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InstructureCon 2017

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During my undergrad years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I was a member of a fraternity. People have different connotations for the prototypical "frat guy," but I didn't see myself as one of the privileged, cocky, and boisterous individuals that are often portrayed on television and in movies. What I remember most from that experience was the immense sense of belonging that I felt. The community that I was tied to included not only my particular fraternity, locally and internationally, but also to the larger Greek system on my campus. I felt an unspoken connection between myself, my fraternity brothers, even members of other fraternities. Like many societies, secret or not, there is comfort in belonging.

I connect and reflect on that experience because it most closely relates to feelings that were conjured up during my recent experience at InstructureCon in Keystone, Colorado. For 3 days, I was part of a group of like-minded, positive educators and thought-leaders from a variety of locations and backgrounds that shared a common vision – making teaching and learning experiences more closely resemble the way that people communicate and learn today while preparing them for a future that is unknown. The reason that this was such a moving experience was that, for 3 days, I did not feel like I was part of the minority, by which I mean part of a relatively small segment of the profession that seems to share my disposition about the role that technology should play in education. In some ways, it does feel like a "secret society". We don't lurk in the shadows nor do we have a secret handshake, but we recognize and are drawn to others that are part of this community. Sometimes it is through something they say, how they talk to others, things that they Tweet or just through the vibe that they emit.

Events such InstructureCon are so critical to continuing the mission that we are an integral part of. Without opportunities to think differently, challenge the status quo, and learn from others' experiences, there is a significant risk that the approach to teaching and learning will not change and we will continue to produce graduates that do not possess the skills necessary to thrive, let alone survive, in the world that awaits them.

In my role as an eLearning Specialist, there are many times that I feel like I am alone as I fight this uphill battle for our kids, my own included. Then, I take a step back and realize that I am not alone. There are others on my amazing team that feel the same way. Then, there teachers out there, putting theory into practice every day, no matter how challenging it is. The RCS NextGen Leadership Cadre is just such a group of teachers that are taking risks and tolerating failures, both big and small because they truly believe that the lasting success that their students will experience will greatly overshadow the momentary failure. Beyond my school district and its visionary leaders, there are others in my region that gather, collaborate, and help each other pursue the mission. Finally, on the national and international stage, there are events like InstructureCon that feel more like a family reunion than a typical conference. Even though we all don't know each other, it feels like family because we are all connected by our passions, professions, and philosophies.



To Instructure, I am thankful that you value your customers enough to create such an amazing production for educators, from Kindergarten to Higher Ed. To the amazing keynotes and presenters, most of whom are mere mortals that are working with students every day, thank you for your insights and sharing your experiences. To Richmond Community Schools, thank you for valuing me enough to send me as well as my colleagues out to forage for the key ideas, innovations, and skills that we can bring back to share with our staff. Finally, to the group that truly became my family for 3 days, I want to thank Richard, Tim, Joani, Melody, Kathy, Hunter, Mike, Joanna, and Megan for making the experience so amazing. From Hack night to the Cadre's outstanding presentation and everything in between, InstructureCon 2017 will remain fixed in my memory for many years to come.



What a week it was!!! Filled with wonderful ideas, creativity, interesting insights, developments and a real sense of community. Myself, Hannah Cooper and Gareth Kirk from the University of Wolverhampton, England were lucky enough to come along to this wonderful event. While we were there we tried to capture our experiences on film. We also wrote our own blog so our own institution could benefit from this amazing conference.


You can follow us on Twitter to watch the Canvas adventure continue @WLV_CoLT


 Day 1. Tuesday 25th July


Day 2. Wednesday 26th July


Day 2 Cont:  Presentation Rap up!


Day 3. Thursday 27th July


Final Round up!

InstructureCon 0017 saw an exciting line up of Product announcements, with some features ready for release, and others preparing for release in the near future. We thought it might be difficult to remember every exciting announcement, so we created this summary and resource post for you. Use the table of contents below to quickly navigate.


