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Instructional Designers

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Yet another benefit of online courses.

Author Thomas Royce Wilson, PhD. @Captain Big Idea – Free "cognitive cartoons" about learning and living with technology 

 

*Shared with permission. 

2020 Course Design Essentials  

Monthly Canvas Community Event Launch

The Canvas Instructional Design Team is launching our 2020 Course Design Essentials monthly event. These events will include blog posts, live events, free design assets, how-to screencasts, and tips and tricks that focus on Canvas course design fundamentals to help you elevate your course design. 

 

Who Are We?

We are Instructure’s Instructional Design Team! More specifically, we are Kristen Andersen, Tiffany Foster, Marah Metallo, Laurie Norris, Lily Philips, and Paola Sanchez. Between the six of us, we have over 36 years of Canvas experience! Within Canvas, we have been students, teachers, admins, trainers, and instructional designers. We have created fully-online, hybrid/blended and face-to-face courses for learners ranging from preschool through post-secondary and everything in between.

 

Why Are We Launching This Event?

We utilize the Canvas Community on a regular basis to position instructional design resources! We understand the impact and power of the Instructional Designers space within the Community and want to give back. We are excited to collaborate and share tips and tricks about our Canvas Design Best Practices. 

 


Button Samples

January Teacher Appreciation Event: Seasonal Home Page Button Giveaway

For January’s event, we have created free, seasonal-themed home page button images for your course! You can choose from photography or illustration-based designs. Just like changing a bulletin board in your classroom to reflect a season change, you can update the design of your Canvas home page buttons. Be sure to check back in the Community in the coming months for other seasonal button sets. 

 

Each of the buttons can lead to course essential topics: Learning Modules, Resource Materials, Question Forum, and Teacher Contact Information. Link your buttons to relevant materials in your course to give your students easy access to commonly needed materials. 

 

Button Preview

January Home Page Button Preview

Button Access

 

Button Installation

  1. Select the link above to download the button PNG files. 
  2. Upload the button image files to your Canvas Course Home Page and insert ALT tag to ensure accessibility. 
    1. Canvas Guide: How do I insert course images into the Rich Content Editor using the Content Selector as an instructor?
  3. Select each button to link to the appropriate course content while still editing the page.
    1. Canvas Guide: How do I insert links to course content into the Rich Content Editor using the Content Selector as an instructor?
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Test your new buttons to ensure links are functional. 
  6. Enjoy! 

 

Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Our Instructional Design team offers templates, consultation, badging services, course evaluations, workshops, and more. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Sallie Michalsky, Senior Manager of Content Services sallie@instructure.com.

In New Quizzes, one of the things that you may have not noticed is setting the seconds in the time limit. Here's how you can work it out.

 

From the Settings tab, turn on the time limit feature. In the Minutes box, delete any other values. Now, enter a decimal point, followed by the amount you want to put in. When we tested this feature, we noticed that when attempting to enter 3 seconds (0.05 minutes), the decimal point disappears after entering the 0. In order to successfully enter it, we first must enter .5, then move the cursor left and type a 0 to get .05 in the Minutes box.

 

You can only enter the Minutes in 0.05 increments. A 422 error is generated if it is not a multiple of 0.05.

    

 

In this example, because we called this blog post "Who's Got the Fastest Finger?", we set the time limit to 30 seconds (0.5 minutes).

 

Time Limit Decimal Minutes

30 seconds on the clock

 

Why call it "Fastest Finger First"?

You might remember the world's most popular game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, where contestants play one question before the real game begins. The contestants have only 20 seconds to enter the correct order on the keypad, and answers cannot be changed after pressing Submit.

(In New Quizzes, we set the time limit to 30 seconds, due to the fact that time limits can be only set in multiples of 3 seconds, and there are loading times of around 3-7 seconds after pressing Begin.)

