New year 2016 replace 2015 on sand beachWith Finals fading and another fun year passing behind us, why not start looking ahead to what will be happening in 2016. It will be a fun year with plenty of challenges, changes, and good times ahead of us. Here are “the big two.”

1. Register for a Faculty Development course this Spring term!

  • OL 2000 and OL 2700 will begin their monthly offerings in February. These will continue for every first Monday through November of 2016.
  • OL 4000: Online Course Design will begin its first session on January 25, 2016. Other sessions will start in both May and September.
  • OL 2900: Assessment of Online Learners will begin on February 15. Other sessions will start in both June and October.

Check the Course Catalog for more information.

2. Canvas is Coming

2016 will be a big year for Penn State as well as Faculty Development as we begin the shift to Canvas. We will be doing a little remodeling of our curriculum and migrating our faculty development courses and materials to the new Canvas platform at some point during the year, but we do not have a formal plan in place yet. The first change you may see has to do with the Certificate for Online Teaching. One of the components of the Certificate has been a demonstration of facility using the Angel Course Management System in OL 1900: Just Prove It. Since Angel is going away for most of the university during 2016, and will be expired during 2017, we will be discontinuing that portion of the Certificate and replacing it with a Canvas option. If you have earned the Certificate already, this does not mean that it is invalid. If you are in the process of completing the Certificate proceed as planned for now until you hear more about our plans this Spring. As our transition plans become more clear, we will let you know.

In January a site dedicated to leading you to the best options for training and support based on your needs will be launched. When that is available, we will provide you more information and a link.

In the meantime, here are a few links to resources to keep you up to date with the University’s transition plan and where to get training. Please contact your academic program or department chair for details that are specific to your area. Schedules will vary. If you work with an instructional designer, please contact him or her as well. It’s usually a good bet that they are aware of when and how your program will be transitioning and where and when to get proper training and support.

  • For the “big picture” regarding the move to Canvas, go to Canvas at Penn State.
  • Go to Canvas at a Glance for videos that give a general overview and explanation of Canvas features and functions.
  • If you are interested in how Angel and Canvas compare, an Angel to Canvas Comparison Sheet was created that might help.
  • If you are currently piloting a Canvas course and need help, please go to IT Services Help and Support and choose the help option that best describes your role.
  • There are Training Sessions that will be happening throughout the year. For information on training that is happening, please view the Training and Resources page. In addition, you can always search for training opportunities through the new Penn State Learning Resource Network. All training sessions can be found here for Canvas and other topics. You will still register for Faculty Development ¬†courses and webinars through our own registration site until further notice.


Please contact us! We will help you get the information and support you need.

World Campus Faculty Development
The Pennsylvania State University
223 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802

Office: 814-865-0406
Fax: 814-863-7042


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