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  Streamlined Communication
FIS adopts a new Learning Management System (LMS) – Canvas
After in-depth research and a decision-making process lasting nearly a year, FIS started the 2022/2023 school year with a brand new learning management system (LMS) – Canvas – for all students in Grades 6–12, plus Grade 5 at FISW. Canvas is widely recognized as one of the market leaders in the LMS space, and the implementation here supports one of FIS’s strategic goals to streamline the school’s digital systems and services.
Canvas is primarily intended for teachers to outline a clear learning path for students through instructional support, calendars, assignments and feedback in an online environment. But it also provides parents with information connected to students’ tasks and assessments for a better understanding of the work taking place in class.
A successful LMS should support a school’s efforts in creating a transparent approach to learning within a collaborative virtual environment. Canvas largely meets these needs. In fact, the benefits for all sections of FIS’s learning community are numerous.
First, teachers are able to deliver detailed, interactive and engaging content to students instantly. Canvas also allows for differentiation as educators can tailor assignments to individual students, allow for multiple attempts on a quiz, or share unique resources with different student groups. FIS’s new LMS supports multimedia, too, and teachers can use their favorite digital tools to bring learning alive through audio visual recordings.
The benefits for students are also plentiful. Learners can access the system’s features via a single sign-on from anywhere and the LMS has an array of tools to help students enhance their organizational skills. Learning paths are visually simple within Canvas and content is arranged in user-friendly modules where students can view assignments, quizzes and assessments as they become available. Students can plan their work thanks to a calendar and to-do list features, and since Canvas is synced with the school’s Google account, students are able to work together on Google docs or slideshows to provide peers
with immediate feedback. Communication with teachers and peers is also instantaneous via email, and notifications can be set-up to remind students of upcoming assignments. All of these options make the teaching and learning process highly efficient.
Lastly, Canvas facilitates family involvement, and parents and caregivers have access to a detailed view of what students are learning – both from a web browser and via a mobile App. While they are not in the online “classroom” to see all activities and materials, parents have the ability to generate a pairing code to gain“observer”status and view student courses, expectations, due dates and grades. Parents can also receive notifications regarding their child's Canvas classes, including missing assignments or when a grade is below a predefined threshold. Such notifications can be helpful in initiating conversations about students’ work or more importantly, providing support when needed.
With any online system as robust as this, there can be challenges: bandwidth issues, device accessibility, system bugs and a general learning curve for users. But at FIS, the benefits of using Canvas have so far outweighed any issues associated with adopting the system. Thankfully, the school is committed to supporting all Canvas users in maximizing its features for an improved instructional experience. ICT Coordinators on both campuses have held Parent Tech Academy sessions to provide parents with an overview of the platform and the school has also set up an email address ( that users can write to with questions or for help.
FIS’s careful planning process, teacher training and a highly responsive ICT team, have ensured a successful launch of Canvas. Through feedback collected during tech workshops and from other sections of the learning community, FIS is committed to monitoring the roll-out of the new tool and adjusting to the needs of all those involved.
Adriana Ardolino FIS Parent
The new virtual classroom space offers a wide range of opportunities for teaching and learning
November 2022 FIS World 7

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