Canvas is a known and used tool across the Keene State College campus. Students use it practically daily, but not all professors do the same.
Sophomore and nursing major Jordan Medeiros said that Canvas is a helpful tool for Keene State. “I really appreciate professors who take the time to consistently update Canvas with my grades and the current and upcoming homework assignments. In high school, I did not have an online resource like Canvas, so it has been really beneficial to have an online resource like Canvas here at Keene State,” Medeiros said.
Medeiros said it is frustrating when professors don’t use Canvas.
“I believe that professors who do not use canvas are unwilling to put in the extra work that it takes to be a good professor,” Medeiros said. She also said that professors who do not use the tool say that they are “not tech-savvy.”
Medeiros said she has seen her grades being impacted by professors not using Canvas. While most of her professors do use Canvas, she said there are a select few who do not. “With the ones that do not use Canvas, I have found that my final grade was much worse compared to courses where professors did use it,” Medeiros said.
As a student, Medeiros said the best part about a course being published on Canvas is that she can see her current grade at all times.
Kayla Silva is a sophomore at KSC studying education and psychology. Silva said she agrees that Canvas is helpful.
“When professors don’t use Canvas, I become very stressed because I never know what my grade is,” Silva said. “When they do use Canvas for grades, I am able to know if I need to be doing better in the class.”
Silva said that her experience with Canvas at KSC has been a positive one.
“Most of my professors use Canvas, but I have had a few that do not, and it’s aggravating,” Silva said.
Associate Professor of English Dr. Meriem Pages said she chooses not to use Canvas that often. “My opinion of Canvas is that it is not always very user-friendly and that the benefits of using it do not outweigh its weaknesses,” Pages said. She added that she is old-fashioned and technologically incompetent.
Pages said she rarely uses Canvas. She said she only uses it if a student specifically asks her to or if she is making a class cancellation announcement. She continued to say that she finds communicating with students in class or through email much easier.
“I wish Canvas was ‘smarter’ and provided more tools for an instructor like myself, whose teaching style is primarily, if not exclusively, classroom-based,” Pages said.
One professor who does use Canvas is Journalism Chair Rose Kundanis. She said this is her third learning management system that she has worked with since she came to Keene State. “It’s always difficult to make the transition, and it has its shortcomings compared to Blackboard, but overall I would say that I find it really helpful,” Kundanis said. She continued, “I don’t know how my students feel about it, but I try to be in touch with my students through the email that Canvas provides and tracking their changes on their assignments. They seem to respond pretty well.”
“Professors’ use of Canvas is completely voluntary,” Kundanis said. She said that some professors do not want to be bothered by the learning curve. “I feel like it’s one of the perks that I have at the school, to be able to use this learning management system, and so whenever there are group training sessions, I go. To me those are really helpful to keep current with the students and in my field. The learning management system is the way we do business now,” Kundanis said.
Recently, Kundanis said that she has begun to work with the section of the application where professors can give assignments to groups. She said that her radio class finds this aspect of the software helpful.
“I use Canvas absolutely everyday. If I can’t get on, I immediately call the Help Desk. If I have a problem getting on at home, then I come into the office,” Kundanis said. She continued, “I use the speedgrader, which I use almost exclusively and is really helpful to me. Canvas and my email are the two most important things that I have to help me be the best teacher I can be.”
Kundanis said that her students most often say that she is quick to respond. “I think that quick to respond is facilitated to a certain extent by Canvas. I can get in there, do the speedgrader and email all of my students appropriately or individually,” Kundanis said.
Kundanis said her main concern is whether Canvas is serving the students well.“It serves me fine because I get to put all of the grades and assignments up, and that means that the students hopefully have a lot of good information. But not everybody uses it well, and not everyone relates to it in the same way.”
Emma Hamilton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org