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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 has spent many hours designing every aspect of this course and we really hope that 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)

Our campus piloted Canvas for 2 semesters and due to a number of reasons we decided "Not" to adopt the platform. We had about 40 classes and the instructors using Canvas now wanted to retrieve their materials and assessments from Canvas and put them back into the campus LMS, Moodle. Just as a side note Canvas was actually built out on an earlier version of the open source code from Moodle. This is where the dilemma begins. Apparently, no one else has decided to walk away...as we did. There is no way to easily remove your materials or your student work from Canvas once it goes in. Institutions need to maintain students records and the artifacts associated with their grades. This is a giant mess and I feel compelled to let the rest of the community know exactly what you are getting into. I think that this is the new model for LMS companies as I believe Bb also is making extraction of content and data out of their system difficult as well. So, be forewarned and check your options before taking that leap of faith! 

UNLV's Office of Online Education is looking for an Instructional Art Manager! Please share or apply using the link below if interested. 

 

https://www.higheredjobs.com/institution/details.cfm?JobCode=176882119&Title=%2AREVISED%2A%20Instructional%20Art%20Manag… 

 

ROLE of the POSITION

The Instructional Art (IA) Manager works to develop a campus culture that embraces digital teaching and learning by supporting instructional artists as they engage faculty in online and hybrid course development and revision. The IA Manager uses a growth mindset (Dweck, 2007) to help the instructional art team function as members of a supportive OE team. The IA Manager has strong pedagogical knowledge, art expertise, online education experience and collaborative supervisory skills that promote best practices in instructional art. The Manager supports instructional artists and faculty through the course design and development stages; evaluates OE courses for consistency with art standards and best practices; identifies and organizes resources for skill and knowledge development for OE instructional artists; and brings research-based perspectives to the art and science of instructional art. The IA Manager collaborates with the instructional design and instructional applications programming staff. The IA Manager also supports OE by working on issues, programs or projects at the request of the Director.

*QUALIFICATIONS*

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in Instructional Media Design, Digital Arts, Educational Technology, or related field
  • 2 years supervisory experience
  • 3-5+ years direct experience in the following areas:
    • Conceptualizing and transforming textual materials to visual elements o Using appropriate educational technology to enhance teaching and learning in online courses
    • Building courses in a learning management system in a higher education setting
    • Supporting and developing a cooperative team of professionals.
    • Teaching or training in a higher education setting
  • Formal knowledge in instructional media design and learning theories, approaches, and practices, including the ability to remain current within the discipline.
  • Ability to assess and support or shift (as needed) organizational culture 
  • Growth mindset with demonstrated ability to be resilient and agile (Broza, 2015). 
  • Instructional art skills that effectively use various technologies and practices in the online experience.
  • Ability to analyze feedback from summative evaluation of OE classes and develop strategies for instructional artists to use as they encourage faculty to improve student outcomes. 
  • Ability to support communities of practice in digital teaching and learning.
  • Adept at providing support for multiple courses in a variety of disciplines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 5+ years experience working in higher education
  • Higher education staff supervisory experience
  • Expertise in Canvas 

Best of luck, 

Hannah

It is now possible to connect Hypothesis, a free and open source collaborative annotation tool, with your Canvas course.  You could use this for activities in which your students collaboratively comment or annotate web sites, documents, and other items.  See this tutorial for how Hypothesis works, and here are some quick start guides for teachers and students.

Installing and Using Hypothesis in Canvas

See these instructions for installing the Hypothesis app in your Canvas course.

And then see how to use the Hypothesis app in Canvas Modules or use Hypothesis as part of a Canvas Assignment.

This saves you and your students time by allowing for single sign-on use of Hypothesis:

The Hypothesis LMS app automatically provisions accounts for all students enrolled in any course using the app. This means that students can navigate to a Hypothesis-enabled reading and begin annotating without ever creating or logging into a separate account. Even better, the entire course roster of students and teachers will all be joined and annotate by default in an automatically-created private Hypothesis group that matches the course in the LMS.

Gradebook integration is a feature planned for the future.

