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I don't know many people, especially teachers, who are not pressed for time. However, Canvas can help you save this precious commodity. Here's how:


Canvas Quizzes Can Score Themselves: Use a variety of questions from matching to multiple choice to fill in the blank and let Canvas do the scoring for you. Open the quiz to randomize questions and allow students to retake the quiz multiple times as a great self-assessment tool.



Let Canvas Be Your Study Guide: Tired of creating study guides from past quizzes and notes? Keep your past modules open, allow students to revisit old quizzes, and post your video lessons/notes for easy reference guides for your students as they prepare for high stakes semester exams.


SpeedGrader is FAST: Easily score student work (discussions, assignments and quizzes) in Canvas using SpeedGrader, which sorts student work by class and in alphabetical order.)


Canvas Can Accept Just About Everything: Which makes scoring multimedia projects a cinch, because everything opens in SpeedGrader for you!


Keep Absent Students in the Know: By posting lectures/notes in modules and using the calendar to post the day's work. Let students know to check Canvas when they are gone. Then when students ask, "What'd I miss?" you can simply respond, "Check Canvas!"


Collaborate With Your Colleagues: Add colleagues as collaborators in your course to share content between classes.



Use Audio/Video Comments in Assignments: To leave quick feedback for students.

leaving comments.png

When you are leaving feedback on an assignment in Speedgrader, did you know you can leave comments four ways?

1. Type in the textbox and select "submit comment."

2. Upload a file from your computer.

3. Record either a video or audio comment right in Canvas!


4. Speak your comment and let Canvas do the typing! (I'd keep these to minimal statements as precise pronunciation is important.)


Use Automatic Time Control Features and Prerequisites: In modules and individual assignments/quizzes/discussions to control when content is available to students automatically.

Use Rubrics to Give Clear Expectations: And score them with the click of a button in SpeedGrader!

Check out the Commons: For modules, assignments, discussions, quizzes, and other content other users have already created! Import them into your course and tweak them to serve the needs of your students!

Import Past Courses into New Course Shells: To save creation time each semester/year. You can import the entire course or selected course content. Don't forget to check to the box to "adjust dates" before hitting that submit button!


With all that time you save, you can enjoy a nice cup of Joe and watch reruns of Miami Vice.

If we want our students to be well-prepared for an assessment, the way that we practice in class should closely mirror the format of the test itself.


Why, then, are we still using paper review sheets?


Don't get me wrong: there are some students who prefer traditional review sheets and—Canvas notwithstanding—there is still power in paper. However, in the area of immediate feedback, electronic still outshines its paper-based counterpart. Even when provided with an answer sheet, students may hurriedly scan their own work and fail to notice spelling errors or other nuances.


Since I am a World Language teacher, it's important that my students' spelling is accurate. Canvas is great for creating reviews for each chapter exam. I simply import a copy of my own exam and quickly alter each question so that it's similar, but not identical. Some questions from the test get deleted entirely, while for others I will create extra, similar questions if it's challenging.


Lastly, I allow students to see both their answers and the correct answer(s) and I give them loads of extra attempts.


Does it work? It does. Just today, a one of my students proudly announced that he'd gotten a 57 on the 60-point test they'd just completed. Since that student struggles a little, the boy next to him raised his eyebrows and scoffed, "How'd you get that good of a grade?" The bearer of the A told everyone his secret: "I took that practice test like ten times!"


Of course, not everyone will take a practice test unless you make it mandatory. Even then, there will still be those who choose not to; my students can do a practice multiple times but generally only do it once or twice. It's a great feeling, though, when a "lagging" student does it ten times and gets an A!

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