 

Fastest Finger First

 

The options are randomized every time the Fastest Finger round begins. Answers 1-4 shown above correspond to A-D below. The order of A-D depends on the order the answers appear once the round begins.

 

Fastest Finger Question
Put the following artists in the order they're going to perform at the 2018 KSCS Country Fest in Grand Prairie, TX.
A: Cole SwindellB: Dustin Lynch
C: Travis DenningD: Harper Grace

 

After submitting, or once time is called, the below screen appears, showing the number of seconds taken to complete. Students will NOT immediately see if they got it right or not. We'll show you why in the next picture.

 

Completed

 

 

The host reveals the correct order, one answer at a time. He/she will give out a brief description of why that item fits in that order.

(This was taken from October 2018.)

 

Show Answer

 

Once the order is revealed, the results are shown.

 

In this example, from the WWTBAM game show, 4 out of 6 players got the question right (in green boxes). Heather got the answer correct in 1.95 seconds. Only correct responses will have the completion times shown.

 

 

If NO one gets the question correct, another question is played. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the fastest students will play again while all the other students sit out. The process repeats until a student gets it right in the FASTEST time possible.

 

Whoa there! There seems to be a problem here in New Quizzes.

(Ignore the times and scores below, all Fastest Finger rounds are limited to 30 seconds, and scores can only be 100% or 0%.)

 

The teacher will take a few minutes to review the times and correct statuses.

 

 

The time is shown whether or not he/she gets the question right. The main problem is: what if there are two students who got the question right AND finish in 11 seconds, or even ALL students got the question right in the SAME number of seconds?! We don't want to go to a sudden death round or play a game of rock paper scissors! The only thing that I want to see in New Quizzes is showing the hundredths of a second in the Time column (if the Time Limit is set to one minute or less) so that instructors can accurately tell who is correct in the FASTEST time. For example, if Student A finishes in 11.45 seconds, and Student B finishes in 11.50 seconds, Student A wins by only 0.05 seconds.

 

Another problem to know here is: how to enter ordering questions quickly? A more viable approach is to press the numbers 1-4 that correspond to the items in the right order and tap Submit, but this has not been implemented in New Quizzes yet.

 

ANOTHER METHOD

If you use Chrome with touch screen enabled devices (Chromebook, iOS, Android, Windows), make sure you enable Touch Initiated Drag & Drop in the Chrome Flags menu (chrome://flags). However, this will require you to press and hold the item for at least one second in order to move it, which wastes precious time. You should tap the dots to the left of the item and move it up or down.

 

Chrome Flags

 

Best Practices

In the education world, Fastest Finger First is used to give students something like a daily warm-up when class begins. The question types are not limited to Ordering questions, but other types are possible without issues (excluding File Upload and Essay questions).

In the example below, students will need to click on the note that answers the question of what that singer's peak vocal range is.

 

Peak Vocal Range

 

 

Tips & Tricks

You can combine minutes and seconds together; however, there is a catch. To do so, first enter the decimal, followed by the main minutes. For example, to set 28 minutes and 15 seconds, first enter .25 (15/60) (this shows up as 0.25), highlight the 0, and enter the desired minutes.

 

Sorry about that, the hundredths got cut off here.

 

Time Trick

After entering 28.25 minutes, we get:

 

28 min 15 sec = 28.25 min

 

And that's how you fine-tune the quiz timer! One more thing to note. In the past, the sky was the limit; you can set a time limit as long as you want, like days, weeks, months, or even years, but that is no longer the case with New Quizzes. Now, the maximum time limit you can set is 168 hours (or 7 days). The only way to increase this further is from the Moderate tab.

 

7 day maximum

 

168 hours

 

Caution

We do not recommend setting below 30 seconds, as the "Time is up" message appears if it takes too long to load. The longer it takes to load, the shorter the time limit will be.

 

If you submit before the question is loaded, a foul will occur. Even though the time shows 0.00, the score will not count.

 

Foul!

