Learning Management System


Leverage state-of-the-art Learning Management System (LMS) technologies and educational technology software integrations to encourage active, collaborative, and engaging learning through a reliable and easy-to-use platform.


Centered on creating spaces that support teaching and learning excellence, this activity converges on designing built and online learning environments that are flexible, giving faculty the ability to quickly and easily reorganize and reconfigure layouts and options to facilitate numerous instructional methods. This work will be done in consultation with SDSU faculty, staff and students.

With the endorsement of the Learning Management System Advisory Group, the University Senate’s Information and Instructional Technology Committee, and SDSU leadership, Canvas adoption began in Summer 2020. 

Goals / Deliverables

  • Goals

    • Create easy-to-use online learning environments to encourage active, collaborative, and immersive learning, leveraging state-of-the-art Learning Management System (LMS) technologies and educational technology software integrations.
  • Deliverables
    • For the remainder of the Spring 2021 semester, Instructional Technology Services (ITS) staff will continue to assist instructors with course content migration to Canvas. In addition, ongoing weekly training and support resources are being provided to instructors.
    • At the end of Winter 2021, ITS launched the Canvas faculty opt-out form for instructors who wished to remain on Blackboard for the final Spring 2021 semester.
    • For the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters, ITS launched the Canvas opt-in form for instructors who wanted to participate in early adoption. Blackboard and Canvas run concurrently, allowing faculty time to migrate their materials from Blackboard. 
    • Beginning Summer 2020, ITS began ongoing Canvas LMS trainings to support the transition. Monthly emails were sent out from ITS Director Sean Hauze announcing the training schedule for the month.
    • On May 11, 2020, a campus-wide email was sent from Provost Ochoa, Chief Information Officer Sheehan, and Associate Vice President Frazee announcing SDSU's official transition to Canvas.
    • At the end of Spring 2020, the Advisory group submitted the Canvas Evaluation Report and reccomendations to the President's Budget Advisory Committee. The report outlines the recommendation to move forward with campus-wide adoption. 
    • In Spring 2020, the Canvas LMS pilot scaled up to include up to >100 faculty. Training workshops were conducted in Fall 2019 to prepare faculty to teach with Canvas in Spring 2020. The LMS advisory group’s evaluation sub-committee collected data from pilot faculty and students throughout the pilot to inform a recommendation to the Chief Information Officer and President’s Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) in May 2020. 
    • Beginning in Fall 2019, ITS in collaboration with a 47-person advisory group conducted a pilot test to explore new possibilities and features of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). The Fall 2019 pilot included 22 faculty teaching 26 courses with approximately 1,600 students. 
    • The Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 cohorts of the Course Design Institute (CDI) provided opportunities for faculty to work with peers from different disciplines to design and develop fully online courses. Collaborating with colleagues outside their usual departmental circles as they develop their courses, the focus was on pedagogy, with a major emphasis on interaction and student engagement. The CDI has been the incubator for the development of nearly 180 fully online courses since its inception in 2008, and is a major contributor to a significant milestone achieved at SDSU during the 2019 Summer Session with an enrollment of more than 10,000 students in fully online courses.
    • Since the launch in Fall 2017, the Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) initiative, provided a variety of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality immersive tools for use in 37 courses across the pedagogical spectrum. These courses range from 100-level undergraduate classes to 700-level doctoral research seminars, and represent all colleges at SDSU. Due to increasing demand, we plan to scale up the capacity of both room-based and untethered VITaL resources in 2020 and explore a path toward the creation of a Center for Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning.


SDSU Canvas Implementation Timeline graphic.


SDSU Canvas LMS Pilot and Implementation

  Roles Students Faculty LMS Advisory Group Senate IIT Committee ITS Instructional Designers ITS Tier 2 Support CIO Sheehan Assiciate VP Frazee ITS Lead Team Instructure Personnel IT Division Personnel
Create Canvas Pilot Plan   C C C C C C C A R I I
Configure Canvas LMS   I I C I C C I A R C C
Develop Training Resources   I I C I R R I A R C I
Provide Canvas Evaluation User Feedback   R R I I I I I A R I I
Make Recommendation to PBAC   I I C I I I A C C I I
Notify Campus of LMS Selection   I I C C C I C A R I I

Launch Canvas Opt-In and Opt-Out Forms

  I I C C C R I A R I I
Provide Instructor Support for Blackboard to Canvas Content Migration   I I I I R R I A R I I
Facilitate Synchronous Canvas Training   I I I I R R I A R I I
R - Responsible Assigned to complete the task or deliverable
A - Accountable Has final decision-making authority and accountability for completion. Only 1 per task
C - Consulted     An advisor, stakeholder or subject matter expert who is consulted before a decision or action is taken.
I - Informed       Must be informed after a decision or action is taken


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