City of Glasgow College: Improved reliability and user experience with Canvas


City of Glasgow College is a prestigious further and higher education institution situated in Glasgow, Scotland. Committed to catering to learners of diverse backgrounds, from school-leavers to adult learners, the college provides an extensive array of vocational and academic courses.

Driven by ambition, both the faculty and students of City of Glasgow College faced limitations imposed by their former self-hosted virtual learning environment (VLE). Discover how the college embarked on a transition to Canvas for improved reliability and ease-of-use, and improved the teaching and learning experience for both faculty and students.

Video Transcript
This place is just jaw-droppingly wonderful in terms of an environment for learning, and that's for staff and students. And I think that that ambition around the building transforms into an ambition for learners and learning as well. At City of Glasgow College, lifelong learning is really important to us. We cover a wide variety of courses and different student types. Our courses range from school leaver and further education courses, some of those quite vocational on things like hairdressing or construction, through to higher education level courses, and it opens up opportunities for people that they may not even know exist when they come in the door here. What I like most about working in education, and working in city of Glasgow College particularly, is it's really all about helping people.

We're changing people's lives, we're opening up occupations for them. I've been here five years, and three to four years ago, we were really battling with, not a bad, but a difficult to maintain self-hosted Moodle. What we were looking for at the most primitive level, it was something that would be up reliable because we were suffering a reliability crisis with the platform that we had before. We worked alongside students, and we described what would be our perfect virtual learning environment and the kind of features we'd like to see in that learning environment, and we went out to the market and Canvas was the virtual learning environment that came out on top. I think I completely underestimated its flexibility and its functionality.

The thing to understand about Canvas is it really is a blank canvas, and you can build what you need and what you want and what will benefit the students in your courses. Once I went in and started to use it, I found it really intuitive and really straightforward. And it is actually making teaching and learning. I think a more enjoyable experience for both students and lecturers. Glasgow is a big commuter town, so there's lots of, you know, trains, buses, all kinds of means that students travel in and out and students like the app because actually they can check on their assignments or even do some work as as they're heading for home.

One of our students particularly, in class I noticed that she found the grading system and she went through her grades and she got emotional because she'd passed everything so far. It was so cute. I feel that Canvas, has been a real positive for me because it's helped me to structure how I work and it helps me feel that I can get things done on time. Just today, a student was working away feverishly in one of the classrooms, and I said, what are you doing? What are you doing? And he said, oh, I'm just I'm just I noticed on Canvas that I had a couple of things missing, and it was flagging that up to me. So I'm just just getting it done.

It really comes with all the whistles and bells that we were we were looking for. So reliability, nice interface, and easy to use. We're just at the beginning of the journey. We know there's some more sophisticated things that we can get them to use Canvas for, and we will get we will get them there. What we have is students actually doing the work. They're just getting on with it, and that's that's actually a revelation.