Beginning this summer and continuing through the 2022-2023 academic year, instructors will have the opportunity to authorize moving courses from GauchoSpace to a new LMS, UCSB Canvas. This will entail a transition from Moodle, the platform used by GauchoSpace, to a new platform, Canvas.
The decision to move from Moodle to Canvas was recommended by an advisory group of faculty, staff, TAs, and students. It was necessary for two reasons. First, the current version of Moodle will, in essence, no longer be available as of Fall 2023. A required upgrade and redesign will result in an entirely different platform than the one faculty currently use. Without the upgrade, GauchoSpace would no longer receive Moodle’s critical security updates, putting critical campus data at risk. The new Moodle, though, will be sufficiently distinct from the current version that it would be the equivalent of transferring to an entirely new LMS.
Second, the California Budget Act of 2021 (passed by the state legislature) provided funding for all UC campuses to adopt a common LMS (that would also be used by CSUs and community colleges) by the 2023-2024 academic year. All other campuses (except UCSF) have moved or are in the process of moving to Canvas.
The Canvas Transition Steering Committee (of administrators, faculty, and staff) is working to provide instructors and staff with extensive training opportunities through the year and ample resources to fully support our instructors with the change, including a website which includes preliminary FAQs. Letter and Science Information Technology (LSIT), which supports the LMS, is committed to keeping the website updated and communicating with our community throughout the transitional year. Instructors may also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have highlighted some initial FAQs about Canvas at the end of this letter. Letters and Science Information Technology (LSIT) staff are also working with a number of instructors who volunteered to use Canvas in Spring and Summer 2022 to develop training resources and needs and to identify potential challenges. Instructors who would like to pilot Canvas in Fall quarter 2022 are also welcome to do so. Instructors interested in using Canvas in Fall 2022 may complete this form.
Instructors can also expect regular updates on the campus’s conversion to Canvas via messages from the Instructional Support Team and the Canvas Transition Steering Committee.