Established in late 2012, Canvas Network has released more than 500 free self-paced and session-based courses from many institutions. In the 2015 progress report, Canvas Network mentioned that it “has enabled institutions, teachers, and students worldwide to connect and chart their own course for personal growth, professional development, and academic inquiry.”
More recently, Canvas announced it is now focussing on professional development (PD) for educators. With this aim in mind, they are discontinuing courses that are not directly relevant to PD for educators. You don’t, however, have to be a school or higher educator to take part. Canvas courses will continue to be available to any interested participants.
What is a PD course? Courses that cover techniques that can be used to teach a range of subjects are considered PD courses. Courses to improve educators’ technical, technological, or data analytic skills are also considered PD, as are student management and specialized teaching skills (such as teaching students with disabilities) courses.
Courses in a particular subject area such as economics, history, etc, are not considered PD and will be removed from Canvas later this year. These courses have already disappeared from the catalogue. All self-paced non-PD courses will end on October 31, 2019. Canvas has given its course instructors other options so they can continue to offer their courses online. Some are likely to appear on Canvas Free for Teachers. Some will become available on other platforms. Some may change from free to a pay-only course.
Learners and instructors will continue to have access to past courses indefinitely.