Operation Bobcat Access

Following the conclusion of our first class meeting in over a week due to the complications invoked by the novel February Texas snowstorm my team and I were able to regroup and collectively decide on a temporary name for our project: Operation Bobcat Access. We are nearly finished with the first round of survey submissions for our project and plan on implementing the findings accordingly. Our hope is that we will be able to create a follow up survey in order to further investigate how to improve the line of communication for resources and organization to the Bobcat community and begin to formulate our possible solutions.

As part of my secondary research this weekend I took the time to explore the online platform CANVAS as one of our possible outlets for providing information. For the past few semesters Texas State University has been using CANVAS as their learning platform for both students and faculty. Although I personally enjoy using CANVAS over BLACKBOARD (which was used by my previous institution) it is not without its kinks. Often when a minor issue is presented on the platform it is not always easily resolved. Due to the necessity to have almost all classes moved online following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many instructors and students who had not previously relied on the new digital platform were forced to hit the ground running to learn how to navigate the program. Almost a year later there is not a week the goes by where some technical difficulty in CANVAS does not create a problematic hiccup in at least one of my five online courses at Texas State.

Following some additional research on the digital platform I discovered that these issues are often common grievances of CANVAS users, especially from instructors. Although many are grateful to be able to still teach several feel that they did not receive the proper amount of training for the platform prior to it being implemented and agreed that it would have been more beneficial to have had additional time, training, and funding towards learning the program. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it seems that only small seminars between semesters and sprinkled throughout the school year are when faculty can take additional time to further their understanding of the platform on top of trying to complete all of the other work and research needed for their job. That being said, if our team dose decide to design an additional information outlet on CANVAS it is imperative that it is both user friendly and easy for faculty to implement in order for students to have the full benefit of the extension.

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