You may have noticed today there is a new look in Free-For-Teachers. The new responsive layout is here! This layout ensures that the Canvas website looks great on ALL devices, even on smartphones and tablets! See this link Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18) for more info.

 

According to the release notes, Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines. This ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.

 

Local institutions implementing custom JavaScript or CSS through the Theme Editor should review the WAI reflow standards and their current code to ensure no conflicts exist with Canvas pages.

 

This responsive layout change is enabled by default in the beta environment, but it can also be optionally tested in the production environment until February 2020 with the Responsive Layout feature option in Account Settings.

 

This feature option is now enabled for Free-For-Teacher accounts at this moment and will be enabled for all other accounts in the production environment by default starting this February.

 

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come with the Responsive Layout.

 

Dashboard

The dashboard will look similar to the one in the Canvas mobile apps. Options to start a new course and view your grades are shown at the bottom.

Dashboard RV

 

Navigating the Menus

The Global Navigation bar (How do I use the Global Navigation Menu as an instructor?) can be accessed from the hamburger menu at the top left. Some items include dropdowns that you can click to expand their menus.

 

Global Nav RV

The Course Navigation Menu is shown as a down arrow next to the course name.

 

Course RV

Clicking it will reveal the Course Navigation Menu. Items are clearly marked with their corresponding icons. LTI tools will be denoted by a plug icon.

(We do seem to have issues with the Free-For-Teachers version, where it only shows the first 18 items.)

 

Course Navigation Menu

 

Remember, Responsive Layout is available now in the beta environment and will be released to production this February (for all other accounts).

 

I did not expect the Responsive Layout feature to be released to production that early for Free-For-Teachers, but it makes Canvas more intuitive to use!

 

What to Work On

Tables still need to adapt to the responsive layout, but we'll get into that later.

 

We hope you continue to enjoy Canvas as the Winter/Spring 2020 semester begins!

It is in our best interest to ask ourselves clarifying questions as we struggle with design puzzles. Are we pursuing the right solution? Are we even focused on the right problem? 

Every improvement helps. That said, it is tempting to want a slick, impressive layout for a course when the real need is better content. It is tempting to want greater speed building course content when the real need is a better UX plan with a student-centered rationale. We sometimes want our courses to be more entertaining when they really need to be less confusing. 

"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency."

Bill Gates

Innovations in technology are changing our world faster than futurists can line up to predict what is next in business or education trends. Anyone who is old enough to remember standing in line to register for a college course or life before Google knows that there is no going back, and we don't want to. Nostalgia for what is lost has little value until it contributes to what is next.

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." Arthur Schopenhauer

Examining trends in Leadership and Organizational Communication reveals familiar, deceptively simple issues with severe impact. Organizational growing pains are utterly predictable and unavoidable, yet they stand as a somewhat positive marker of success. Growth is good, right? Unfortunately, growth is also laden with missed opportunities and unaddressed issues that grow as companies grow, with deep roots and scaling repercussions.

Solutions may be counter-intuitive to leaders because the same skills and vision needed to create successful companies can become the precise limiting factors for stable growth. Most companies and innovations would not exist without a leader's skills and attitudes, yet these same entrepreneurial skills often require being consciously set aside in order for organizations to move to the next level. Case in point is one of my favorite user experience UX heroes--and cautionary tale--Steve Jobs. 

Playing to Your Strengths versus Tackling Your Growth Edges

Long before documentaries, books, and feature films charted Jobs' amazing comeback and world-changing innovations, he was also a scary Silicon Valley poster-boy for purging hugely-successful companies of their founders in order to reach the next level. His maniacally-long work hours cut down legions of talented employees through burnout. Since stability and balance were not his virtues, he did not value it in the people around him. Converting the public to his elegant taste seemingly led rise to a belief that the rest of his decisions were infallible as well. Which, of course, they were not.

