Canvas Pilot Starts with Three Summer Session Classes

May 13, 2013

In late May, ETS kicked off its Summer Canvas pilot with three instructors from the Law School, and Art History and Sociology, who bring a diverse set of needs to the Canvas platform. The purpose of the pilot, which is part of the larger LMS replacement project, is to determine whether the Canvas LMS can meet our criteria for replacing bSpace and for meeting the teaching needs of the campus. This pilot includes a total of five departments and about 300 students.

Instructors' use of Canvas

ETS staff are excited to be working with this set of Summer instructors to build their courses and discover the right tools for their teaching needs. Let’s look at how they’re using Canvas:

  • In Art History R1B, titled Battle Imagery and the Body in the Ancient World, Samantha Henneberry is using multimedia uploads, files/resources and online assignment distribution and submission.

Screenshot of ART R1B course in canvas

  • Siri Colom is making her Urban Sociology class highly interactive: she includes threaded discussions, quizzes and the gradebook, and assignments that include a walking tour of Bay Area cities! 

Urban Sociology Canvas Class

  • And in Fundamentals of U.S. Law, William Fernholz leverages the Modules tool to organize his course. Modules allow instructors to set up their course not just chronologically but also thematically, so that you (and your students) can see what material, activities and assessments are taught within each theme. Fernholz has also used the video and synchronous conferences tool to welcome students and encourage interaction with and among them.

Fundamentals of US Law Modules

The remaining Summer pilot courses, listed here, start in June:

  • Art History R1B (3 more classes)
  • Education 140
  • School of Public Health Master's program

Special thanks to all the instructors here for participating in our pilot and working with us to better understand this system!

We look forward to learning more about the experience of all our pilot testers at the end of Summer session. In early August, we'll share what we learn as well as what we--together with our campus stakeholders--decide about the adoption of this system.

For more information about the LMS replacement project and about Canvas, read this article or contact us at