Habib University becomes the first institute of higher learning in Pakistan to introduce Canvas, an advanced learning management system (LMS), beginning a new and exciting phase of pedagogical innovation at the University.
“Covid-19 has forced us to rethink the existing educational frameworks,” said Dr. Anzar Khaliq, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Research at Habib University. “It is critical that we develop an educational experience that is intentionally designed for both physical and digital spaces. This will create a more inclusive experience allowing us to include all members of the community in the learning experience.”
It is important to note that Canvas is used by all 8 Ivy League universities in the US, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth as well as many other well-known institutions, such as Stanford, University of California Berkeley, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Georgetown, MIT, Rice and the University of Michigan.
“Acquisition of Canvas will allow us to transition to a HyFlex model which appears to be the most promising solution for the evolving needs of the higher education community. This model is heavily integrated with technology and will push academics to move to more inclusive, creative and impactful teaching strategies,” he added.
The choice to use Canvas came after a rigorous evaluation process and recommendation by Habib University faculty, staff and students. Based on a robust technology framework, Canvas integrates extremely well with numerous third-party software including Zoom, Teams, One Drive, Google, Dropbox and Panopto, amongst others and is currently the best and the most advanced LMS in the market. Transition to Canvas along with supporting third party software promises a new era of pedagogical innovation at Habib University.
Canvas comes with various features that will enhance various aspects of pedagogical design and delivery, especially those suited for online learning.
Excellent UI/UX: Canvas has an extremely user-friendly interface making it accessible to users with varied understanding of technology. It is designed to work on all platforms (Desktop and mobile). It has a fantastic course design mechanism allowing the creation of creative and interactive course material. Complete course management including course related meetings, communications, assessments, resources, etc., can be managed easily by all Canvas users.
Integration with other tools: Canvas integrates seamlessly with third party software, especially those critical for online learning including Google Drive, One Drive, Zoom, MS Teams, Dropbox, Panopto, etc.
Integration with PMS: Canvas has an inbuilt integration tool with existing PeopleSoft management systems making the reporting of course results, transcripts and student records secure and easy.
Cloud-based: Canvas is completely cloud-based and provides uninterrupted service throughout the year.
Automatic portfolios: Canvas has an inbuilt ePortfolio management system that automatically builds a digital portfolio based on the best work done by the student over the course of their academic journey at the university. This portfolio is free for life, searchable by employers, and syncs to professional platforms (e.g. LinkedIn).
The implementation of a LMS as advanced as Canvas is a natural extension of the shift to online learning and teaching that the University adopted as part of its response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also reconfirms Habib University’s flexibility and commitment to ensuring that its students are provided a cutting-edge education irrespective of the challenges.