Using Hypothesis in Your Course: Pedagogical Techniques

More Videos: Using Hypothesis in Canvas

Here are some video tutorials recently posted by Hypothesis:

  1. Creating an Hypothesis PDF module item in Canvas - YouTube 
  2. Creating an Hypothesis URL module item in Canvas - YouTube 
  3. Single Signon with Hypothesis in Canvas - YouTube  

 

(This was originally posted to the Valencia College Circles of Innovation blog.)

Have you ever wished there was a resource you could reference when setting up a Canvas course? Well, good news...now there is one! The Training Services department shared all of their collective experiences working in education and training clients for years to build this collaborative resource that instructors will hopefully find useful referencing when creating their courses in Canvas.         

 

Potential Uses of the Checklists

  • Review the Beginning-of-Course checklist to ensure your course is ready to publish for students

  • Reference the End-of-Course checklist to help wrap up your course before the term concludes

  • Share with your colleagues so they can also benefit from the checklists

 

Screenshot image of first checklist page

  

Access

The checklist resource is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Beginning- and End-of-Course Checklists Editable Copy

 

Feel free to leave us comments about this resource or share the practices you use at the beginning and end of a course in Canvas.

 

The Training Services Department at Instructure is committed to supporting any training needs at your Institution. Reach out to your CSM if you are interested in learning more about this resource, additional resources or any of our training offerings.

Hi guys!

Our higher education institution has been working with Canvas for just over a year. During this time, this community was very helpful in our doubts and so we would like to share our curated community links.
Thanks to all of you who share your discoveries and experiences with Canvas, all have been very valid.

 

Oi pessoal!

Nossa instituição de ensino superior trabalha com o Canvas há pouco mais de um ano. Durante esse período, essa comunidade foi muito útil em nossas dúvidas e, por isso, gostaríamos de compartilhar nossa curadoria de  links da comunidade.
Obrigado a todos vocês que compartilham suas descobertas e experiências com o Canvas, todos foram muito válidos.

 

  •     COURSES (CURSOS):

 

Analytics:

 

Analytics in Course Design: Leveraging Canvas Data:  https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1176

 

 

Domain paths (Caminhos de domínio):

 

MC_Canvas_Instructor_Orientation: https://ursinus.instructure.com/courses/2850  (part.3)

 

 

Gamification (Gamificação):

Badges for Learning: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/904071

 

Gamify Your Canvas Course with Badgr Open Badges: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1628

 

Experience Points for Canvas: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/1015875

 

Canvas Network Training Course: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/553 (módulo 6)

Canvas for Online Learning: https://uen.instructure.com/courses/404288 (módulo 10)

 

 

Layout:

Canvas for Online Learning: https://uen.instructure.com/courses/404288 (módulo 9)

 

Canvas Course Design: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/866251

 

Keep Your Canvas Clean: https://uen.instructure.com/courses/368335

 

Canvas Instructor Training: https://richland.instructure.com/courses/1911107

 

Design Tools User Guide: https://cidilabs.instructure.com/courses/102

 

Canvas HTML Editor: https://llu.instructure.com/courses/1131728

 

Canvas Gallery: https://ucdenver.instructure.com/courses/336339

 

Canvas Tutorials: https://lakeland.instructure.com/courses/1455362

 

Org: Canvas 101: https://fsu.instructure.com/courses/63

 

Peter Wiarda Sandbox: https://slcc.instructure.com/courses/377550


CanvasBasics@GSE: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/7923 

Design Ideas: https://canvas.bham.ac.uk/courses/17551 

 

                      Canvas + _______ = Engaging Experiences: https://esc11.instructure.com/courses/4271 


                      Canvas Extended: https://canvas.ewu.edu/courses/1028360 

 

                      Pauleds / resources: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/787387 

 

                     3 Col: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1103267 

 

                     AdvCanvTraining: https://bates.instructure.com/courses/1550162 

       

                    Teaching Resources Hub: Teaching Resources Hub 

 

 


Courses that inspired us (Cursos que nos inspiraram):

 

Overview of various courses (Visão geral de vários cursos): https://learn.canvas.net/search/all_courses

