Canvas LMS

Borders College

Improving digital learning experiences for all students



5,000 Students


The Challenge

Having not seen much change in their digital offerings for several years, Borders College set an ambitious target to move 30% of their curriculum online by 2023.

The goal was to reinvigorate staff interest in online learning, empower instructors to create more engaging, interactive learning materials, and develop a digital experience for students that would meet the needs of the diverse student body.

While a small college - technically the smallest in Scotland - Borders is a very diverse institution covering a wide area, and a broad range of subject matters.

The college’s 5000 students come from the Scottish borders, the wider Scotland area, and northern England, with a healthy mix of 16-24 school leavers, and 24-40 adult learners.

Courses range from rural skills to vocational hands-on training and apprenticeships, all of which must be supported with high quality learning materials.

Finding the existing virtual learning environment to be fairly dated and clunky, Borders College was searching for a more modern platform to meet their needs.

Key Findings

Canvas is helping Borders College to make learning more accessible to students in England and Scotland, particularly in more rural environments.

The quality of teaching and online learning materials at Borders has significantly increased since Canvas was rolled out across the institution.

Borders College have noted enhanced reliability and connectivity with Canvas, when compared to their previous virtual learning environment.

Implementing Canvas has helped Borders College instructors deliver a more personalised learning experience for every student enrolled on a course.

The small e-learning team feel motivated and empowered in their roles, becoming excited about Canvas, and everything that it has to offer.

The Decision

Borders’ Head of MIS, Head of IT, Head of College Marketing, and Head of e-Learning set out to produce a list of 30 non-negotiable requirements that any new VLE must be able to meet.

With Canvas achieving the highest possible score of all systems evaluated, the team spoke with previous Canvas adopters across colleges and universities in England, feeling confident that Canvas was the right choice.

The Results

Implementing Canvas helped to improve Borders’ digital offerings in the best way possible.

With such a diverse range of students and a heavy focus on practical, hands-on courses, Canvas enabled instructors to set practical tasks and share real world demonstrations with students in the digital space.

This proved to be particularly beneficial for rural skills courses, with the college creating and sharing dog grooming and tractor driving videos to help develop theoretical knowledge amongst students.

In some of the more traditional university courses such as science and mathematics, Canvas was used to create individual learning pathways for students, empowering instructors to tailor their approach to help individuals reach their goals quicker.

And across the board, Canvas was found to facilitate more engaging question and answer sessions, spark greater discussion, create more collaborative learning environments, and enable instructors to better assess individual contribution to gain a deeper understanding into the level of support required by learners.

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