We appreciate you taking the time to read through these exciting features. If all of this creative work sparked some creative ideas, there are channels for you to share.

  1. First, search existing ideas in the Ideas space to see if someone already submitted one like yours.
  2. If you don’t see an idea like your own, submit a new idea at the bottom of the  Ideas page.
  3. Then, let your Customer Success Manager know about your ideas (share links): they’re great champions for you!




The Canvas skill for Amazon Alexa makes it easy for students, teachers, advisors, and parents to ask questions, perform quick tasks, and get information from Canvas on their Alexa-enabled devices. This skill marks the first of many, as Canvas itegrates with voice services to help ease the learning and instruction process.






Analytics 2.0

Analytics 2.0 will give instructors the right info at the right time to make teaching large courses easier. Analytics 2.0 helps instructors identify students needing attention, assignments that might need to be reworked, and shows the data in a context that provides rich meaning.



  • TBA




Arc Captioning

Arc allows users to upload and select multiple captions files for a single video, generate new captions for a video using automatic speech recognition (ASR), and edit ASR-generated captions from within the Arc interface.






Assignment & Page Duplication

Canvas allows course creators to duplicate assignments and pages. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for these item types that can be duplicated. Duplicating an item defaults the copied item to an unpublished status.






Blueprint Courses

Blueprint Courses simplifies distribution of good course design through controlled, reusable blueprints, which are critical in online teaching and valuable in maintaining outcomes across a department. They allow for the creation and maintenance of courses that can be locked down for use in associated Canvas courses.






Dashboard: To-Do List

The new To-Do list Dashboard improves the Canvas experience for both students and instructors. Students can prioritize tasks across courses, view and complete missed course opportunities, and add their own To Do items. Instructors can view all items available to students (to confirm what students can see in their courses), view assignments that need grading, make quick edits to assignments, add their own To Do items, and also add non-graded items including announcements, non-graded discussions, and pages to the student’s To Do lists.



  • Fall 2017





Gauge is the new assessment management system by Instructure. Schools can use it to create, share, deploy, and report on assessments, most of which aren’t associated with any particular course. Reporting features in Gauge will help educators understand what students know and what they don’t and do things to improve learning at their institution.



  • TBA




Gradebook: New

Gradebook Enhancements is divided into two phases. Phase 1 creates better organization and more intuitive user flows in Gradebook. The biggest changes to user flows happen in Phase 1 so it will be released to production for the masses when it is completed. Phase 2 adds small features that are not disruptive to user flows and will be released as they are completed.



  • TBA





Nudge LTI is an internal research tool that will allow Canvas to make smart notifications. Teachers will have the option of adding the Nudge tool to their courses, which will automatically generate Conversations notifications to students and prompt them to take action to improve their performance in the course.



  • Ask your local admin or Customer Success Manager



  • InstructureCon17 Presentation: “The Canvas of the Future: Artificial Intelligence and Behavioral Economics” by Hilary Scharton (Recording will be linked when available)


Teacher App

Canvas Teacher unburdens teachers from a load of frequent, relatively lightweight interactions in Canvas. These interactions fall into three categories: updating course content, grading activities, and communicating with students. Canvas Teacher is available for both iOS and Android devices.







A modern, elegant, and scalable testing engine for our Canvas users, bringing elegance and simplicity back into testing (if it was ever there to start).



  • TBA




SIS Integrations

This new platform simplifies customer implementation by providing data mapping to address data discrepancies between Canvas and a student information system (SIS). Using data points from the SIS, this platform enables schools to easily create courses in Canvas, eliminating the need for custom development, exports, or custom scripts.



