As you know, we have had two conferencing solutions available for classes: Canvas Conferencing (aka, Big Blue Button) and Zoom. Canvas Conferencing has been available for a few years but can effectively be used only for classes in Canvas. Use of Zoom has exploded since the start of the pandemic, for classes and all other types of meetings, both at and outside of MSU.
Today, Canvas Conferencing and Zoom, given its integration with Canvas and Panopto, have comparable functionality. We have continued to simultaneously offer both while the cost of doing so remained manageable. However, beginning in the spring, the vendor for Canvas Conferencing has adjusted the price model that will apply to MSU, resulting in a much higher cost. Consequently, we will be discontinuing the use of Canvas Conferencing as of the end of winter term, disabling access on January 16, 2021.
If you currently use Canvas Conferencing, we will be reaching out directly to offer guidance for this transition to Zoom. We highly encourage all faculty members to begin using Zoom for synchronous online teaching and meetings as soon as possible. Zoom has been integrated with Canvas via the main navigation menu in each course. If Zoom is new to you, please access our Zoom resources via the MSU Video Conferencing site or the ITDS Faculty How-to Orientation on Zoom. You can also register for an online class to learn about using Zoom.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to any member in Instructional Technology & Design Services (ITDS).