Canvas Used for Online Student Onboarding

Blog Post created by QC99.tsilvius on Dec 16, 2015

One of the ways that we are using Canvas in our K-12 Quakertown Community School District's Online Academy is for online student orientation.  Each year we revisit this student on-boarding component to our district's Online Academy program to update anything from content to policy revisions to checks for understanding. Our orientation contains content to meet the more holistic areas of a student working online with learning activities revolving around the Characteristics of a Successful Online Learner (ION). It also contains learning activities that share strategies for goal setting, time management and pacing in an online learning environment. Another section of the orientation course includes Canvas profile and notifications settings, UI navigation and tool usage.  Last, of course, is the obligatory Get Your Geek On section where students are walked through computer update requirement check-ups.


This year we included a badging component using CanvaBadges as our microcredential system tied to checks or understanding in each section. Our online academic mentor guides students in need of help through the orientation course to earn their orientation course badge.  As student concerns arise she addresses them with the student's school counselors or our program director. It's a true teameffort. After meeting page view requirements and scoring above the passing threshold on quiz tools purposed as checks for understanding, students earn a badge for completing our orientation. When the student is done with the orientation they email their receiving QCSD Online teacher to request enrollment in their online course.  Since the orientation course enforces a linear navigation through its content this enrollment request script is reached only by completing the entire orientation course. Once pasted in a new email students customize the script as specified.


Hello. My name is <typenamehere>, and I'm enrolling in your <typecoursenamehere> and so on.


In this enrollment request the student also shares the CanvaBadge public share link with the online teacher. When the teacher clicks on the public share link for the badge to verify the name on the badge page the online teacher knows that the student has completed the orientation successfully and has the rudimentary skills needed to navigate through Canvas and their online courses.


In addition to student training, this orientation course in Canvas serves as our Online Academy student communication hub.  Program-wide announcements are shared from this piece of Canvas real estate so our students and their observers stay up to date with everything from marking periods ending to reminders about looking ahead before upcoming vacation breaks and asking teachers for help in advance.


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