  • Contact your Customer Success Manager for details


Available Now

  • SIF based SIS Integration: available now (roster and grade passback)
    • Aspire (bi-directional with Assignment Grade Passback)
    • PowerSchool (Rosters Only)
  • CSV based SIS integration: available now (roster and assignment grade passback)
    • Aspen
    • Skyward
    • Clever SIS files
    • eSchoolData
    • Realtime
    • Skyward via OneRoster csv
    • Elluminate ED via OneRoster cvs
  • Proprietary API Integrations
    • PowerTeacher Pro—Assignment Grade Passback


In Development

    • OneRoster v1.1 based Integration
      • Aeries
      • InfniteCampus
      • Pinnacle by Wazzle Solutions
    • LIS 2.0 based SIS integrations
      • SAIP by Oracle (PeopleSoft SIS)
      • ILP by Ellucian (Colleague and Banner)





[Group Evaluation LTI: Developing a Better Tool]

Kent Matsueda, Assistant Director of Design, Penn State University



When group work is essential, a way for group assessment is a must. This is geared to group members evaluating the performance of other group members not peer review.


Foundation of group work:




A survey from Spring 2017 asked if was appropriate for students to evaluate their team members - 88% said yes.


Students want to be able to see feedback from their peers so they can grow. And anonymity is important.


Used qualtrics & google forms but they take a lot of work to aggregate the data.


Here is the LTi in a module:


Give criteria and ability to rate each team member and self eval.



Does allow for free writing eval:



After all have completed, students & instructor can access the results, instructors have add'l option to export. Student view is anonymous. 


Don't just look at the numbers. There is normally context that may need more information. Look at other activities, the actual group deliverables. These are just clues to help see the whole picture.




There was more but unfortunately I had to step out during the Q&A. Look for the video soon!


*Please feel free to correct any mistakes in the comments below. No agent is perfect.

I can't add much to the bits already shared about the Canvas Intelligence Exchange, as I was behind the scenes most of the day. I'll share a bit about that in a minute. I'll second (third? fourth?) the comments of the other organizers: I got to meet and work with some great people: Kona Jones, Beth Crook, Garth Egbert, and Kenneth Rogers.


The 65 people who attended were equal parts enthusiastic, patient, and engaged with the process and the discussions in each group. As I said, I was mostly floating around the space, and it was great to see so much energy in each of the groups.


One thing I want to share is a bit of the process. Once all the participants started arriving, the topic brainstorming started, and we found some great themes to talk about. Garth and I spent some time organizing the initial wave of Post-It notes, then kicked off the first round of the exchange. We re-factored the list as the event continued, ending up with three rounds. The last round was a bit smaller, as some attendees headed off to their pre-sessions.


The big challenge with putting together the groups was finding common threads through all the great ideas on the notes... and then coalescing that into four groups for each round of the exchange. Looking back now, we weren't perfect (accessibility could have been its own group), but the groups went where they wanted, once they got started.


The rounds broke out as follows:

  • Round 1: Analytics and Data, Choosing an LMS, Engaging Faculty/Training, and Instructional Design
  • Round 2: Canvas Admins, Engaging the Community, Mobile Design, and Blueprint Courses/Commons
  • Round 3: Integrations/LTI/API, and a game of "Love it or hate it."


For this last one, Kona chose a topic, and participants moved to one side of the space or the other depending on how they felt. Then, they'd discuss the issue and see if anyone changed their positions (quite literally).


Photos of the topic clusters and the Text of post-it note clusters


If you didn't get a chance to talk about something important to you, post it over in the discussions section here on the Canvas Community.


Or, you could get a head start on next year's unconference. I've got a few Post-It notes left.

Pile of post-it notes

Community management is about more than deciding what post goes where, moderating ideas, answering questions, hosting events, or other support-type activities. Community management is about creating a culture and environment where people can grow, connect, and learn. And most importantly, community management is about the people who comprise the community!


This year we could've shown you the amazing stats (and trust me, they’re impressive) on the number of community members, the total number of questions answered, ideas completed, or events hosted, and all of the interactions that happened in our community, Instead, we wanted to focus on what really sets the community apart from others: the people! Including you!


“Go Rogue with Us!” focuses on the interesting web that is woven when you follow the path of sources. Our list of rogue agents was initially quite long, but we narrowed it down so as to explore the connections between eight Canvas Community members.


