JSU transitions from Blackboard to Canvas

Ashleigh Crouch, News Correspondent

Last fall, the university announced that it will transition from Blackboard to Canvas. As of August 16, Blackboard is no longer available. 

Canvas is said to be more efficient than Blackboard, and includes unique and useful features such as Office 365 integration, a media recorder, the ability to create polls, learning modules and integrated help resources. 

Randal Blades, a JSU drama professor, who taught a Canvas Pilot course in the Summer 2019 semester, seems to be happy with the transition, stating that it is easier for them to interact with students. 

Up until this semester JSU has used Blackboard for online and hybrid classes, a system designed to help professors keep in touch with students regarding class meetings, cancellations, grades and other important announcements.

“I found learning [the Canvas system] challenging but rewarding, and I felt like Canvas students were better able to navigate the course and it allowed me to conduct the course in a manner that was beneficial to student learning,” said Blades.

The Canvas system was established in 2008 and launched in 2011, and the system is currently used by more than 2,000 universities across the nation.

“[Canvas will] provide students with more efficient and effective work flows suitable for the way learning takes place now,” said Chris Casey, the operations manager at Online @ JSU. 

Student reaction to the transition appears mostly positive with many arguing that the interface is much more user-friendly.

“[Canvas] seems much more modern to me, and I believe it will be much easier for students to use,” said Marili Zurita, a JSU sophomore student. 

Sophomore Britney Ryals, who took a Canvas Pilot course in the Spring 2019 semester agreed.

“I like Canvas a lot better than Blackboard, and I am excited to begin using it for all of my classes,” said Ryals.

To access Canvas, you must create an initial password by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Canvas login page: https://jsu.instructure.com
  2. Choose “Forgot Password?”
  3. Enter your JSU email (for example, user@stu.jsu.edu or user@jsu.edu)
  4. Watch for reset password email at your JSU email
  5. Login with the new password at the Canvas login page
  6. Username = full JSU email (for example, user@stu.jsu.edu or user@jsu.edu)
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