No alt text provided for this image

One takeaway is: Whatever skillset leaders use to create their companies will tend to be over-used. Eventually, those same overused skills will aggravate the lingering weaknesses. Organizational needs may change and mature. The temptation is for leaders to just add more of what worked before. After all, it works! Until it doesn't.

For contrast, consider Starbucks' Howard Schultz who is generally lauded as a visionary leader. He was gracious enough to acknowledge a tough phase for his company when they had reached a peak of success and were risking a crash due to losing touch with customer feedback. (Check out fascinating interviews with Schultz and other thought leaders.) In a nutshell: An entrepreneurial founder tends to keep momentum by ignoring distractions from naysayers and charging ahead with a vision, inspiring people to join along the way. When that same company is a success, leaders do not readily change gears. 

Addressing the Little Things

Starbucks grew fast, outrunning feedback from customers and low-level employees while essentially labeling any unpleasant news as coming from complainers and their "negativity." Then the business was blindsided by the realities of shop closures as organized protests smeared the company image. Starbucks' growth and global reputation teetered until they reconsidered their strategies and the limiting attitudes toward feedback and complaints that were now embedded throughout the company.

Not surprisingly, a leader's attitudes become the organization's attitudes for better or worse. If the boss does not value customer complaints, no one else is motivated to accept feedback either. Starbucks re-blossomed when top brass gathered people with varying skill sets to manage communications and invited input from every employee. Now, each Starbucks Barista is considered the top advertiser and the top investment for retaining customer loyalty. 

Making room for complementary skills--not complimentary--is the mark of a mature leader. (See the book: The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make.) Leaders get successful by paying their dues, often fighting distractions to their vision and supplying the bulk of effort to successfully create a new product or innovate at the foundational level. Continued growth beyond a launch can be treacherous territory unless conscious effort is expended to stabilize and solidify innovation.

This ideal of stable growth is the product of cooperation from teams who duplicate the passion, but not the methods or personality of the original leader. Bold leaders set themselves apart when they cultivate differences, including skills and viewpoints they lack. Fine-tuning and addressing the little things like user complaints, employee ideas, and unpleasant feedback stabilizes organizations through the dangers of fast growth. Sometimes these small adjustments move beyond stabilizing and open the flood-gates for exponential growth, therefore, valuing interaction and openness is the next level of growth leadership. 

In the UX process of discovering what is useful and usable, learning moments (*mistakes) have an upside: lots of cautionary examples to share. Enjoy this selection of standout bloopers and rookie mistakes.

The iterative worlds of SAM, Agile, and ADDIE invite a continual balancing act between "get it done" versus "get it right." -Rachael Sweeten
No alt text provided for this image
  • Asking your users to design the product. Looks like designers taking the users' orders. Sounds like, "If I give them exactly what they asked for, then they'll have to be happy."
  • User relies on the "Back" button. Puhleeez.
  • User is completely stuck. Excruciating.
  • Blaming the user. Sounds like, "They aren't tech savvy," or "They just need to learn how to do this." * The user has probably just learned to hate your product and to distrust you. 
  • Shaming the user. Sounds like, "C'mon. This is really easy." *Remember, everything is intuitive for the person who designs it. 
  • Breaking the 4, no more, rule. Long feedback forms require too much recall and invite ultra-negative feedback. Prioritize to 4 main questions, unless your goal is specifically to weed out unwanted users. 
  • Overconfidence in your product. Sounds like, "What's there to change? It's fine. Those complainers aren't our target market."
  • Uncertainty avoidance. Looks like analyzing in mid-test, rushing feedback, or accepting a wrong conclusion over not knowing.
  • Shiny Objects. As a rule, designers and other primates tend to covet shiny objects like the coolest interaction and the spiffiest layout. Designing to impress other designers is satisfying--until it bombs with your real users.

***

A space where news and reactions to the proposed Thoma Bravo acquisition can be gathered that would be of interest to the community. Please add additional resources, questions or concerns in the comments. 

