Professors, pupils call for Canvas orientation


Photo by Roxanne Ready

Students and faculty each say the other needs more training in Canvas. Jump Start student Sarah Noble (left) and second-year mass communication major Sarah Sutherland use Canvas to check assignments.

Veronica Somers, Reporter

Too many students do not know how to use Canvas well enough to make it a useful classroom tool, professors said in an informal poll on campus in November.

Students said the same thing about their teachers.

In the informal poll of 10 students and 10 professors, all but one student said they like using Canvas—the campus learning management system—and all professors said they do.

However, each group blamed the other for the ineffective use of Canvas in the classroom.

“Most of my professors use Canvas but some aren’t good at keeping up with it,” Jennifer Labs, a freshman education major, said. “It’s frustrating because if I had to miss an assignment or a lecture, [it’s easier to] look at it through Canvas.”

On the other hand, said Dr. Jessamy Rango, a biology professor, “Sometimes students ask me questions about Canvas and it takes up a big portion of my class.”

Starting this semester, AACC required all professors to start using Canvas for all of their classes.

Dr. Mike Gavin, AACC’s vice president of learning, said the mandatory use of Canvas was designed to help students.

All 10 professors in the Campus Current poll said the only thing they would change about Canvas is the lack of knowledge students seem to have about it.

“Students do need to use [Canvas on] the computer because there are features you are not able to see on the app, and I don’t think they are aware of that,” said Dr. Kirsten Casey, a chemistry professor.

Although nine of the students said they like Canvas, some also noted that their professors do not seem to know how to use it.

“Almost all of my professors are good with Canvas except one,” Lainy Leitch, a freshman psychology major, said.

“It’s really annoying when all your professors are doing a good job at posting assignments but one constantly has problems.”

Lillian Maenner, a sophomore nursing major, suggested that professors should take a course on how to properly use Canvas.

But a few of the professors in the poll said students are the ones who need the orientation.

Still, all professors and students agreed that the mandatory use of Canvas should continue into the following semesters.