A Canvas Case Study: Higher Education
De La Salle University: Reimagining Teaching and Learning
“Serving as the platform for blended learning, Canvas has allowed wider access and flexibility of student learning. It has made learning more pedagogically rich, personal and time effective.” —Dr. Jasper Vincent Q. Alontaga. Associate Director, Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology
De La Salle University (DLSU) is a leading coeducational institution in the Philippines, which has received the highest-level accreditation in the country and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.
The University is renowned for its academic excellence, prolific and relevant research, and involved community service. It has several campuses throughout the Metro Manila and Laguna, Philippines. The University is committed to seeking technological innovations that facilitate, manage, and deliver outstanding e-learning programmes. DLSU had its previous learning management system (LMS), Sakai, for six years. However, the usage rate was very low because students and professors used different technology tools. The University was concerned about the difficulty to properly monitor all of these various systems. Administrators wanted a new, standardised university-wide digital platform to unify all teaching and learning in one central place.
“Serving as the platform for blended learning, Canvas has allowed wider access and flexibility of student learning. It has made learning more pedagogically rich, personal and time effective.”
- Dr. Jasper Vincent Q. Alontaga
Associate Director, Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology, De La Salle University
De La Salle University placed an emphasis on system continuity for its LMS selection. “We wanted to foster a collaborative community of practice and adapt the same set of standards across different colleges. That will make reporting easier and training easier to design, implement and assess,” stated by the university’s LMS adoption standardisation document.
In the final evaluation, DLSU considered several options, including Canvas Learning Management Platform. The team formulated an LMS Evaluation Rubric based on the following variables:
- Content, Cloud or Software Service Technology
- Classroom and Training Courses Features
- Reporting Capabilities
- Tracking and Monitoring Features User Management Features, including user security, storage and privacy
- Multiple Language Support
- Administrator Features
- Data Integration Features
- Design, Platform Support and Layout
- Scalability and Cost
Canvas excelled all other competing offers against the evaluation rubric. Another consideration in deciding to go with Canvas was that its senior high school students in the Philippines and colleges within DLSU were already using Canvas. Providing this consistency for students was a key differentiator. Canvas also provided an always-available helpline for inquiries, a dedicated Customer Success Manager, plus consistent training for all Canvas users during migration and for future scalability.
In January 2019, DLSU announced that it had chosen Canvas as its standardised LMS and the engine that would drive the University’s exciting new learning initiatives.
Committed to reimagining and building on its strengths of classroom instruction and curriculum development, De La Salle University implemented a new digital platform: AnimoSpace, powered by Canvas. The AnimoSpace curriculum is designed to facilitate better learner-teacher engagement and integrate interactive components. Among the benefits, De La Salle faculty members are finding new ways to help their teaching inside and outside the classroom, including:
- The Canvas Studio video platform
- Online collaboration tools like Canvas Conferences, Discussions, and Peer Reviews
- The creation of massive open online courses (MOOCs)
“The Customer Success Team was very helpful in the entire process, especially in the implementation. The weekly follow-up online meetings were crucial in order to touch base with the DLSU AnimoSpace implementation team, both on the technical side as well as the pedagogical side of AnimoSpace,” said Dr. Jasper Vincent Alontaga, Associate Director of Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology.
"Canvas will help the university in a lot of ways. One is we can now create a report of histories with all of our subjects, or all of courses here in the university,” said Gregory Cu, Assistant Professor, Software Technology. “It is easy to collect all of our materials in the university. We don't need to always go after teachers if they have not submitted the material that is needed, how is the performance of the students, it will be easy to actually get all of those data.”
In addition, DLSU created RevEd, what it calls a “path-breaking post-K12 curriculum”. Each degree program will be outcome-based, research-oriented, and able to produce future-proof graduates. Students find all of their resources in one place, receive assignments and schedule notifications, and access a digital portfolio for their careers after graduation.
The University will continue to innovate and seek to raise the level of its teaching and learning, specifically the face-to-face classroom experience. Adding Canvas was another step towards a goal that will benefit the future of education in the region. Keith Badulis, a student in Computer Science, said, "Especially now that this has been implemented in the whole university, all of these subjects, all of these courses are unified together into one learning management system which is Canvas, so that we can have access to everything easier because of this single learning management system"
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