As promised, we are attaching our presentation here for you to peruse (the recording will be available in a few weeks). Enjoy, and we look forward to any of your reflections!


Oh, and we can't forget a special thanks to those of you who let us feature you in this story of connections!  Thank you Stacy LAMBERT, Peyton Craighill, Laura Gibbs, Ken Black, James Jones, Dallas E Hulsey, Stephanie Pope, & Dr Rimmer


Click the settings cog, and select "open speaker notes" to view the context!


Open the presentation in Google Slides, here

They didn't show up.  Short session 1 out of 5.


Last year Kevin Schamel came to Starr Elementary introducing the #RCSNEXTGEN Leadership Cadre for our new LMS Canvas. As much as I love technology, I was very hesitant about applying. The reason had nothing to do with Canvas, but the fear of rejection. The fear was real, and it was big.  Rejection of what you may be asking. Rejection from being accepted into the Cadre, even rejection from peers listening to me.

From the moment I walked into the room people were were saying things like “Oh good, Kathy is in our group; she can show us how to do it!” and “We’ll let Kathy talk!”  They already knew things about me that I guess I had “yet” come to fully believe myself.  

Over the next six months with Cadre I would work with these 20 plus wonderful teachers and administrators developing a better understanding of Canvas, and of myself.  I would find myself helping more people outside of the school building, and eventually presenting at two conferences.  



However, this past week at Instructure Con (#instcon for Canvas), I made another realization.  At elevation 11,646.72 in Keystone, Colorado, struggling to get back up the mountain (Who has the oxygen?), after going part way down to an enormous rock where the majority of the group climbed for a great view, I realized it was time to find a new path and be the leader that my principal and members of the Cadre see in me.  It’s time for me to step out on the edge out of the shadows.  It’s time to be more vocal.  As one of the the Keynote Speakers stated, we must be “willing to make our lives harder to make a difference in the world.”


I’m going to make my life difficult on purpose this year to make that difference, to step out and be a better leader.  Not just for my kids, but for my staff as well.  Oh yeah, that fear of rejection... I’m thankful I didn’t let it take over and keep me from the best experience of my life.  I have learned more about Canvas, myself, and made memories that will last a lifetime.  And, it’s not over, “yet”.


Born and raised in Richmond, Kathy Benner graduated from RHS in ‘97. She attended IU East and earned an Associate's Degree in General Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Kathy started her teaching career in Centerville, IN and came to Richmond in 2008.  In 2011, she earned the No Excuses Award and REA Teacher of the Month in January of 2016.  Kathy has taught Special Ed, 1st, 4th, 5th, but the majority of her career has been in 3rd grade.  She loves working with technology: Spheros, Ollies, and Osmo.  In her spare time Kathy enjoys singing, playing guitar, and putting together Lego sets.  

Last year I attended my first InstructureCon, and attended the pre-conference workshops.  Having been on the Canvas platform for only a year it was good to get more familiar with how things work.  Coming from a non-edu background it was also a good chance for me to get up to speed on some vocabulary and get more familiar with the language of education.


This year my goal was a little different.  Two years into my Canvas experience,  I am very interested in what other people and other institutions are doing.  What's working for them?  Where are they having trouble?  What apps are they using?  My goal this year was to talk to people and listen to what's going on outside of my "bubble".


Through the grape vine I heard that Kona was organizing an unofficial pre-conference networking event where people could discuss what was on their minds.  This was exactly what I was looking for, and I was immediately interested.  Kona put together a group consisting of Kona Jones, Marc Lentini, Beth Crook, Kenneth Rogers and myself to help pull this off.  The end result was exactly what I was looking for.


