A Learning Management System (LMS) offers many tools and resources that support and reinforce learning in the face-to-face classroom. Before looking at what an LMS has to offer, you might want to think about the needs of your student population and the overall goals you have for your course.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about how to integrate LMS technology into your classes.

Will using a LMS help my students?

When using technology, you should bear in mind how much technical know-how your student population has. Ask yourself if the technology will engage or overwhelm your students and try to think about the ways in which CANVAS can enrich both the content you want your students to learn, as well as teach them additional life/technical skills.

A good way to do this is to survey your students in your current face-to-face classes about their interest in having parts of the course available online. Find out about your students’:

    • Technical Access to personal computing devices
    • Types of devices used most often
    • Internet access (e.g. on campus, public locations, or at home)
    • Amount of time spent online
    • Familiarity with CANVAS or other LMS platforms
    • Awareness of on-campus and internet resources for support and help

What parts of my class can be easily integrated into the LMS?

Web-enhanced classes the technology shouldn’t take over – it should be something that will augment and supplement your course goals.

Because you are using the LMS to support student learning in a web-enhanced course, you’ll want to weigh whether or not the technology will add to or detract from the time students spend learning the course content and also if it will fall within the approved course structure.

You might also want to revisit the Student Learning Outcomes from the Course of Record and your current course syllabus. As you look at those, think of either the content you could upload or the activities you could do online that would be helpful for your students.

Try to take into account the different aspects of your course — administrative, assessment, content delivery or community – and how well they will lend themselves to CANVAS:


Ask yourself what tools (e.g. — online grade book, calendar) you want to use, how often you would use them, and if you want to use them as your primary administrative/classroom management source.


There are many ways to integrate your assessments and assignments into CANVAS. Think about what you could integrate into CANVAS like short objective self-assessments of content knowledge, reflective tasks about the content, and peer reviews. You can also set it up so that your students can turn in their written assignments through the LMS using Turnitin.

Content Delivery

With CANVAS you can incorporate a range of multimedia content that might not always be easy to use in the traditional classroom. Consider if you want to use the LMS to deliver supplemental content/resources, or as an alternative means to deliver the main course content, known as the Flipped Classroom.


CANVAS is a great way to create different types of interactive activities such as continuing class discussions, collaborative learning project work and peer reviews/assessments. Using the LMS can make it easier for students to connect outside the classroom to you, the content, and to each other.

How much additional time will it take to add LMS elements to my course?

That depends on a few factors, like what features you want to use on CANVAS, the type of content you wish to post and your comfort level with using new technology. But CANVAS is such a straightforward LMS, you can really start using it right away!

When you consider what aspects of your class you would like to put into CANVAS, you might also want to think about your course workload and whether or not you are comfortable enough with the system to use it without taking too much time away from your current duties. It’s best to start simple (like putting a weekly reading discussion onto CANVAS) — you can always add onto and build more elements into your framework later.

What resources are available for me to learn more about CANVAS and web-enhanced classes?

In the Distance Education Department we have many online and in-person resources available like this PCC faculty website, the student website and the PCC Distance Education Faculty Handbook. If you need additional support, contact the Distance Education Department, we’re here to help you!

To learn about:


Check out our Tips for Teaching Online.


Check out the Accessibility chapter of the PCC Distance Education Faculty Handbook.


Check out the Instructional Technology page for tools that can help you create and deliver course content.