NWU embraces New Normal with Canvas LMS

After its first initiative to deploy learning packet retrieving stations in Ilocos Norte cities and municipalities, Northwestern University is now more than ready for the New Normal as it adopted the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). Beginning Academic Year 2020-2021, Canvas will be the exclusive virtual space of Northwesternians, addressing the present academic dilemma brought by the global pandemic.

“Canvas provides Northwestern University students with access to our learning materials from the safety of their own homes. The app allows us to continue the delivery of quality education in the new normal,” said Atty. Ferdinand Nicolas, University President.

Developed by Instructure, Canvas is an easy-to-use cloud-based online teaching-and-learning platform that allows institutions to manage distance learning. It is used by universities and colleges all over the world. On August 20, 2020, Instructure announced that it has been the statewide solution of 13 US states to support teachers, learners and parents to the unpredictable 2020-2021 school year due to the health crisis.

Using the tool, NWU educators can send instruction and learning materials, facilitate discussions, quizzes and assignments, communicate with students, and do grading more conveniently. Students, on the other hand, can see all their course cards (enrolled subjects), receive and work on their modules online and offline, engage with their teachers, and track their deadlines and self-progress.

Whether synchronous (requires the instructor and students to be online at the same time) or asynchronous (students work at their own pace given a time-frame), Canvas provides customizable features flexible for both modalities.

“Online is where our learners should be,” stressed Mr. Chris Viloria, Head of the NWU Center for Information, Communication and Technology (CICT) as he underscored that health and safety are the top priorities of Northwestern University in this New Normal era. “With today’s technology, we are not far behind this trend. With the aid of Canvas LMS, NWU guarantees that quality education can carry on while safeguarding the effectiveness of online learning,” he added.

On August 5, a Canvas Training was conducted by the NWU CICT staff for faculty members to equip them with the knowledge of the features of the new learning platform and how they can use it to facilitate equitable, active and effective learning. Similarly, a Loom-recorded tutorial was uploaded at the Northwestern University Official Facebook page introducing to NWU students their new virtual classroom.

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