Jill Thompson

Using Canvas to Model Professional Learning

Blog Post created by Jill Thompson on Oct 12, 2017

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ” By Benjamin Franklin


The research on professional development shows that the older “drive‐by” workshop model does not work. We also know that no two people learn the same way;  yet many of us do not change the way we provide instruction for students nor professional development for teachers. 


Just as we personalize education for students, we must also personalizing professional learning for adults. Notice I said professional learning, this is because I want to make a clear distinction between professional development and professional learning because to me, PD is a one and done verse professional learning improves educators professional knowledge, competence, skill and effectiveness. 


Utilizing Canvas can help us model professional learning experiences we want students to emulate in the classroom. To do this, when creating Canvas courses I make sure to use the different features so that teachers can see the HOW. For example, I will use Mastery Paths so that different teachers start at different points based on their needs and knowledge. I also create different types of assignments that allow them to see the functionality of assignments and that they don't have to be just uploading papers but can be podcasts, websites they created or graphic organizer. Other ways I model features in Canvas is by hosting discussions, collaborations and outcomes.