Technical Mathematics for Industry: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/256

Design Thinking for K-12 Educators: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/931

 

Canvas Template Basic – Emory: https://canvas.emory.edu/courses/30202

 

Canvas Tour for Students: https://canvas.fau.edu/courses/6269

 

Chemistry I: Elements and Compounds and their properties: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1109

 

Teaching Flipped: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/765

 

Open Mic Songwriting: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/535

 

Supporting Girls in STEAM: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/892

 

Biometric Technologies: Identification for the Future (September 2015): https://learn.canvas.net/courses/552

 

Empowering Yourself as a Digital Citizen: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/591

 

Intro to Geology: https://resources.instructure.com/courses/11/pages/course-home-page

Canvas Teacher Community: https://cuesta.instructure.com/courses/108

 

Online Education Center Orientation: https://deanza.instructure.com/courses/1106

 

Canvas: https://www.canvas.net/

 

 

Outcomes (Resultados):

 

Canvas Instructor Tutorials: https://lakeland.instructure.com/courses/740304/pages/setting-up-the-mastery-gradebook?module_item_id=13176394

 

Learning Outcomes & Rubrics: https://canvas.vt.edu/courses/27/pages/learning-outcomes-and-rubrics#Learning

 

 

 

  •     COMMUNITY (COMUNIDADE):

 

Gamification (Gamificação):

Completing the quest by unlocking content: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/9783

 

Layout:

Dynamic page flow with course menu navigation: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/9238

 

Minimalistic template design: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/22184-minimalistic-template-design


Templates: Responsive Design for the Mobile Web: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/cmug/blog/2018/06/28/templates-responsive-design-for-the-mobile-web

 

Home Sweet Homepages without Tables: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2015/05/22/sweet-home-pages-without-tables

 

Share UDL Course Design Tips, Tricks, and Techniques: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/accessibility/blog/2016/06/08/share-udl-course-design-tips-tricks-and-techniques

 

Developing Course Pages Using Bootstrap: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/13567-developing-course-pages-using-bootstrap

 

Flexbox Grid tips and guides: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/2767

 

Video Carousel: code-snippet: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3497-video-carousel-code-snippet

 

Element Toggler: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/24219-element-toggler

 

Basic Clickable Image Map: code-snippet: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3294

 

Using jQuery without Custom Javascript: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2015/07/01/using-jquery-without-custom-javascript

 

Canvas Scrolling Side Menu: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/canvas-developers/blog/2018/06/27/canvas-scrolling-side-menu

 

Columns Without Tables: code-snippet: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3289

 

Easy Slideshow or Gallery in HTML: https://instructure.jiveon.com/groups/designers/blog/2016/02/20/easy-slideshow-or-gallery-in-html

 

Improve Threaded Discussions with CSS: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2016/05/26/improve-threaded-discussions-with-css

 

                      Lightbox Effect: https://instructure.jiveon.com/groups/designers/blog/2016/06/21/lightbox-effect 

 

                     Teacher Appreciation 2018 | Home Page Templates: Teacher Appreciation 2018 | Home Page Templates  

 

 

Learning Mastery (Domínios de aprendizagem):

 

How is your school using Learning Mastery?: https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/23957-how-is-your-school-using-learning-mastery

 

 

Course Progress (Progresso no curso):

Help Students Monitor their Course Progress: https://community.canvaslms.com/people/kona@richland.edu/blog/2017/05/11/help-students-monitor-their-course-progress

 

 

UDL (Universal Design for Learning)

Implementing Universal Design for Learning on Canvas: https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2017/10/16/implementing-universal-design-for-learning-on-canvas

 

Teaching Effectively in Canvas (Please share ideas & advice!) : https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2017/05/02/teaching-effectively-in-canvas-please-share-ideas-advice

 

 

  •     PAGES (PÁGINAS):

 

Layout:

Style Guide: https://canvas.instructure.com/styleguide

 

Thinking in Canvas: Using pages to make your unit come alive: http://sydney.edu.au/education-portfolio/ei/teaching@sydney/thinking-canvas-using-pages-make-unit-come-alive/

