Replacing WebCT

Canvas has been chosen as Emerson College’s new learning management system to replace WebCT in 2013. Visit our Canvas page to get to know this new system and start building your courses. On this page, you will find documentation on why we are replacing WebCT, and how we chose Canvas.

I feel like I just learned WebCT! Why is it going?

WebCT debuted in 1997, and Emerson has been using it since 2002. Blackboard bought WebCT in 2006, and decided to discontinue updating it. Blackboard licensing and support of WebCT will end in Spring 2013. All colleges around the country who were using WebCT have had to find a replacement.

I heard WebCT is dead. Do I have to move my courses immediately?

WebCT will be up and running until December 31, 2012. A limited number of classes are using Canvas this semester. These brave souls will help us make sure that there are no issues with Banner integration and also be the first to check out the new features and possibilities of Canvas. Classes in Spring 2013 will all be on Canvas.

I put a lot of time and energy into WebCT: what about all the content I have in there?

There are options for moving your content from WebCT to Canvas. Check out the Canvas section of this site for more information. If you have a highly stylized WebCT course, we strongly urge you to come and meet with ITG to discuss migration options.

Will my WebCT class look the same in Canvas?

The content will come over, but the specific design of your course content page may not look the same. We tested importing from WebCT on all of the systems that we evaluated, and none of them looked and felt 100% the same as WebCT. That’s partly because new systems have new tools and new ways to organize content, and partly because WebCT is old, and its default settings are not necessarily considered good practice in the internet world of 2012.

Who will help me, and when?

ITG and IT will be running all sorts of trainings, as well as helping faculty one on one. Again, stay tuned for details!

What will I like about Canvas?

Testers described it as “straightforward and easy to navigate”, as well as “friendlier and more inviting”.

One faculty member said “In short, I want a visually appealing online space for students to socialize, discuss clips, watch movies, read their homework assignments, post their papers, get reminded about their assignments, and have incentives to build their brand and feel like they belong to a community that not only stretches beyond the classroom but also beyond the course. I feel like Canvas comes closest.”

Wait, when can I get going in Canvas?

Right now! Create template courses, sign up for training, and read about Canvas here.

Any further questions, please email ITG.

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