Canvas Training

NCVPS Summer 2016

Welcome To Canvas Training!

Welcome to Canvas Training.


The NCVPS Professional Learning (PL) staff is excited to be able to provide some additional training in the Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) prior to your teaching in Canvas this fall. Transitioning to a new LMS like Canvas can be very challenging and frustrating. However, the majority of the instructors who have taught at a least a semester in Canvas report very positive benefits and appreciate the efficiency related to grading.


Canvas has some similarities to Moodle and Blackboard. However, it has some additional features that neither of those have. There are some functions that you may have become used to in Moodle or Blackboard that function differently in Canvas.


One of the best suggestions for adapting to Canvas is to keep in mind that it is a different LMS from what you are used to. You will need to learn new terms and practices. At first the change can be very challenging. However, with the right mindset and positive outlook, you will find the adaptation to Canvas to be well worth it in the end.

Canvas Training - July 11 to August 21, 2016

Why Canvas?

A few years ago, NC put a bid out for a statewide LMS and Canvas was chosen to be the vendor. As a result, almost all school systems use Canvas with a few exceptions. Many of you may already be using Canvas in your own f2f school.


However, NCVPS often uses Canvas is very different ways from other schools systems. Canvas lives in the web instead of being a software attached to a server. As a result, Canvas can be updated much more easily than other LMS. Eventually most NCVPS courses will operate in Canvas.

Course Structure

The Canvas PL has two courses associated with it. One course is called Painting the Canvas Phase 4 Summer 2016. This is the main course where you will learn best practices, view instructional videos, and submit required assignments. In this course, you will only have student permission which means that you will see the course like your students will see your course when you teach it in the fall.


The other course, Finger Painting in Canvas: Summer 2016 Success 101 Practice, is a course where you will have both teacher and student rights. You will be able to experience what it is like to be an instructor in this course. This is also the place where you can apply various practices and begin to get a feel of what it is like to be an instructor in Canvas.


Keep in mind that the required assignments must be submitted in the Painting the Canvas Phase 4 Summer 2016 course. As you have questions, please reach out to your Instructional Leaders for PL:



  • Brian Whitson (brian.whtison@ncpublicschools.gov): Brian will be the primary course lead IL for this training. Brian first taught in Canvas last fall as part of the NCVPS pilot and has taught a full calendar year in Canvas.
  • Lydia Richmond (lydia.richomond@ncpublicschools.gov): Lydia will be the secondary course lead IL for this training and provide secondary support. Lydia has served as a previous leader instructor in Canvas training.

What to Expect?

Think of Canvas as a whole new world. Much of what you have done previously can be applied and used in the same way. For example, instructors will still make daily announcements that inform, instruct, and celebrate. Announcements will still use various Web 2.0 tools. Assignments will be graded daily with directive feedback provided. So many of the current practices that exist will still be the applicable in Canvas.


However, some of the ways in which we incorporate Web 2.0 tools (use of embed codes) will work in a different way. But don't worry - once you learn how to do it, it will be more efficient and save time.


Also, we have learned the adaptation to Canvas is a time for each eLC to reflect on their current practices, assignments, and assessments. This may result in finding new ways to address problems that occur. For example, some eLCs may have to develop new expectations for the grading of assignments or the placement of projects in their courses. Ultimately there will be questions that instructors ask that neither Brian or Lydia can answer as they have to be answered by each eLC. When this occurs, the PL Instructional Leaders will help direct instructors in the right direction.


So, keep calm and realize that this is a great time to learn and grow together. Your eLC will be instrumental in providing support and knowledge during this time and this fall. Your PL team is here to support you so please reach out to them as you have questions and concerns. Canvas has many new and exciting features such as BB Collaborate Ultra. It is our hope that the journey that we take together will inspire you to growing and expanding on your online teaching abilities.