LUMBERTON – The use of an online learning management system has helped sustain
instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic and change the way that students in the Public
Schools of Robeson County will continue to learn for years to come.
Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), which was implemented prior to Hurricane
Matthew’s arrival in October 2016, helped the school district continue its mission to provide
quality education to students across the district when COVID-19 arrived in Robeson County in
Students then transitioned to full remote learning online during the first and second nine weeks
of the 2020-21 school year.
Remote learning through the platform allowed students to continue personalized learning online as they returned to school and worked in a blended learning environment. This environment included simultaneous face-to-face and online learning with alternating school site rotations beginning March 2021.
Though most students returned to full, in-person learning in April 2021, the LMS continued to provide learning opportunities and collaboration for students.
The LMS will ensure that learning continues even in remote settings brought on by school
closures prompted by outside factors such as the coronavirus pandemic or inclement weather.
According to the data included in a Canvas End of Year Executive Summary, there were about
95% active courses in August 2021, when compared to 98% of course activity usage, measured in August 2020.
Data demonstrates that even when students returned to face-to-face instruction, a degree of consistency and teacher buy-in remained constant with the LMS being vital to daily instruction.
Additionally, there were more than 15,000 active student users in November 2020 (with a
student population of about 16,000 students enrolled in grades 3-12 at the time) and that
number remained steady when compared to the face-to-face data of 15,531 in November 2021.
Student usage, barring the summer months in 2021, showed more than 14,000 consistent
active student users from November 2020 to February 2022.
The transition from remote learning to face-to-face instruction was made as the district
presented the collaboration with Canvas as a tool to support student engagement and
“As we continue instructional transformation, Canvas will play a vital part in the improvement of
student learning through the advocacy of a blended learning environment,” said Stephanie
Burton, a District Digital Learning Specialist.
Dr. Robert Locklear, assistant superintendent of PSRC Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability, praised the digital teaching and learning team for their efforts in helping the transition from face-to-face learning to remote learning occur as seamlessly as possible.
“Our digital teaching and learning team went above and beyond the call of duty during the
pandemic,” Locklear said.
“They were able to train and model for teachers with novice equipment purchased by the
district. Teachers were appreciative of how quickly the DL Team provided help and support and
were on call at a moment's notice to troubleshoot any digital or technology issues that any teacher may have had,” he added.
PSRC Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson also commended the team for their work.
“The Public Schools of Robeson County commends the efforts and commitment of the district’s technology and digital learning specialists to ensure that our students continued to have access to their lessons in both remote and blended learning environments,” Dr. Williamson said.
“The team worked diligently during the transition to provide needed support for our stakeholders including parents, students, PSRC staff and personnel. Their work is critical to our mission to serve students and they are to be applauded for their efforts,” he added.
PSRC District Technology Specialist Cole Wilkins, left, continues to collaborate with District
Digital Learning Specialists Lisa Thoman and Stephanie Burton in an effort to integrate EdTech
tools into the Canvas LMS . The team worked continuously to provide support to students and
all stakeholders through the transition from a traditional classroom to a total remote learning