By C.J. Peterson
The Blackboard era looks as though it is coming to an end.
And we’re not talking about the chalk-dust-ridden, screechy, writing surfaces that have been a staple of the American education system since the 1800s.
Instead, Blackboard Learn, the online resource used by LPC students to turn in assignments, communicate with teachers and check their grades is in the process of being replaced.
Canvas is another online system that is expected to perform the same duties as Blackboard, as well as some other services, including the ability to take online courses offered by other colleges.
The movement to migrate to Canvas was originally proposed at the state level. A district task force considered the move, which received a mixed vote. The 14 members of the task force were asked whether the district should move toward the shift to Canvas.
The vote resulted in seven “yes” votes, five “no, not at this time” votes, two “abstain” votes, and two “delay” votes.
One common concern shared by those who opposed the move was that they were unsure if their current Blackboard modules would successfully migrate to the Canvas digital platform.
That concern prompted LPC geology instructor Ruth Hanna to vote no on the move.
“I was devastated to see what happens to my class when I move it over to Canvas,” Hanna said during a Las Positas College Academic Senate meeting on May 11. “All I want people to do is slow down and give me time to figure this out.”
LPC business instructor Mark Grooms backed up Hanna’s claim, noting that her class is visually based and that the migration might present problems.
The move would take 18 months and begin with Blackboard running parallel to Canvas. For an additional fee, Canvas will provide personnel to help students and teachers with the switch. Colleges across the state have been encouraged to make the move to Canvas, although how Las Positas and Chabot will implement the shift has not been decided.