 

News and Reactions

  1. Letter from Dan
    "Working with Thoma Bravo over the past weeks, it is apparent that they support our strategy for focus on continued investment in Canvas LMS, expanding our impact in education, positioning Bridge to be more successful, and being a well-run business. As a private company, we will be able to better control our future and execute on these strategic imperatives."
  2. Instructure Enters Into a Definitive Agreement to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo (Instructure Press Release)
    "The Instructure management team, led by CEO Dan Goldsmith, will continue to lead the Company in their current roles. Thoma Bravo will support Instructure as it increases investment in education technology innovation and expands internationally."
  3. Private Equity Firm Thoma Bravo to Acquire Instructure for $2 Billion (Phil Hill)
    "Obviously this is big news for the LMS market, and it is worth noting that in the press release Thoma Bravo specifically mentions Canvas but not Bridge, which should give a hint about future plans. And perhaps more importantly, the press release explicitly mentions future growth that will or could include M&A – Instructure buying other companies."
  4. New Ownership for an LMS Giant: Private Equity Firm to Buy Instructure for $2 Billion (EdSurge)
    "But whether the sale is good news for colleges and other education customers remains to be seen, Hill added. “It’s now a waiting game to see how their strategy changes,” he said. 'Don’t expect it to be the same.'"
  5. Canvas parent Instructure to go private in $2B deal (EducationDive)
    "How private equity will influence Instructure's operations largely remains to be seen. And as part of the deal, the company has 35 days to entertain other offers.'"
  6. Instructure—Creator of Canvas LMS—Acquired by Private Equity Firm for $2 Billion in Cash (EdWeek Market Brief)
    "Brian Jaffee, a principal at Thoma Bravo said, 'We’ve followed the impressive Instructure growth story for many years and believe Canvas is a highly unique vertical market SaaS leader with exciting scale and future growth potential.'"
  7. Seven Things We Mostly Know About the Planned Instructure Acquisition and Three We Don’t (Phil Hill)
    "What does this mean for Instructure’s future? One guess is to expect the Bridge separation with increased focus on the Canvas / academic business to happen quickly. Another guess is to expect Instructure to ramp up their corporate acquisitions starting in 2020."
  8. Insights From Instructure Preliminary Proxy Statement (Phil Hill)
    "I realize that the proxy statement is primarily driven by SEC rules, but Instructure is harming its brand by its consistent focus on monetization and shareholder value with no meaningful communication to customers or prospects (I do not consider the letter above meaningful). The academic LMS market deserves better from its market leader."
  9. Letter to Instructure (Ethical EdTech)
    "While debate continues regarding fair market price for the company (Hill, 2019b), there is much speculation within the Community and amongst stakeholders about the role being played in the sale by the student data Instructure has spent years collecting and harvesting to inform the company’s innovations."
  10. What’s the LMS Worth? (EconProph)
    "Underlying the valuation question though, is the real concern. Can we discern the plans and future for Canvas (and thereby schools, instructors, students, the higher ed system, pedagogy, etc) from this transaction? "
  11. Instructure’s Proposed Acquisition is a Bad Risk for Everyone (eLiterate)
    "Has Instructure provided customers with a detailed and credible enough strategic roadmap to inspire confidence that they have a more compelling alternative for growth? No, they have not. Has Dan Goldsmith thus far proven, lacking such a roadmap, that his reputation for performance alone is worth betting the company on? No, he has not. No smart PE company would make an attractive counter-offer under these circumstances. There is no sound investment thesis until Instructure is able to regain its footing as a product-led company."

