You heard from some of our faculty that have leveled up in Canvas in our Faculty Success Stories and now we’ll show you step-by-step how it’s done.
This post will focus on setting up Groups and Discussion board settings.
Creating Groups in your Canvas course creates a small version course where students can communicate, share and collaborate on course work. Watch the video below for an explanation of what Groups in Canvas are and how they are managed by the instructor.
525 – Groups: Creation & Management from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.
Once you’ve set up your groups in Canvas, they can be also be used to create graded Group Assignments and Group Discussions in a course.
Setting up a Discussion Board
As part of her Faculty Success story, Dr. Varner talked about how she uses discussion boards as a way for students to provide peer feedback by creating a discussion board with threaded replies and the option for ‘liking’. The Canvas Community provides an overview of the different types of discussions that you can use in Canvas, including a Threaded Discussion.
As you create a new discussion, choose both the ‘Allow Threaded Replies’ and ‘Allow Liking‘ options.
If you decide to try either of these student engagement techniques please let us know! If you would like more information about how you can integrate more student engagement into your own Canvas course, please contact Instructional Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By this point, you’ve probably used Canvas. But do you know all the ways you can make Canvas work for you? The Office of Information Technology’s LMS Success Team has been reaching out to faculty and encouraging them to try one new thing in Canvas — to “level up”. Leveling up might include trying online quizzes or using the Speedgrader to save grading time. You might add online announcements or discussions to facilitate communication outside of class.
We’ve got tips on all that and more at bit.ly/canvaslevelup. But you don’t just have to take our word for it.
How Have Faculty Leveled Up in Canvas?
As part of this Canvas Level Up campaign, we asked faculty to share a success story with using Canvas in their classes. We’ve highlighted a few of the many faculty success stories we received in the story below. Click on the image and scroll through our Adobe Spark creation.
Interested in Leveling Up in Canvas? Learn more about the Level Up campaign online or contact any of the staff in Instructional Technology (email@example.com) to discuss ideas or learn how to use Canvas in a new way.
Overview: When a “Welcome to my Course” video is the first thing the students see upon entering your course, it creates a positive first impression, builds rapport and establishes credibility. Even better, from start to finish, creating a welcome video takes less than an hour!
Where to begin: Some Instructors use a short (2-4 slides) presentation, some simply talk into the camera. Either way, it’s a good idea to outline what you’ll say. Commonly used talking points include: 1) Brief Course Overview, 2) Where to find things in your Canvas course, 3) Grading and Attendance policies, 4) “About Me” with short bio.
Task Overview: You will need to enable Panopto in your Canvas Course, install the Panopto application to your computer, create your recording, upload it to Canvas and place it on your home page. (To view the complete listing of available Panopto tutorials, click here).
Here’s how to do it:
If you teach in a computer classroom, the announcement that classroom computers are up for replacement may elicit both excitement and trepidation. The new machines promise to be faster, more reliable, and equipped with the latest technological enhancements, but will they still do what you need them to do to support the learning outcomes for your course? The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is implementing a new process that we hope will allay such fears and allow us to refresh computer classrooms with confidence.
On March 27, 10 faculty representing every school joined the Office of Information Technology’s LMS Success Team for a Canvas Focus Group. Participating faculty answered a series of questions about their use of Canvas and gave us feedback on what they’d be interested in learning more about. The LMS Success Team will use this feedback to develop support articles, create new Canvas trainings and inform new faculty trainings. We’ll also be rolling out a Level Up! campaign next fall to help faculty discover new features and new ways to use Canvas.
We learned that faculty both love (convenience) and hate (grading) the Attendance feature. We’ll offer some tips to deal with grading and Attendance in the Questions section. Quizzes were challenging so we plan on offering some additional training to assist in using quizzes. Now, on to some of the feedback we received.