There are some key reasons why I found this event important:

  • Meet like minded people who are using the Canvas platform.  Having contacts out there in the Canvas world gives you another useful resource for brainstorming or troubleshooting, people to share your thoughts with, a sounding board.
  • Get a perspective, other than my own, to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking.  If I'm having a problem, is someone else having that same problem?  What are they doing to work around or solve that issue?  Or maybe I have something that's working for me that I can share.  Getting a glimpse of what's happening at other institutions is very valuable, sometimes validating the efforts that you are making so you know you aren't crazy
  • Mental warm up for the conference, by sharing ideas and talking through different scenarios it helps to gather your thoughts about what it is you want to get out of the conference.  Work can get in the way, how many people really had time to "think" about the presentations, and carefully choose their schedule before coming to the conference?  I hope everyone did, but the CIE event was a good way to help choose those sessions and get the most out of the conference.


I have since learned about the "un-conference", which took place at the end of the week.  Last year I was unaware of this event, and will try to plan my time for it next year.  However, I feel that having this type of discussion up front is a great primer for the conference, helping me to get my focus and mindset for the week.


To those who made this event possible, thank you.  I hope we can pull it off again next year.

For all of those who attended, thank you for your participation and for sharing your information.

Renee Carney


Posted by Renee Carney Administrator Jul 31, 2017


Adversity can appear for any of us at any moment. The adversities we face do not define us, but the actions we take in the face of adversity do shape us. This week, I was reminded that actions during adversity do not just mold and shape individuals, but they also provide the opportunity to shape, and shine a light on, the communities of an individual.


This story of Community begins further back in the Twitter timeline—Beth Crook’s July 22nd tweet is where we are first introduced to the #stepsforbeth call to action.



If you have never had the chance to attend InstructureCon, you may not know how big of a request this was. InstructureCon has always had golf cart shuttles, but since the move to Keystone, CO, shuttle busses have been a necessity—for both distance and elevation (9,173′). Asking people, some of which are complete strangers, to walk more than they have to at 9,000’ elevation, is a mountain of an ask.




Despite the elements, when it came to supporting one of our own, distance and elevation were no match for the sense of caring in our Community. Prior to, and throughout the conference (July 25–27, 2017), the steps rolled in. Here are just a few highlights:

July 24th:

@KRogersSA - Today I did 8,618 #stepsforbeth - walking around #InstCon is prettier than riding in a shuttle!
@KonaRJones - It's been a busy start to #InstCon! Got in 13,229 #stepsforbeth and definitely earned the extra slice of pizza at dinner!

July 25th:

@poprox_conroy - It's 6pm and I've walked 8,604 #stepsforbeth ❤️
@KRogersSA - Second day at #InstCon for me and I did 14,766 #stepsforbeth.

July 26th:

@malapertmarc - 14,102 #stepsforbeth maybe I should have taken the shuttle bus.
@lindajeanlee - Last #InstCon day step total: 15,298 steps, 150% of my daily goal! #stepsforbeth
@aggal98 - 13,164 #stepsforbeth today. Loved every single one of them! #InstCon
@erinmmilne - Did 15,386 #stepsforbeth at #InstCon today!

July 27th:

@mjennings_uab - 13,668 #stepsforbeth on the last day of #instcon
@kblundstrum - 8,976 #stepsforbeth

July 28th:

@rseilham - 38,031 steps at #instcon #stepsforbeth

@AmyWard3086 - Thursday step count 16,478 #stepsforbeth #instcon


My non-scientific calculations captured over 400,000 steps logged for Beth this InstructureCon, and those were just the ones that were tweeted with the hashtag.  The caring keeps rolling in… check out #stepsforbeth on Twitter.



Beth Crook, you’re an amazing woman, with a humble heart and genuine love for those around you! Today, in my own 12,889 steps for you, I reflected on how you turned your adversity into an opportunity to unite and build up the communities that surround and support you. 



Thank you for this lesson in humanity!




  Keep logging your steps, and encouraging one of our own!  Tweet them, or add them as a comment to this thread!  Beth, we look forward to following your progress!

Thanks to everyone who attended  "The Future of Plagiarism Detection" at InstructureCon 2017. Bill and I felt good about the presentation and hope the audience did as well.


For those who asked and those who could not attend, please find our slides here. 


