Campus, News

CSULB makes official switch from Beachboard to Canvas

Academic Technology Service officials announced in February that Long Beach State will decommission and switch from Beachboard over to Canvas by the fall of 2023.

“Canvas is easy to use. It is clean and it is more intuitive compared to Beachboard,” said Shariq Ahmed, the associate vice president of Academic Technology Services. “It is going to be a much more effective tool for students to use.”

The program, according to Canvas at the Beach, will be introduced at the end of the spring semester with pilot programs to guide students through the new platform.

Academic Technology Service time frame plan on switching towards Canvas.
Academic Technology Service time frame plan on switching towards Canvas.

Canvas is one of the most used learning management systems (LMUs) with over 6 million users and a customer satisfaction score of over 90%.

Six other CSUs are making the switch to Canvas, according to Ahmed, including Cal Poly Pomona and CSU Bakersfield, both of which officially switched last semester.

One difficulty in this process is the adjustment of a different interface for students and faculty, which Academic Technology Service understands and is preparing for.

“The greatest challenge we have is to introduce this system to faculty and students, and make sure that we have enough support opportunities,” Ahmed said.

Faculty support and training programs are already available on CSULB’s website.

Multiple students with experience using both BeachBoard and Canvas have expressed excitement over the coming change.

“I used it at my community college, Santa Monica College, for three years,” said Joshua Fantaye, a third-year Kinesiology major. “I feel like everything on Canvas works better than on Beachboard.”

Fantaye said when he tried to access old lectures on BeachBoard or take a timed quiz, the screen would sometimes freeze or completely block access.

Some students who have never been introduced to Canvas have shown some hesitancy towards switching to the new platform.

“I’m not opposed to Canvas, if it makes things easier then why not?” said Gael Espinoza, a first-year kinesiology major. “I think it’s just going take a lot of getting used to and getting everybody on board will be hard.”

Ahmed said there will be a “Getting Started” course available for students who are unfamiliar with Canvas.

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