 

Tips for Designing for Mobile Devices: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mMJLQs9eMf3BqKmky-wDoqEdig9Z1cmyEs_xMHu5500/edit#slide=id.p39

 

Progress bar in Instructure Canvas: https://learntech.imsu.ox.ac.uk/blog/notes-on-instructure-canvas/

 

ARCHIVED: Adding enhanced interface components in Canvas content: Adding enhanced interface components in Canvas content 

 

UDL (Universal Design for Learning)

 

http://udltheorypractice.cast.org/login

In response to the Disappearing Graphics and related posts here, as well as related questions from my own faculty, here are some tips for what you might try doing if you run into a situation in which some or all of the images do not appear to load in Canvas.  Feel free to add your own suggestions, corrections, etc. in the comments below.

 

Occasionally you may notice that one or more images do not appear to be loading on a page in Canvas - especially pages that have a lot of images.  In my experience (been using Canvas since 2011), this is just a temporary issue and reloading the page fixes it, and usually the cause is my school network, not the Canvas servers or my computer or browser.

 

Why does this happen?

There are various reasons why this may happen - your school or home network may be clogged or having other issues, Canvas servers are overloaded, your computer is overloaded, etc.  When you load a page from a web server like Canvas, your web browser may actually be making dozens of requests from the server - one for each image and CSS and javascript file used on the web page.  This puts a brief but potentially heavy load on your computer, your home or school network, and the Canvas servers.  For more discussion of this issue, see these threads on the Canvas community site: Disappearing Graphics and Why are my jpeg images disappearing.

 

How can I fix this issue?

First, make sure you are not using an old computer with insufficient memory/RAM or an out of date operating system or browser.  Canvas will not work correctly with Internet Explorer, for example.  Try the Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser instead.

Make sure also you have a decent Internet connection.  If you are trying to connect over a poor wifi or cellular signal, that may also cause the issue.  Run a speed test to see how fast your Internet connection is.

You can also check the status of Canvas servers, but that is rarely the issue.

If images are not showing up in one course but they show up fine in others, it may be because you (or the course builder) copied and pasted images into the course rather than uploading images into the course.  Copying and pasting images from one course to another does not work.  The pasted images are still being loaded (or not loaded) from a different course that you may not have access to.  Run the link validator in Canvas to check for and fix broken images and links.

 

If none of those are issues in your case, try one or more of the options below, starting with the first:

Option 1. Reload the page

If a simple reload of the page does not appear to be fixing the issue (control-R or command-R on macs), try control-shift-R (or command-shift-R on macs) to reload the page and force everything to re-download.  Your browser keeps a cache (store) of images and files it has downloaded before.  Control-shift-R should tell the browser to re-download everything.

That usually fixes the issue for me, but if things are still not working and you don't think it is poor network connectivity, there are some "stronger" options below that you can try.

 

Option 2. Empty cache and hard reload

Sometimes it is necessary to empty that cache first to force all images or other files to be downloaded again.

In chrome, you can hit control-shift-i (or command-shift-i on macs) to open the developer console pane on the right.  Then right-click (or control-click on macs) on the reload button and select Empty Cache and Hard Reload, as pictured below.  Hit control-shift-i again to close the developer tools pane.

empty cache and reload browser

 

Option 3. Clear browser data

In Chrome, you can clear all the images and files stored by your browser.  Click the 3 vertical dots on the top right of Chrome, go to Settings, and scroll to the bottom and click on Advanced.  Click on Clear Browsing Data.  You can also get there directly by going to this URL:  chrome://settings/clearBrowserData

clear browsing data

Clear recent images and files from your browser like so:

clear browsing data and cached images

 

Reload the Canvas page to see if that fixes the issue.

See this Clear browsing data page for more details.

 

Option 4. Clear Chrome browser extension

Another option is to install the Clear Chrome browser extension for Chrome.  It adds a button in the toolbar that will clear your cache any time you press the button (and optionally it will reload the page for you, too).

 

How can I lower the chance of this issue happening in my courses?

