas instead of VikingWeb for various courses.
During the second phase of transition, beginning in October of 2018, any faculty can request to use Canvas for the spring semester. By the summer of 2019, all classes will officially be on Canvas.
Several professors appear to be fans of the new platform. As Evans-Plants explains, “the learning curve has been significant, but both students and faculty have been pleased with the functionality.”
Kirsten Taylor, professor of government, is teaching International Relations,Weapons of Mass Destruction, Model United Nations and Directed Study on Canvas this semester.
“It has its own little quirks that we’re all getting used to, and there are some things it does a little differently that you have to adjust to,” Taylor said. “But for the most part it’s so much more user friendly.”
Additionally, it is important to note that this will not be completely replacing VikingWeb. While all classes will only be accessible through Canvas by the beginning of next school year, VikingWeb will still be in operation. Course registration, finances, campus groups, and other functions will still be on VikingWeb.
More information can be found at Canvas.Berry.edu, or on the Canvas Student app, which can be downloaded on any smartphone device. Canvas can also be accessed via Vikingweb.