Canvas Transitions to the Next Generation Student Systems (NGSS)

Desktop computer with a bullhorn icon on the screen.

Banner will replace SRS (Student Record System) as the main source of academic records and courses in Pennant Records. SRS has been used at Penn for over 30 years and the time has come to retire the system. The adoption of Banner improves the management of academic complexity and regulatory requirements, enhances efficiencies, and offers a more modern user interface.

You may have heard various names for the new systems being implemented. Here is a brief overview:

  • NGSS or Next Generation Student Systems is the name of the project, whose purpose is to do all the planning, development, testing, communication, training, and deployment of the move from the old student systems to the new.
  • Pennant Records is the student module that encompasses courses and course sections, program matriculation, registration, advising, academic history and many other aspects of student records.
  • Banner is the name of the database of the main source for the Pennant data collections. We use several third-party sources as well, so you may sometimes hear references to other database names. 

What is Changing in Canvas?

The performance and functionality of Canvas will not be impacted. The move to Banner/Pennant changes the flow of student data between Canvas and student information systems (i.e., Banner, Pennant Records). 

While most of the NGSS changes are happening behind the scenes, there are a few changes you may notice in the Canvas interface and when requesting new course sites.

  • Prefix Changes: The prefix for course codes will now appear as BAN_ rather than SRS_.
  • Course ID Changes: All course IDs are changing from a 3-digit code to a 4-digit code. You can contact your Registrar for updated course IDs or use Courses@Penn (starting May 2, 2022). Examples:
    • BAN_AAMW-6320-401 202220
    • BAN_HIST-0100-001 202230
  • Term Changes: In SRS, course terms were listed by year and letter (A, B, C). In Banner, course terms are listed by year & number (10, 20, 30). Examples:
    • 10 (Spring), e.g., 202310 = Spring 2023
    • 20 (Summer), e.g., 202220 = Summer 2022
    • 30 (Fall), e.g., 202230 = Fall 2022

When Will These Changes Occur?

Most of the back-end changes for Banner/Pennant took place earlier this semester over Spring Break. Spring 2022 will be the last semester using SRS. 

Summer 2022 will be the first semester using Banner/Pennant. The Course Request Form has been populated with the new naming conventions for Summer 2022 courses; Fall 2022 courses are not available at this time.

How Do I Request a New Canvas Site?

All Canvas sites are created upon request. The request process differs depending on your home school and course role. Be sure to review the Request a New Canvas Site page and select the appropriate option for your school.

For Annenberg, Arts & Sciences, Biomedical Graduate Studies, Dental, Design, Engineering, Nursing, Social Policy & Practice, and School of Veterinary Medicine courses, we encourage faculty, staff, and TAs to use the Course Request Form to request courses. The Course Request Form is the quickest and most accurate way to request a new Canvas site. In your request, you can copy content from previous courses, include additional course sections, modify the course title, and add other instructors or TAs. For detailed instructions please see our guides for requesting a course site and requesting a course site for an instructor.

For schools that use the Course Request Form, you can also submit your request to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu. Please note that all course numbers have changed. We recommend checking with your Registrar for the correct course code before submitting your request via email. 

When requesting a site via email, please include the following information in your request:

  • Full Name and Course ID for the site being requested, including course prefix, code (renumbered for Banner), section number, year, and term, e.g., NURS 3800-900 202220 Nursing In The Community.
  • Course ID or URL of an existing Canvas site to copy content from.
  • Full names and PennKeys of other users to add to the site and their role (Teacher, TA, etc.).
  • The names of any tools that should be enabled, e.g., Course Materials @ Penn Libraries, Zoom, Class Recordings (Panopto).

For questions about the Canvas transition to NGSS, please contact canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

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