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2019
Rosie Sasso

Thinking Mobile-ly

Posted by Rosie Sasso Jun 28, 2019

image of girl holding a cell phone device and sitting against a tree

 

What was your biggest takeaway?

Put simply - if we weren't already, we need to begin considering mobile implications for course design. Having the checklist before, during, and after course development removes any instructional designer's best guesses at what needs to be considered.

 

Is there a tip you are able to (or plan to) apply to your work in the future? How will it help you overall?

The Mobile App Design checklist will be implemented into our instructional design and development process. The checklist will be shared to all team designers which in turn will be shared with instructors during design consultations. I believe starting with one instructor on mobile considerations will have a trickle-down effect to other instructors in their department/college.

 

Do you have follow-up questions for CMUG members? Is there a discussion you'd like to open?

I'd be interested in best practices for instructors providing feedback to assignments/assessments via the SpeedGrader on mobile devices.

 

 

Learn more about the Canvas Mobile Design Quest

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Hi All,

 

I thought I would post a blog to expand on the comment I made in the Ask Technology & Engineering Leadership blog started by Renee CarneyJames Jones was awesome (as usual) and linked to a three year old thread that had new comments by Instructure's Director of Products - Data and Analytics, Kevin Turco.  I never would have seen those posts in a three year old thread if not for James, so it's great to see someone in leadership comment on the issue.

 

Now having seen Kevin's posts in Canvas Data Requests count vs. Canvas Analytics Page Views, I would echo what many others have said and say that it's critical we are getting accurate mobile data reported to us.  I'll share one of his responses specifically to the question of "Are Mobile App page views included"?

 

Mobile page view data was added to the Course Analytics reporting last year. It has not, however, been added to the Access Report. This may be why you see mixed messages on whether or not it is included. While our plan is to  continue adding mobile data to our reports where appropriate, it is critical to understand the limitations of mobile page view data, and the reason for us to start with Course Analytics and not the Access Report.

 

Even more so than Canvas request data, mobile request data is best used in aggregate to identify trends of activity, and not for audit purposes or to get exact counts. Mobile page view data is inherently tricky to capture, since cell phones can lose service, apps can be force-quit, and  phones can lose power and be shutdown mid request. As such, mobile page view might be delayed from getting to our servers, or even dropped. This is true  for all mobile usage data, across all applications with mobile analytics data. It's a very tricky data set to work. This is why we focused on including mobile data first with our aggregate reporting (Course Analytics), as this data is valuable in showing overall activity trends.

 

With the growing use of mobile devices, we understand the need to include mobile data wherever page view data is included. This is something  we  will continue to work towards. I appreciate, and acknowledge this is not an ideal answer to address your immediate question, however transparency is something I take seriously, so want to make sure you have all the details.

 

We have Instructure's Amazon Redshift Hosted Canvas Data Services here at Los Rios (shoutout to Jason Rock jrock@instructure.com for being so great to work with), and mainly use Tableau for visualizations of that data.  The requests table aside it's great to work with, and running queries such as Device Usage gives us a good idea of how many students are using mobile devices (even if they aren't fully mobile-first).  We have tens of thousands of students using mobile devices for tens of millions of page hits every semester here (we had roughly 4.5M page hits per day on the request table last semester), so it seems that having equitable representation of that data should be a pressing concern, and needs to be more accessible than pulling from the requests table in Canvas Data (and that isn't even fully accurate).  

 

As I mentioned in my post, there is an entire online college (our 115th Community College) launching in California this upcoming academic year that is being designed as mobile-first: Online Community College - California.  These students need have their work counted as equitably as students using a PC, and the reports and analytics should not be any different from students using a PC.  This would help our students as well, as there are so many courses being designed to be mobile-first, and that was a huge topic of conversation at the Online Teaching Conference 2019 I just attended last week.  I'm very grateful to Kevin for posting and keeping the discussion going, as it is certainly a concern for those of us in charge of pulling those numbers.

 

Oh....and I won't even get into folks like me that use Photon on their iOS devices in order to use a User Agent and spoof everyone so they think I'm on a PC using Chrome or Firefox rather than an iPhone or iPad, since we know those folks are just trying to use something that plays Flash on iOS ( <--- this was my poor attempt at humor for those nice enough to read to the bottom). 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

Ken

Welcome Page

 

 

Designers can spend hours on creating the perfect home page for a course, setting everything up just how they like it, then guess what, the student viewing it is using the app. How does that home page look on the app, chances are it scaled differently, or something moved. 

 

Creating a solid template and then adjusting the template to the needs of the course is a great way to make sure your homepage looks sharp across all devices, because when you find out students are primarily using their phones, you better engage them the same way as you would on the desktop.

 

Here are a couple of  mobile friendly CanvasLMS homepage templates I finished up.

 

Feel free to download in the Canvas Commons:

Welcome Page | Purple & Yellow color scheme: https://lnkd.in/gmWUaHG

Welcome Page | Red & Blue color scheme: https://lnkd.in/gba4FtD

 

Many more to follow

 

instructional_designer instructional designers higher ed instructional design 

 

Stacy LAMBERT

The Pairing

Posted by Stacy LAMBERT Jun 2, 2019

Last term we had a Parent Night based on technology systems at our school for anyone that wanted to know what they were and how to connect. The PAIRING with the user has been an absolute breakthrough in the Parent App now - we don't need portal keys from another provider, and we don't need to be responsible for the access. It is so quick and easy, what used to take over 24 hours now takes seconds. 

The Parent App has all the necessities for fast information on their students - grades, announcements and the all important calendar. I have been using announcements as 'fast feedback' for a whole class feedback notification prior to any individual feedback and it works pretty well. I give the students the overall "vibe" of a task before any specific feedback and this also goes to the parents. It is timely and means a consistent message across the class. 

The calendar tool is fabulous as parents can see what is happening in class either the night before, helping their children be prepared for school each day or can be used as conversation starters at the end of the day. It definitely assists in the "What did you learn today?" question - when said teenager replies with "nothing", then the parent can dig a little deeper just from the information posted on the calendar. And all from their mobile phone. Awesome stuff!

#callaghancollegewallsendcampus 

David SUMMERVILLE

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