Data on student access
Uploading documents and images
Integration with Panopto
Combining multiple sections of the same course
Copying course content from previous courses
Differences between Pages, Modules and Files (and when to use each)
Using Attendance, and its impact on Grades
Setting up rubrics
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Using Turnitin in Canvas
Importing course materials, including assignments and calendar events
Best pedagogical practices for learning how to use Canvas features
Several faculty expressed interest in additional training on using the Quizzes feature in Canvas. Instructional Technology will develop a workshop specifically on Quizzes and offer this as a training at the beginning of the fall semester. There is also a guide to Quizzes in the Canvas Community.
An ePortfolio evaluation task force, comprised of faculty, staff and students is underway at St. Edward’s University.
Two university-wide initiatives have identified ePortfolios as an important tool for advancing student learning at St. Edward’s University. The five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Vocation: Discovering One’s Purpose in a Changing World,” will commence in 2017. Reflection plays a vital role in helping students achieve the designated learning outcomes as they move forward on their path of vocational discovery, and the QEP calls for and includes funding for an ePortfolio to aggregate that reflection. The new general education framework should begin implementation with the freshmen class of Fall 2018. Requirement Development Committees composed of more than 80 faculty members representing all schools proposed student learning outcomes and requirements for individual curriculum elements during the 2016-2017 academic year. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those committees saw a role for an ePortfolio in general education courses for archiving signature assignments and work, reflecting on learning experiences, and integrating general education, the major, and other learning in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and personal experiences. Both the General Education Renewal Committee (GERC) and the QEP Committee have asked that a formal selection process get underway to evaluate potential ePortfolio platforms.
The pedagogy of personalization referenced in this post was presented by Alix Horton (New Tech Network-Literacy Coach), Drew Schrader (New Tech Netwotk-Dir Assessment), and Paul Curtis (New Tech Network-Dir of Platform Dev) in the summit session of SXSWEdu 2017.
What is Personalized Learning?
It entails school culture, pedagogy, available resources and all that might influence the shape of the learning environment. In the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan: Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education (NETP) and the 2017 NETP Update, both define personalized learning as the following:
“Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are made available that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests and often self-initiated.”
Personalized learning usually leverages digital tools and applications to customize learning for each individual and ensure students can close the skill gaps, achieve mastery, or gain advanced knowledge in the concepts taught. Personalized learning provides instruction that is meaningful and contextualized for the students, and consists of the following (SXSWEdu 2017):
- The pace of learning is adjusted and self-paced.
- Learning objectives, approaches, and content are optimized for each learner.
- Learning is motivated and driven by learner interests.
- Learners are given choice in what, how, when, and where they learn.
- Learning is often supported by technology.
To allow true personalized learning, faculty utilize technology to make it easier to transform courses that support individualized learning. In this post are some strategies in support of personalized learning. Continue reading
On Wednesday, February 22, the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday Library hosted Experiments in Teaching, a celebration of pedagogical experiments on campus. At this event, sixteen St. Edward’s faculty members, representing all five schools, presented a series of two-minute “lightning talks” about innovative teaching techniques or projects they have implemented in their classes. The lightning talk format allowed each presenter just enough time to tease the audience with essential information about their work – including a description of their teaching experiment and their goals for taking this approach – and gave the audience exposure to a wide variety of teaching models in use at the university. Presenters and attendees then had the opportunity to mingle during the reception to ask follow-up questions and engage in deeper discussion. Continue reading
Hello! My name is Laura Lucas, and I am excited to join the Office of Information Technology at St. Edward’s as the new Learning Spaces Manager. I describe myself as a higher education professional and enthusiast who thrives on collaborating with other educators to innovate new ways to promote active engagement, curiosity, and deep, long-term learning in students. I hold a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rice University. Continue reading
Scheduling appointments to meet with individual students can now be managed through Canvas. This removes the frustrating administrative burden of managing multiple places (calendar, daily planner, email, hand-scribbled notes from class) where you track your student meetings to discuss that paper or project.