I would recommend not using very large images in your Canvas pages, and not too many images.  You might try to keep your individual images under 100kb and the total size of all images on your page under 1 megabyte.

Try an image editor like Pixlr to resize your images to be smaller in file size (go to Image -> Image size to resize).

  

 (This was originally posted on our college circles of innovation blog.)

I recently attended a webinar called “Student Device Preferences for Online Course Access and Multimedia Learning”, and it tied in nicely to my presentation from this past summer about using mobile devices to increase student engagement in the online classroom.  The research that was completed at Oregon State University’s Ecampus has some interesting results from its 2035 respondents such as  . . .

 

  • Nearly 100% of the respondents owned some form of a smartphone. (only 3 students did not) And 99% owned laptops.
  • Students preferred laptops for accessing their LMS (73%), Viewing video (68%), and learning with games and simulations (59%).
  • Devices such as laptops and desktops appear to be the best choice of study for effective results

I am inferring from the study too that students seem to understand that the Laptop and Desktop are more effective; however, they would prefer a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone for the convenience and perhaps ease of use.

 

I am not sure that this is overwhelmingly new research in this study, but it does seem to be a nice reference as it is recent research and a leading online program.   Perhaps more mobile learning environments will be created in the future to accommodate the preference.  If you would like to learn more about the study, please refer to the attached PDF or Oregon State's Ecampus reasearch team.

 

I have been asked to share this research, and I welcome any feedback.

Lily Philips

Ready-Made Template Suite

Posted by Lily Philips Employee Sep 17, 2018

Ready-Made Secondary Template Home Page Sample

Ready-Made Template Suite

 

The Instructional Design Team at Instructure is always looking for opportunities to assist teachers and admins in the creation of engaging Canvas courses. In the past, we have created and shared our Course Evaluation Checklist, Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist, and Home Page Templates.  

 

We took another step forward in Canvas design by creating a suite of Canvas course templates available for purchase.

 

We did this because we believe that templates help reduce stress load, encourage growth, and help you and your faculty create an engaging Canvas experience! How is that possible, you ask? Well, it's simple... a template turns a blank course shell into a fill-in-the-blank Canvas course. 

 

Our Recipe For Success 

Provide Teachers with more time to focus on enhancing learning content 
+ 
Provide Students with simple navigation, clear directions, built-in support, and technical guidance right when/where they need it most
=
Increased Canvas buy-in from Teachers and increased Student engagement

 

What's Included 

We've loaded our templates with modules that include sample pages, assignments, support materials, and more. Banners, buttons, icons, and other design elements are included and can easily be customized and re-used. 

 

Template Preview

Watch the following short clip to preview a template designed for Secondary students: Secondary Template Preview

 

Sample Home Page Designs 

 

Ready-Made Template Suite Screen-shots

What's Available 

We currently offer the following template types, with more options added all the time: 

  • Early Learners
  • Elementary & Middle School
  • Secondary
  • Higher Education
  • Specialty Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Leaders & Administrators
  • Global
  • Canvas Orientation

Learn More

Contact your CSM today to learn more about our Instructional Design service offerings and to access our Ready-Made Template Suite (which includes full-course previews).

I'm starting to lose track of all the different rubrics and checklists related to course design that I've come across, and some new ones have come out very recently, so I'd thought I'd list them here.  If you know of others, please comment below.  Thank you

 

Canvas Checklists

Course Design

Course Delivery

Accessibility

Equity

Syllabus

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Assignments

Assessments

Discussions

Rubrics

Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Textbooks

Technology

Videos

I've shared a resource in Canvas Commons with some examples of brief, research-based teaching strategies implemented in Canvas, such as: transparent assignments, minute papers, values affirmation, social belonging, goal setting, student testimonials, nudges, discussion protocols, wrappers, and midterm student feedback. 

You can preview this resource here.  You can also download an export of the Canvas resource in the attachment section below if you do not have access to Canvas Commons.

 

Evidence-based teaching refers to teaching strategies and principles for which there have been research studies indicating their effectiveness at improving student learning, engagement, attitudes, or other factors related to academic success.

