Spring Cleaning

Blog Post created by on Jun 13, 2016

Springtime cleanup at my organization generally consists of:

  1. Removing participant access to completed courses
  2. Holding “lessons learned” meetings with colleagues in order to build better courses for the upcoming program year
  3. Building new program courses and training materials
  4. Enrolling new students


  1. Removing access to participants in completed courses this year included an investigation into whether it is better to unenroll individual participants, set participants to inactive status , or set a course close date. This investigation took into account the effects of each method on student/teacher access and reporting through APIs.  We reviewed articles in the Canvas Community and tested many options in our accounts.
  2. We held Lessons Learned meetings in February and identified issues including:
    1. Need for more granular teacher permissions to allow facilitators to view student submissions but not be able to adjust rubric scores provided by teachers.
      1. Unfortunately, not available in Canvas at this time.
      2. Need for more rubric functionality as our program rubrics build from left to right with 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest) whereas Canvas rubrics build from highest to lowest. This mismatch has caused confusion.
        1. Unfortunately, not available in Canvas at this time.
      3. Need for additional training resources
        1. Identified several possible methods for meeting this need.
      4. Challenges in uploading video files greater than 500 MB
        1. Still struggling with this issue since most options are very expensive.
      5. Need to explore alternative assessment formats
        1. Identified several possible methods for meeting this need.
  3. This year, spring cleanup also included rolling out the new Canvas UI and updating all program-specific training materials to reflect the changes to the interface and our implementation of it moving forward.


What did you do to recruit them to your informal focus group?

I have specific team representatives that I meet with on a regular basis, so these were the people with whom I worked.


When did you hold your meet-up? And how many people showed up?

We held meetings during our regularly scheduled meeting time.


What successes did they have with Canvas at the end of the year?

Many of our instructors/students had a great deal of success with Canvas and were able to access course content, submit assignments, and communicate with their colleagues without difficulty.There is no specific "end of year" process that was too challenging.


What challenges did they experience with Canvas at the end of the year?

End of the year challenges were the same as "rest of the year" challenges with rubric scoring and video uploads. The addition of the new UI was an obstacle for our training development team, as we had difficulty finalizing screen shots without having yet turned on the new UI except in the Test environment.


How did the feedback change or not change some of your resourcefulness around 'spring cleaning' and year-end-close-out in Canvas?

In the past, we offered students a way to download course content files as a batch process but after our discussions, our program teams indicated they did not want students to be able to download this proprietary content. We adjusted our technical support to meet this expectation.


How are you going to party this summer?

Brief moment of patting ourselves on the back, and jumping right back into creating/enrolling courses for the next program year which begins... now.