News briefs

By Alex Balletto & Shannon Hart – Copy Editor & 1851 Staff

Lasell to switch from Moodle to Canvas

Canvas will replace Moodle as the college’s learning management system this summer.  The online application is currently open for graduate students.   

With new times and new LMSs in the market, Cathy Zeek, Dean of Curricular and Faculty Innovation, knew it was time to review which systems can support Lasell’s current and future needs.

After a comprehensive review of four LMSs, Canvas was recommended to Senior Management. Before its introduction to Lasell, focus groups identified LMS features needed to support teaching and learning.  Demonstrations were presented by vendors where students, faculty, and staff could give feedback. After Canvas was a definite, faculty participated in sessions to move their course content to the new system and acquaint themselves.

“Canvas was selected based on its integration of critical features, ease of use, faculty and student support, and industry ratings,” said Gillian Stanley, Director of Graduate Student Services.

Zeek added to this, saying Canvas was chosen based on its “integration of critical features, ease of use, customer support, references from current users, and industry ratings.”  Zeek says her favorite feature of Canvas is the logical organization.

In review, faculty particularly appreciated Canvas’s increase in speed, page design flexibility, and greatly reduced scrolling.  With links organized on the left, The 1851 staff found a significant decrease in page scrolling.  There is also a centralized location to the right of the page, with an assignment calendar and list of assignments due.

The graduate program is using Canvas this semester to prepare for the entire institutional move come summer.  So far, feedback is positive, according to Zeek.

Jones named head coach of women’s volleyball

Dana Jones was recently appointed head coach of the women’s volleyball team. Jones previously assisted coaching the team from 2011 to 2014 and has been assistant coach to the men’s volleyball team since the 2014 season.

“It’s a great opportunity, I’ve been with the school with for a while… I’m still trying to soak everything in,” said Jones.

Jones is not stressed about the recent promotion. “I think having previously been an assistant coach, I’ll come in knowing some of the players and will make the transition a little easier. I hope that it jump-starts the process,” he said.

Jones credits a significant accomplishment in his coaching career to the 2015 men’s volleyball season. “We won the GNAC conference in 2015 and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament. It is a great experience to see what it takes to get to that point,” he said.

Jones says he would like to see his team finish fourth in the conference or higher for the upcoming fall season.

“This is a great school and I’m glad I have the opportunity to be the head coach for the program. I hope we set some team goals and set some records for the school,” said Jones.

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