This resource is not meant to be comprehensive.  As detailed in the table below, there are many different types and scopes of evidence-based pedagogical strategies and principles, and this resource only begins to tackle just one small part of this space.

 

And this is not to suggest that only evidence-based teaching strategies are useful or valid.  Just as in medicine, science, and other disciplines, we must constantly experiment with strategies when teaching, even when there is not, or especially when there is not, a solid research base to help inform decisions.

 

Some Categories of Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies & Principles

Briefer, Targeted StrategiesBroader or More Comprehensive Techniques
More Concrete Strategies

These are some of the strategies covered in this Canvas resource:

  • Minute Paper
  • Student Testimonials
  • Transparent Assignments
  • Value Affirmation
  • Discussion Protocols
  • Nudges
  • Wrappers
  • Midterm Student Feedback

Examples of some face-to-face in-class strategies (which are not addressed in this Canvas resource):

Many of these broader teaching techniques derive from discipline-based educational research and development.

More General Principles/Techniques

These are some strategies that primarily derive from cognitive psychology and mainly apply to practice and memory.

  • Retrieval Practice / Testing Effect
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving

These are links to more comprehensive Canvas-related resources on effective teaching practices.

 

 

More Online Resources about Evidence-based Teaching Practices

 

Books for Further Reading on Evidence-based Teaching Practices

 

Some Other Potential Canvas Activities that Could be Included in the Future

 

Your Suggestions, Comments are Welcome

Feel free to comment below with suggestions for other activities to include or improvements to make to these samples.  Or share your own examples on Canvas Commons, like the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory survey Kyle Heatherly shared and that I copied in this Canvas resource.

Have you ever wanted the ability to know which files from the Canvas Files section are being used in course content or where they are being used? How about the ability to identify and delete unused, irrelevant files?  

 

Read below about a tool we have built to to solve these problems at Utah State University. 

 

The Problem with Unused, Irrelevant Files

We have been using Canvas since the Summer of 2011 and one of the challenges is the accumulation of significant amounts of unnecessary and unused files in the files section as courses are copied forward. Some of those irrelevant files are past syllabi (i.e. syllabus-2011.pdf) or files from past years or duplicate files that were never used. Up until recently there was no way to identify which files were being used or not. 

 

We brought the problem to our data analyst Meghan Lewis who was able to use Canvas Data to look at data on every file across our courses and determine whether there was a link to that file or not from the Canvas content.  Given that some instructors choose to make the files section visible to students we filtered out that data to determine what percentage of files were being used. 

 

From that data we found that only 32.7% of the files in those courses were being used. In other words, over 67% of the files in those courses were no longer being used!

 

Old irrelevant files in courses in the files section are problematic for a number of reasons: 

  1. More irrelevant files makes it more difficult for faculty (and students when the files section is visible) to find relevant content. 
  2. When a student with disabilities requires accommodations in a course it is difficult to determine which files are are being used and need to be made accessible and time is spent making unused files accessible. 
  3. LTI tools that work with files (i.e. Atomic Search or Ally) operate on the assumption that all files in the files section are relevant to the student which has caused problems in our use of those tools. 

With an understanding of the problem, we set out to provide a solution to help instructors better understand how their course files are used. 

 

The Solution

To address the challenges around file management we have build a "File Cleanup LTI Tool" that allows faculty and instructional designers to identify and delete unused files and empty folders and see how files are being used.

 

The reception to this tool has been very positive on our campus and we are excited to share how it works to measure interest on whether there might be interest from others to merit the development work that would be needed to make the tool available for use by others. If you are interested take a moment to review the tool below and leave a comment with any feedback or to us know if this is something that would be helpful to your institution! 

 

Overview of the File Clean Up Tool

The File Cleanup LTI Tool is installed at a course level and is visible to instructors from the course navigation: 

 

File Cleanup link in course navigation.

 

Instructions 

When you click on the tool the following information and instructions shows up at the top of the tool: 
Overview of the File cleanup instructions, see specific notes below image.