Background Information

  1. Thomas Bravo Website
    "We are a leading private equity investment firm building on a 40-year history of providing capital and strategic support to experienced management teams and growing technology companies."
  2. Instructure Considering Sale Options (Phil Hill)
    "For academic community, it is worth noting that much of the investor-based pressure is for Instructure to focus more on supporting Canvas, not less. Instructure management has made it a point to say that they are increasing investment in Canvas, but today’s news puts even more emphasis on that need."
  3. Why Instructure’s News Matters: Market history (Phil Hill)
    "Why is a potential change as mundane as having Instructure’s shares traded in public markets vs. being owned by a larger company newsworthy?"
  4. Canvas LMS Provider Instructure Considers Sale (EdSurge)
    "The last time a publicly traded learning management system provider was taken private was Blackboard, back in 2011."

Reactions on Twitter

 

 

 

 

Other Conversations in the Community

I'm sure more news and reactions will be coming in and as I'll update this as they do - feel free add any links or questions in the comments, follow to stay up to date. It will be very interesting to understand what this means for the future of Canvas!

 

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Just before I get into the SpeedGrader, there has been some changes to the New Quizzes feature on November 16. You can still add/edit/remove any rubrics, but you cannot modify the instructions once the Quizzes 2 LTI is added.

 

New Quizzes Assignments 1

New Quizzes Assignments 2

 

Now to the main story. In my previous blog post (Hidden Gems: Working with Rubrics in New Quizzes), we've discussed how rubrics can be added to New Quizzes. This time, we'll talk about using SpeedGrader for New Quizzes.

 

Unlike regular assignments, where you go in and click on the SpeedGrader button on the right, New Quizzes does not display the button to you directly. You will need to go to the New Gradebook to do it.

 

FROM THE NEW GRADEBOOK

To go to the SpeedGrader from the New Gradebook, click the icon next to the grade (expand-start, the one with a right arrow inside a rectangle), then click the SpeedGrader.

Warning

If you turn on Launch SpeedGrader Filtered by Student Group in Settings, you must select a student group before launching SpeedGrader. This is to make sure there are no grading issues for large courses.

 

 

USING A URL

To launch the SpeedGrader for any assignment (including New Quizzes), visit your Canvas URL for your local institution. After the URL, type /courses/XXXXXXX/gradebook/speed_grader?assignment_id=YYYYYYYY where XXXXXXX is the 7-digit course ID and YYYYYYYY is the 8-digit assignment ID. For example, if the course ID is 1234567 and the assignment ID is 12345678, you would enter /courses/1234567/gradebook/speed_grader?assignment_id=12345678 after the URL.

Note: If the numbers contain leading zeros, you do not need to enter them.

 

There we go! 

 

Uh-oh! Some of our students failed to submit! That raises eyebrows for us! We click on the View Rubric to see the rubric that we've created from the previous post. 

 

SpeedGrader in New Quizzes

 

This is the rubric that we've created from the previous post.

 

SpeedGrader in New Quizzes

 

Since the student did not take the quiz at all, we would click No. A Yes is denoted by a green arrow, while a No is denoted by a red arrow. Finally, save the rubric selections.

 

Yes or No?

 

We would mark the completion status as Incomplete in this case. You can also leave a comment to encourage the student to catch up.

(Please be polite when writing comments in the SpeedGrader. You don't want students to get upset!)

 

Rubric Incomplete

 

In Part 2, we'll show you how to grade questions and check for errors in SpeedGrader for New Quizzes.

Some people are wondering: Is there a way to add a rubric to a New Quiz? The answer is actually yes, but it is in a hidden location. Here's how you can do it.

 