Many of you likely received the email announcement today announcing changes to the student submission process in Turnitin's LTI tool. As Bill Loller discussed in his portion of the presentation, more improvements will be coming in an updated version of the LTI tool later this fall. For those who did not, here is the text of today's email:


"We’ve simplified the student submission workflow and more enhancements to the LTI user experience are on the way.

Beginning August 8th, students will see a progress bar indicating clear steps for making a submission, as well as an additional confirmation screen to indicate the submission process is complete.

This is just the start of a major effort to improve the ease-of-use of our LTI integrations. We are also working closely with our LMS partners to make integrations more robust and seamless, taking advantage of the new LTI 2.1 standard.


Want to learn more? Keep an eye out for more information in future emails, in our 
release notes, and on Twitter @TurnitinProduct

If you have any questions about this update or suggestions for additional improvements, please contact us at


Turnitin Product Team"



For those who were wondering about setting a due date and a lock or until date for assignments using the Turnitin LTI, here is how it works:


  1.  Delete (or do not enter) the line of code that syncs the due date from Canvas to Turnitin in your LTI tool configuration. The code will appear in the custom fields section and should be deleted if present: custom_duedate=$Canvas.assignment.dueAt.iso8601
  2. When building an assignment using the Turnitin LTI, use a due date. This will be the date the assignment is due, and Canvas will mark anything submitted after this date as late. Do not, however, use an "until" date in Canvas because you will lock the student out of any information in Turnitin (originality report, comments, etc.).
  3. Save the assignment in Canvas.
  4. On the Turnitin side of the assignment, set the Turnitin date for the last date you will accept submissions. 
  5. Open the "Optional Settings" in Turnitin to make sure the assignment is not set to accept late submissions.
  6. Save the settings in Turnitin.
  7. Explain to students that the due date in Canvas is the due date and that the due date in Turnitin is the last day to send a late submission.


Sounds good, right?  While this procedure adds a few clicks, for instructors who want exact control over dates, this is the way to get it done. On the down side, people like me would rather have the due date syncing because the fewer dates I have to worry about the better. 


The good news is that LTI tools can be configured on the Canvas account, subaccount, or course level, so an admin might choose to enable the due date sync on the account level and use a course level configuration without due date syncing (or vice versa). As long as the names saved on each configuration allow easy distinction, instructors should be able to choose between the different configurations.


I hope that is helpful information! If you have other questions, please let me know. If I cannot answer them, I will pass them to the folks at Turnitin.



Jamie Sipe

Discuss Another Day

Posted by Jamie Sipe Jul 31, 2017

Emily and I had so much fun, going undercover, and presenting at InstructureCon 0017! We are so grateful for Canvas, our team at erau, and everyone who attended our session.

Some asked for a copy of our TOP SECRET PPT - so here it is! IC17_DiscussAnotherDay.pptx  


We are looking forward to the session recordings coming out and will attach a link to it here for convenience.


Special Agents-

Jamie Sipe & Emily Ackerman

ERAU Sector

I've long been curious of the openness of Canvas and how anyone off the street can create an LTI to interact with the LMS. I think we can all agree that this is one of the strengths of Canvas - and one that I wanted to pursue while at InstructureCon 2017 (Although Tracey DeLillo's post Explaining LTI versus LTI encouraged my attendance as well!).


Jason Weed Ling, from the Ivy Business School, Western University, hosted us for his session titled "Mission Possible: Creating LTIs to Expand the Canvas Experience." Jason talked us through how they have created 15 LTIs with 2 more on the way (mostly with a deep integration with their SIS). However, the mission is clear when it comes to creating a LTI for their university - make the user's experience incredible. He noted that Canvas does not do everything (and it shouldn't), so break down your key users (students, faculty, course designers, administrative staff, etc.) and ask the questions to find out what hurts them and how you could help them. When this information you can redefine the things you do - imagine the impossible.


