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Email sent to Mason faculty

Dear Colleagues,

As was announced before Winter Break, George Mason University is moving its Learning Management System (LMS) from Blackboard Learn to Canvas by Fall 2025. We know many of you would like to get started as soon as possible and work is underway to set up Canvas and ensure you can get started on the right foot. 

Because the transition represents a major change for faculty and students, the campus is taking a phased approach to the rollout to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. 

What will the phases look like? 

  • Spring 2024 (Foundations): A cross-functional team is working in earnest to learn, deploy, and configure the new system (which includes over 70 different integrations with tools like Kaltura, Zoom, Poll Everywhere, etc.) and to assemble resources for faculty and students. 
  • Summer 2024 (Pilot): Through a call for participation sent at the end of last semester, 126 faculty indicated their interest in the pilot. The list of participants selected has been finalized. This group will pilot course(s) in Canvas, providing feedback on the new system, the course migration process, and our support resources.  
  • Summer 2024 (Preparations and Course Migrations): Faculty and students will be invited to access live and asynchronous resources and trainings to familiarize themselves with the opportunities that Canvas provides; faculty may choose to have recent or selected courses from their collection migrated from Blackboard into Canvas where they can make final adjustments. Additional information about the course migration strategy will be shared in the coming weeks. 
  • Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 (Initial Implementations): Faculty will be encouraged to complete the switch from Blackboard to Canvas for their courses. Support resources will continue to be available for faculty and students. 

What can faculty do to prepare? 

  • February 2024: Identify your unit’s Advisory Committee member; they will be soliciting feedback from their colleagues and communicating essential information. 
  • March-April 2024: Watch for Mason migration resources 
  • Stearns Center Course Preparation Guide 
  • Course Migration Option Descriptions and Instructions 
  • Blackboard-to-Canvas Feature Comparison Guide 
  • May-August 2024: Begin accessing resources 
  • Request course migration support or new Canvas site(s) 
  • Attend synchronous workshops 
  • Consult with Mason Canvas mentors 
  • Explore recommended videos and guides from Canvas Commons
  • September 2024-December 2025: Full support and migrations continue 

As we develop resources to assist faculty and students with the transition, you can find updated information and resources, including a migration timeline, frequently asked questions, and ongoing project status at http://lms.gmu.edu

Charles Kreitzer
Executive Director, Online Operations
Office of the Provost
  
Joy Taylor
Executive Director, Learning Support Services
Information Technology Services

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