  1. Perform the same steps as you usually would when creating a new assignment. Do not use the +Quiz/Test button.
  2. Fill in some quiz information, such as the title and instructions from the Assignments page.
    Assignment 1
  3. Do not select any External Tools just yet, because we're going to add a rubric next. Just save the quiz for now. That's because once the Quizzes 2 External Tool is added, no further changes to the quiz instructions and rubrics can be made.
  4. Now that the assignment is created, we're going to click the +Rubric button below.
    Add Rubric
  5. Perform the same steps as you usually would when adding a new rubric to an assignment. However, there are some differences to keep in mind:
    Adding New Rubric
    1. Rubrics cannot be used effectively for grading in quizzes since quiz scores are calculated based on the number of points assigned to each quiz question. Therefore, do not use this rubric for assignment grading. However, you can add a rubric to a practice quiz (Restrict Student Result View > Show Points: ON) or ungraded survey (Restrict Student Result View > Show Points: OFF and hide all correct/incorrect indicators). Do not count this assignment towards the final grade must also be turned on.
    2. To avoid any point conflicts with assessment grades, select Remove points from rubric. This is recommended since we favor high scores over rubrics with mediocre feedback.
  6. Click Edit to go back to editing the assignment, and then set up the Quizzes 2 External Tool. If you're satisfied with your rubric and instructions, go ahead and click Save. By clicking Save, the quiz instructions from the Assignments page and the rubric(s) associated with this New Quiz can no longer be edited.

 

Advanced Options

The availability of the following options varies by your local institution.

 

MODERATED GRADING
Allow moderators to review multiple independent grades for selected submissions.

 

ANONYMOUS GRADING
Graders cannot view student names. This can be changed by selecting Hide student names in the SpeedGrader. Grades will not be released automatically, and unmuting or posting grades will automatically disable Anonymous Grading.

 

ANONYMOUS INSTRUCTOR ANNOTATIONS 
Anonymize all annotations made by instructors on submissions for this assignment in DocViewer.

 

Next time, we'll show you how rubrics work in SpeedGrader for New Quizzes assignments.

 

Issues

 

MULTIPLE ESSAYS
Rubrics may not work correctly if you add two or more essay questions to a single quiz.

At FIU Online (based in Miami, Florida International University) we are blessed to be able to participate in a variety of professional development opportunities, such as leading conference presentations or attending at conferences. For the past two years, Maikel Alendy (FIU Online's newly appointed Learning Design Innovation Manager) presented with FIU Earth & Environmental Dept. Professor Rodolfo Rego at Realities 360. The annual conference addresses the latest developments in the use of virtual reality (VR) for training and education. Beyond being a great presenter, I'm always learning new things from Maikel; he raises "my bar."

 

 In their 2019 presentation, "Lessons from a Year of Cost-Effective Immersive Strategies in Higher Ed" they covered the two prominent college classroom challenges: technology costs and instructional relevance. Specifically, they addressed how to create VR assignments using tools like Cenario VR, Seekbeak and GoogleEarth. An example of a solution they demonstrated was a interactive laboratory orientation. Often when students would arrive in labs, they were unsure where materials were located and "wasted" valuable lab time. Additionally another example shared was a tour of FIU's Nature Preserve (link is website, not the example) with great interactions to explore and learn more about its features.

 

  

If an image is worth a 1000 words, what is a 360 image worth?

 

[Unfortunately the embed for SeekBeek is not working here once I publish the article, but it works in Canvas & also WordPress. See an example in one of our articles on our Faculty news source.]

*Blog article written with assistance from Charles Roig (FIU Online)

 

Keep Learning,


Sky V. King
Senior Instructional Designer, FIU Online
Adjunct- Marketing & Logistics, FIU

I don't know about you, but I love podcasts. I would never do my own, so I especially laud and respect those that do. Know what else I love? Canvas & the Canvas Community.  Now those two loves have mashed up like PB & J, introducing the CanvasCasters podcast. Friendly Disclaimer: This is an unofficial Canvas LMS podcast.

 

Your hosts with the most-est are Eddie Small and Marcus Painter. They tout themselves as two middle-aged men seeking to become Canvas Jedi! [ Wonder if they know the #CanvasJediSloth ??? ] Learn about their secret identities. Their goal is to publish a new PANDAcast (podcast) every few weeks.

 

Beyond learning about their Harry Potter themed Professional Development Speed Dating endeavor, learn more about takeaways from CanvasCon 2019 & CanInnovate 2019. What's really awesome about the podcasts is their special guests! So far, they have had the following amazing guests. 