Western University started "hacking" Canvas like most of us - by injecting javascript into the Canvas theme. But Jason noticed that this simply places code on top of the existing structure, and can cause flickers or performance issues, which is why they went down the LTI route. What I found encouraging as I begin to analyze potential LTI development is their development structure. They build locally hosted websites following the LTI specification and use the Canvas jQuery libraries and CSS theme (which they host on their local server and update as they update their Canvas instance).


He did mention the portability problem, because LTI's do not work on mobile devices - so as you develop you must take that into consideration. You either need to create a mobile app within an LTI container to work along the Canvas App; or you need to create a standalone app. They are going down the first road (app within LTI container), and I can say from mobile experience, students do not want multiple apps from your university! Keep it simple!


Ultimately, here are some takeaways...

  • Leverage Canvas to build the best experience for each user group.
  • Have a plan for mobile/tablet support and development.
  • Avoid simply injecting javascript into the Canvas theme to alter the Canvas UI.
  • Stay on top of the Release Notes to see what may impact your LTI.
  • Check out his notes: InstructureCon 2017 – Code Sequences 
Kenneth Rogers


Posted by Kenneth Rogers Employee Jul 31, 2017

I loved attending Hilary Scharton's session on how Instructure is approaching artificial intelligence and how this can impact education (the official session title was "The Canvas of the Future - Artificial Intelligence & Behavioral Economics).


Hilary set the vibe for us by rocking some totally sweet 60's era feeling James Bond music before she kicked things off. Then she started off by pointing out that everything is predictable. The sun will rise and set. Kitties and bunnies will always get an "awwwww" response. And a hot pocket will always burn the crap out of your mouth.


The premise of what she (and in turn Instructure/Canvas) are doing is based on a book. Nudge focuses on improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. We can start to look at how we make decisions and more importantly how can we make better decisions. But, unfortunately, no one is nudging in academia and there are no educational platforms for nudging. But Canvas ran a small pilot program and found that nudging works - if you do it.


Canvas nudged 18,000 students on 25,000 assignments that were late, but not closed. These students received a text or a push notification from the mobile app nudging them to complete the assignments. Only 6% opted out of receiving the notifications (but this means 94% opted in), and over time there was a drop in how late assignments were. I don't remember the drop in K12, but in HE, the average late assignment went from one day to one half of a day.


So, what's next for the nudge project??


Hilary is wanting to replicate the smaller test in a larger test. Canvas has created a course level LTI that instructors can enable for a wider level testing. Ultimately, what Hilary is seeking is to have peer reviewed journal-able quality data and analysis so faculty will want this LTI enabled for their students. It is time for artificial intelligence to have a place in education as a benefit to the student.


*Note: If I missed any important information from this presentation, please add to the comments below!

Note: Apologies, but the schedule was removed before I had a chance to note all of the presenter names, so I'll update this with the appropriate @ mentions as soon as the session info is available again. Thanks a TON to all of the presenters for sharing!


Sessions Attended

I'm just a little too swamped to parse my notes from the various sessions into separate posts, so here is one big post with all of my most salient notes from most of the InstCon sessions I was able to attend this year:

  • Building Culture: Adjunct faculty success and connection
  • 1-1 teaching: Challenging perceptions and transforming pedagogy
  • New Gradebook: Phase 1
  • Canvas network as an innovation sandbox: designing, testing, and evaluating new teaching and learning approaches in a MOOC
  • Introducing Canvas Teacher: The next step in mobile
  • Data Visualization


High-Level Summary

  • New features coming to the gradebook and the teacher app are awesome, and I can't wait to start playing with both.
  • Olivet University & the Royal College of Music in London both have totally different and really interesting approaches to developing their faculty's capacity to teach and build course content in Canvas (and RCM had some really cool ideas about enhancing instruction with teacher-created videos).
  • The Canvas Network is a great place to experiment with different types of course content and delivery structures before incorporating those ideas into credit-courses (and it doesn't hurt to have a corporate partner either).
  • Data visualization is hard, but when it's done well, it looks easy. 


Thanks everyone! Please reach out if you have questions about anything or want to correct one of the many mistakes I've surely made in my hectic note-taking!