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Canvas Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs answer questions about topics such as migration and the timeline for Texas State University implementing Canvas as its new learning management system.

When is Canvas available?

Texas State signed a contract with Instructure Inc., makers of Canvas, on Sept. 1, 2019. Our goal is to make Canvas available by mid-November 2019 (anticipated Nov. 18). New faculty teaching in the Spring 2020 semester can access the tool early to get their classes ready. This is a very fast turnaround from the point of purchase, and our project implementation team is dedicated to achieving the mid-November goal.

When is TRACS (Sakai) going away?

  • Spring 2020 – Voluntary faculty migration of courses from TRACS to Canvas; New faculty teach with Canvas
  • Fall 2020 –  Last semester a course can be taught using TRACS.
  • January 2021 – All courses taught in Canvas. TRACS goes into a read-only state. Faculty can log in and continue to access content and data but not develop or publish new courses or sites.
  • January 2023 – TRACS will move into an archival state. Faculty cannot access content any longer; data will only be available per statutory data retention policies.

How do I get my course and project materials from TRACS into Canvas?

Texas State is working with Canvas to create a self-service data migration tool. We anticipate this will allow faculty to migrate content in TRACS to Canvas. We understand that some content will migrate seamlessly while other content will require updating once it is in Canvas. We are conducting an analysis with Canvas to determine which content will move easily and which will not. We expect to complete this evaluation by the end of September 2019. As soon as we know the migration experience for each TRACS module, we will inform faculty and staff and will update this webpage.

When will Canvas training be available to faculty?

Our team has engaged with with the Canvas training team and this fall, Canvas will offer full training on the tool, and the IT Assistance Center (ITAC) will offer training that is tailored to Texas State. We expect to begin offering training options to faculty in mid-November 2019 when Canvas is released. We will notify faculty when training opportunities are available.

Once Canvas is released, how do I get support?

Canvas will offer direct support to Texas State faculty, staff, and students via phone, text, and email for two years. ITAC will also offer support throughout the first year and will eventually offer full Canvas support. We expect Canvas and ITAC support teams to begin offering support services in mid-November 2019 when Canvas is released.

What is the plan for TRACS project sites?

We understand that TRACS project sites are extensively used throughout the university community. Canvas will offer a project site option. Texas State also currently offers tools available to manage projects, collaborate with others, and store files (such as Planner, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Department Share Drives). Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to use the tool most comfortable to them to accomplish their goals.

Specific to Canvas project sites, the same self-service migration tool created to move course site content will be used to migrate project site data. As soon as we know the migration experience for each TRACS module, we will inform faculty and staff and will update this webpage.

Once Canvas is released, how will students know if their class materials are in TRACS or Canvas?

From the time Canvas is released to the eventual sunsetting of TRACS (Sakai) we realize there may be confusion for students who are not sure which tool faculty are using for their classes. We are developing a custom tool where students, faculty, and staff will be able to log in and see their courses, as well as whether the courses are in TRACS or Canvas. This will help to mitigate confusion for all Canvas and TRACS users. This tool is expected to be implemented in mid-November when Canvas goes live.

How was the decision made for choosing Canvas?

This decision is the culmination of more than two years of research by staff in the Division of Information Technology and the Office of Distance and Extended Learning in Academic Affairs. Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members tested the systems and provided feedback. The information from these efforts was combined into a report and presented to the Learning Management System Advisory Committee on May 15, 2019. The committee unanimously recommended Canvas as Texas State’s new learning management system. 

To learn more about how the decision was made, visit the pages linked below:

More questions? Email us LMStransition@txstate.edu.

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