This section of the tool provides brief instructions and a chart that shows what percentage of the files in the course are in use. There is also a note at the top of the tool that shows when the information displayed in the toolwas last updated - we currently Canvas data that is updated nightly, but hope to use Canvas Data Live Events in the future. 

Warnings

Below the instructions we present a warning that the tool is still in beta and a conditional warning that shows up when the instructor has made the files section available to students: 

Warnings to users to make sure they understand limitations of the tool. The first warning for courses that display the files section makes sure that those instructors know that some files may be used by students even if there are no links from Canvas content.  The second beta warning lets the users know that we are currently unable to determine if there are links to content from a limited type Canvas data (outcomes, rubrics, conferences, calendar items and quiz question answer submissions). We hope to remedy this with the move to Canvas Data Live Events.   

List of Course Files

List of Unused Files

Now the good stuff - the default view of the tool that lists all of the unused files from the course with the ability to preview, search, select, and delete those files: 

Default listing of files, functionality described below.

Instructors can quickly select all unused files and delete them or click on the file name to preview an individual file, sort by file name or date created or search for an individual file by file name or file type (i.e. all PDF files).  Files can be deleted individually or all at once. When you delete a file an "Are you sure" message pops up:  

Modal asking if you are sure you want to delete the files

Then a confirmation message appears showing how many file were deleted: 

Confirmation of the number of files deleted.

Once the files are deleted the list of files updated and the chart at the top of the page is updated to show how many unused files are in the course. 

List of All Course Files

You can also view a list of all files in a course including those that are in use: 

File list showing all files whether in use or not.

Note in this view there is a link for files in use that users can click on to go to the page where the file is used.

List of Empty Folders

We found that deleting files left a number of empty folders, so we recently added a tool that identifies those empty folders so they can be deleted individually or all at once. This tool is updated live rather than relying on the nightly Canvas Data dump.  

List of empty folders

 

Summary

While we are still gathering feedback from users and continuing to add features and improve the user experience there has already been significant interest and use of the tool by instructors excited to be able to clean out their files. Our Disability Resource Center has also greatly appreciated the ability to work with professors to clean out old files and focus their work on files that are being used in the course.  At an institutional level it has been great to start to see the number of useless files start to go down instead of up and instructors copy their courses forward each semester. 

 

If you have questions or interest in using this is a tool, please leave a comment below. Follow this post for updates on the availability of the tool in the future. 

 

Additional Resources 

Below are some Canvas ideas and other resources that also may be of interest: 

  1. Canvas Idea: Indicate Where Files Are Linked Within a Course
  2. Canvas Idea: Deployment Status for Course Files Canvas Idea
  3. Canvas Idea: When Searching Files, Show File Path (Breadcrumb) Idea
  4. If you are interested in how often files are downloaded in your course, take a look at this Google Tag Manager recipe anyone can use to track file downloads

 

Thank you! 

 

(header photo by bandi, CC License)

When Shauna Vorkink - Content Services Director first approached me about collaborating on a Course Evaluation Checklist with Erin Keefe - Training Team Lead and Deonne Johnson - Consultant, I was beyond thrilled. I knew this was something I could utilize in my current position as an Instructional Designer for Instructure, but even more importantly, it would provide the framework to ultimately help millions of Canvas users.

 

Potential Uses

  • Share this checklist with your colleagues
  • Apply the principles to your own course
  • Elevate the quality of your institution’s courses

 

Preview

 

Scrolling image preview of document

 


Access

The checklist is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Course Evaluation Checklist Editable

 

Note: We ask that you maintain our Citation list located at the bottom of the document. 


 

 Update

This checklist is now available in Spanish! Please select the following link for access: Lista de Evaluacion del Curso

 

 Update 

Members of the Content Services team collaborated with Canvas mobile app guru, Ryan Seilhamer, to create another go-to resource to help you understand mobile app design considerations. Please be sure to visit the Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist blog post to access this additional resource!

 

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

 

Our Instructional Design team offers full Course Evaluations. Course evaluation services provide insight into best practices. Recommendations will focus on aligning course objectives, accessibility, and overall creation of an enhanced user experience. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Shauna Vorkink - Content Services Director at svorkink@instructure.com.

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