Canvas Enhancements & Inclusive Teaching Enhancements 2

As part of the University’s Digital Transformation programme, this 'phase two' project builds on the notable successes of the earlier phase one Inclusive Teaching Enhancements Project, that helped deliver a consistent and accessible learning environment for Oxford's students, and also delivers further improvements for all those involved with teaching.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE). Canvas is being used by some of the world’s leading universities to deliver high quality and inclusive, digital teaching and learning experiences. You can find out more on the Canvas page of the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

What is inclusive teaching?

Inclusive teaching involves recognising and minimising barriers that hinder students’ learning and participation, while acknowledging that students learn in different ways. You can find out more on the Flexible and Inclusive Teaching page of the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

What will the phase two project deliver?

There are three sets of deliverables, grouped as follows:

  • A Canvas Foundations element that focuses on improving the architecture, tools and processes used by the team that has responsibility for maintaining the wider VLE ecosystem. ​
  • A Canvas Enhancements element that will make targeted improvements within the Canvas VLE for stakeholders, commencing with a review of existing data, a consultation with students and staff, and numerous technical ‘back-end’ improvements in Canvas, to improve the overall user experience.​
  • An Inclusive Teaching Enhancements element, providing Digital Education Assistants (Learning Technologists) to support academic divisions, and the implementation of specific enhancements such as a survey tool; pronouns and name pronunciations in Canvas profiles, and course page design enhancements. 

Take a look at our project roadmap below to see what we've already delivered and what's in the pipeline. We expect to be able to deliver all of the tasks with a 'Must' prioritisation.

 

Project Roadmap 

Project benefits  

The following project benefits are expected over the lifetime of the project and beyond:

Staff:

  • Colleagues responsible for managing the Canvas ecosystem spend less time dealing with issues and limitations, and are able to spend more time creating a better user experience
  • Academic divisions enjoy dedicated 'Digital Education Assistants' bringing focussed learning technologist support. Available as a secondment opportunity to keep the knowledge and skills local beyond the project lifetime
  • Canvas enhancements provide a better teaching experience 
  • Academics and administrators have increased knowledge, skills and tools to deliver inclusive teaching practice 

Students:

  • Canvas enhancements provide a better learning experience 
  • Students have a more joined up, consistent inclusive learning experience across all programmes of study
  • Students with disabilities and specific needs can participate more equally in teaching and learning

Project governance

The project board membership reflects the range of interests and stakeholders responsible for supporting the change. Find out more about them below.

  • David White, Divisional Registrar, Social Sciences Division (Project Sponsor)
  • Cat McKay, Project Manager
  • Professor Rhona Sharpe, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Nick Perry, Education Portfolio Manager
  • Matthew Castle, Head of Application Platforms
  • Professor Helen Swift, Professor of Medieval French Studies, Fellow of St Hilda’s College, and Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Humanities Division
  • Marion Manton, Head of Digital Education, Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Jade Calde, Vice President for Access & Academic Affairs, Oxford SU
  • Omorinre (Grace) Olusola, Vice President of Welfare and Equal Opportunities, Oxford SU

Timelines

The project started in June 2022 and is scheduled to run until June 2024.

Contact

If you have any questions about the project, please contact the team by emailing ite@it.ox.ac.uk