Captain Canvas – USF’s eLearning Superhero

In the fall of 2012, the University of South Florida set out to transition their online Learning Management System from Blackboard to Canvas. Faculty, staff and students quickly realized the need for a go-to resource to answer questions, troubleshoot, and educate and excite users. In August 2013, Captain Canvas was created to do just that.

Today, as faculty and students wish to advance beyond basic Canvas use, Captain Canvas is here to consult and assist Canvas users on-demand. As one of only a handful of Canvas Authorized Level II Trainers, Captain Canvas is an eLearning superhero whose priority is to enhance teaching and learning, especially in the online space.

"In the online space, teachers are even more critical," says Shelly Stewart, Captain Canvas's alter ego. "The instructional strategies they use to reach students in this arena are essential to overcoming student feelings of isolation, establishing interaction and improving student learning outcomes. Think about it like this, if faculty and students know how to leverage the enterprise-wide learning management system efficiently and effectively, along with implementing strategies that are known to be effective, they are optimizing their teaching and learning potentials – I have the distinct privilege of teaching them how to do this."

In early June, Captain Canvas made a 2,400 mile trek cross country to Park City, Utah, to present at the annual Instructure conference; the parent company of the Canvas platform. In tow was the Captain Canvas Mobile, a '79 VW Rabbit converted to a bio-diesel engine and custom-hand-painted by Captain Canvas! At InstructureCon, Captain Canvas shared the story of the design, development and teaching of the first mobile course at USF; LIS 4365 – Web Design Management. Follow Captain Canvas's journey and upcoming adventures on Facebook or Twitter.