 

Episode NumberPanda-tastic
Special Guests
Megan Tolin
2Paul Towers
3Kona Jones 
...more Kona Jones to love! (actually Episode 3 Part 2)
5Chris giles
6Eddie Small & Marcus Painter (your hosts; thanks for the special shout-out re: this blog post)
7Kyle Beimfohr
8Scott Dennis & Renee Carney

 

You can find CanvasCasters in a variety of ways:

 

Maybe they will even do a live podcast during instructurecon 2020 in beautiful Nashville, TN?

Check it out and let me know what you think? Also, share some of your best podcasts that you love (as much as the Canvas Community)! And remember, canvasworksforus.

 

Keep Learning,

Sky V.
Senior Instructional Designer, FIU Online
Adjunct in Marketing & Logistics, FIU

Most of us would probably agree, students don't "need" a tutorial on using Canvas. Students are following the lead of their instructor in terms of course design. However, it may not hurt to provide options for our students, especially when it comes to learning a new LMS.

That's why we've created a new Canvas student tutorial course, called Building with Canvas. Just like faculty have a training course in Growing with Canvas, this one is intended  for students.

 

Building with Canvas course card

What Is The Course?

This self-paced course is designed to help students learn how to use Canvas effectively in face-to-face classrooms AND within online learning environments. No prior Canvas experience is required. Students will earn four badges (using Badgr) to demonstrate their accomplishments. Badges are earned at the end of each Module.
course badge animated gif

 

How Can I Use It?

The course is published to the Canvas Commons to use and adopt at your institution! 
Building with Canvas - link to the course in the Canvas Commons (or just search for it in the Commons). If you need help using the Canvas Commons, check out this Canvas help guide - How do I use Commons? Alternatively, you can download the course file directly and import that into a new sandbox course in your Canvas instance.

 

The course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License -- that means you are welcome to share it and edit it to meed the needs of your institution.

 

For Canvas Admins

This course includes a Canvas admin setup guide for you to easily deploy it at your institution. Take a look at the first Page inside the Introduction Module for information about setting up the badges for the course and how to deploy it to your students. 

 

Our design team at Lord Fairfax Community College have spent many hours designing every aspect of this course and we really hope it will help with student adoption and improve familiarity with Canvas. 

 

Please "Like" and share this resource if you find it useful!

 

Comments welcome below!

 

I did this some time ago when running a workshop for academics and course designers. It may help people understand how to design a #Mastery Paths module. I set up each phase as a Canvas Module.  The orange items are generally a page or quiz. If useful I can upload some others I have done. The grey boxes are where Mastery Paths can be used to make simple decisions.

Mastery 1

On March 15, Ventura College hosted the 4th Annual district-wide Distance Education Summit. The theme was, “Reaching Every Student: Accessibility and Equity in Online Learning”. The day included sessions, workshops, and a student panel addressing issues of access and equity in hybrid and online classes.

Keynote speaker, Gaeir Dietrich, gave a rousing talk on Universal Design for Student Success, exploring the key principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), learning and teaching styles, and the intersection of accessibility and basic skills. Dietrich is a consultant and trainer on access and Section 508 compliance.

Faculty and staff from Ventura and Moorpark Colleges presented on a variety of topics, including: Online Student Services, Humanizing Your Course for Equitable Outcomes, and the new districtwide software program, Ally, which will improve the usability and accessibility of online course content. Ventura College presenters included Asher Sund , Eric Martinsen , Tania DeClerck , Araceli Trujillo  , Sharon Oxford , Margaret Phelps, and John Ruff. Presenters from Moorpark College included: Suzanne Fagan, Jolie Herzig, Jennifer Lawler, Richard Feilden, Deanna Ochoa, and Kara Lybarger-Monson.

Keynote and Ventura College Instructional Technologist

Sharon Oxford Ali Olson-Pacheco (key contributors)

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