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BackCanvas contributors: the people behind our new systemMovers & shakers

Canvas contributors: the people behind our new system

By Rachel Harper

This time last year, Canvas was almost empty with just a handful of courses being worked on by a few committed pioneers. Today, the system is being used by all of our incoming degree students, the executive education rollout is on track and new courses and features are continuously becoming available. This transformation is the result of a truly massive effort from IT, Digital Learning and teams from across the School community collaborating in new ways. Here are just a few of the many people that have made Canvas happen…

Vasiliki Kostami, Assistant Professor of Management Science and Operations
Involvement: system pilots
“I have followed the implementation of Canvas from the beginning, two years ago, and was part of the pilot implementation. Like everything new, it takes some time to become familiar but the interface of canvas is professional and the platform itself is technologically advanced.”

“During the pilot period, we all provided plenty of feedback to the Infrastructure team and some of the issues faced have been resolved, some still need extra attention. There are still some points that need attention and features that personally I haven’t explored yet but I would say that in general, this has been a pleasant new experience and I have enjoyed working on the new platform.”

Rob West: Senior Software developer
Involvement: integrating Canvas and School DB
“I designed and wrote the integration project which copies data from SchoolDB and Room Booking (CMIS) to Canvas and keeps everything synchronised. This includes the basic course information, the students and teaching staff on each course, and the calendar events.”

Jack Craig: Senior Programme Manager, MBA
Involvement: design and building of MBA Programme area
“We have worked closely with the Education Technology team to build a Programme area, with refreshed content that was previously communicated via Portal. The new platform has a more professional appearance and is easier for students to navigate. From a programme office perspective it is also more user-friendly and updating Canvas is more straightforward than previous content management systems we have used. During this academic cycle we are looking forward to using Canvas to further consolidate the various online platforms students encounter whilst on the programme.”

Aarti Poonja: IT Business Analyst
Involvement: Canvas: Action Learning
“I helped manage the post-production defects resolution for Action Learning; ensured any pre-exiting requirements were clarified for the IT Developers and worked with Executive Education to capture new requirements, to further enhance the user experience. I also managed the communication between IT and the Executive Education Systems Team, following post-production deployments of new features.”

Kate Nicholroy: Learning and Development Manager
Involvement: development of staff learning content
“I have been working on how we can use the digital learning tools within Canvas to enrich our staff learning courses. Canvas provides a great opportunity to ‘flip the classroom’ so staff get the most out of face to face learning and are also supported in embedding their learning back in the workplace. Our pilots have been really well received so watch this space for more!”

Kaylie McElvey: Test Analyst
Involvement: procurement and testing
“Before Canvas was chosen, I was a Subject Area Administrator and was involved in the procurement process to represent the views of day-to-day users. After Canvas was chosen I changed roles and moved into the IT department as a Test Analyst. Since my first day in this new role I have been involved in testing Canvas and its various functions, which includes Action Learning. It’s great to be able to see a system from pre-procurement right through to implementation, and even be involved in its enhancement!”

Linda McBain, Senior Manager, Education Technology
Involvement: Degree Programmes Canvas rollout
“I have worked on the implementation of Canvas on degree programmes since the first pilots and it has been an immensely rewarding experience to receive feedback from students and faculty alike on the ease of use of the platform. It’s been fantastic to meet and work with so many individuals who have contributed to the success so far, from IT, faculty and their administrators, to programme staff. There’s still much to do though!”

Michele Asbury: L&D Manager and Coach
Involvement: developing ‘Building a great CV’ module’
“I project-led the Career Centre’s first Canvas module for our MBA students on ‘Building a great CV’. It provides a blended learning approach by offering an interactive module that allows students to follow a path that suits them. It gives them targets to achieve that then open more possibilities for them to elevate and improve their CV. I have taken the vast amount of resources that Career Centre offers and put it into one place for student accessibility and ease of use.”

Parveen Peerzada: E-Learning and Systems Support Leader
Involvement: Rollout on Executive Education Programmes and Action Learning
“As part of Canvas rollout for Executive Education, I work with Programme teams to create new programmes and migrate existing ones, encouraging the use of the features the new system has to offer.”
“I have also worked closely with the IT team supporting with the implementation and testing of Action Learning - an enhancement to Canvas. I am excited at what Canvas can do for the School as the initial feedback has been very promising.”

Daniela Picariello: Peer Leader Programme Manager
Involvement: developing the Peer Leaders training module
“The training module for the Career Centre Peer Leaders went live in 2015 as a pilot for how our digital team would like to design modules moving forward. This year I have added an additional element of video announcements for the module as well as for specific groups within the module. We can target our messages and have seen an increase in student interactions.”

Muhammad Ajmal: Digital Learning and Systems Lead, Executive Education
Involvement: All stages of Canvas implementation
“I have been involved in all stages of Canvas project (aka LeaP – Learning Project) since it was started. I worked closely with Central IT for Executive Education requirements gathering, procurement process, vendor selection, testing, pilot implementation, rollout and now Exec Ed related customisation including development of Classlist and Action Learning. We have gone through a long journey in acquiring new learning management system and now all our time and hard work paid off by having world class LMS in London Business School. As this is a cross School project, I got a many chances to work with fantastic colleagues of other departments.”

Fiona Sandford: Associate Dean, Degree Programmes
Involvement: development of digital skills models
“Together with Randall Petersen, I am in the process of developing a suite of digital skills modules on topics such as leveraging your leadership style (now being piloted), cultural intelligence, managing conflict and trust. Each one includes e-learning content from our faculty, articles, videos a quiz and then follow-up materials.”

“The thing that I have found surprising is the way that Canvas allows me to speak very directly to the students – much more so than other formats. This direct connection is extremely powerful – I love Canvas!”

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