Ruth Thornton

Considerations for Course Creation in Vocational Education

Blog Post created by Ruth Thornton Employee on Oct 29, 2019

How should you structure your Canvas Courses in your instance if you're in Vocational Education?

 

There are already multiple guides outlining the hierarchical structure within Canvas (here) and information about Canvas Courses. The purpose of this blog is to provide a VET perspective of how you could apply your system hierarchy in Canvas. 

 

Previously we posted about how you might want to organise your Canvas Account - now the next step is deciding how you will want to organise your Courses that works for your organisation. Courses can be used to differentiate qualifications, skill sets, units of competency or clusters.

 

If you have an integration with a Student Information System (SIS), take a look at how or if it maps to Canvas. If it does, then you’re set! Your SIS will map your system hierarchy to the Canvas Course structure.

 

If you don’t have a SIS or if your SIS does not map to Canvas Courses, consider your existing system hierarchy within your organisation. How can you mimic how your organisation is already set up within Canvas? We’ve outlined some models below to help you get started.

 

As always, have a chat with your Customer Success Manager to discuss which options could work for your organisation.

 

 

                                                                   

Qualification as a Canvas Course

When Qualifications are organised into Courses, Units would be organised into Modules. 

Pros

Cons

     
          
  • Reduced administration, as students are enrolled into one location
  •       
  • One location for trainer to manage
  •       
  • Easy to cluster Units and build progression pathways
  •      
     
          
  • Trainers can not easily be split between Units (Modules)
  •       
  • Amount of content in the Modules page may intimidate the student and potentially decrease engagement
  •      

 

 

                                                                   

Skill Set as a Canvas Course

Similar to the example above, Skill Sets can also be organised into Courses, and Units organised into Modules.

Pros

Cons

     
          
  • Reduced administration, as students are enrolled into one location
  •       
  • One location for trainer to manage
  •       
  • Easy to cluster Units and build progression pathways
  •      
     
          
  • Trainers can not easily be split between Units (Modules)
  •      

 

 

                                                                   

Unit of Competency as a Canvas Course

This option results in smaller Courses that contain the learning activities for the Unit organised in Modules.

Pros

Cons

     
          
  • Allows for greater flexibility if the RTO allows for a choice in Elective Units (if there aren’t defined learning pathways dictated by the RTO)
  •       
  • Smaller more manageable chunks of content/ assessment
  •       
  • Can limit Unit access (1 by 1)
  •      
     
          
  • Additional administrative tasks as each student has to be enrolled in every elective
  •       
  • SIS integration may not allow for this model
  •      

 

 

                                                                   

Cluster (Multitude of Units) as a Canvas Course*

Combine multiple Units together to cluster learning activities and assessments. 

Pros

Cons

     
          
  • Allows for greater flexibility if the RTO allows for a choice in Elective Units (if there aren’t defined learning pathways dictated by the RTO)
  •       
  • Smaller more manageable chunks of content/ assessment
  •       
  • Can limit Unit access (1 by 1)
  •       
  • Learning activities can be clustered to reduce the risk of over-assessment and progress through assessment tasks more organically to allow greater connection
  •      
     
          
  • Additional administrative tasks as each student has to be enrolled in every elective
  •       
  • SIS integration may not allow for this model
  •      

 

 

If you've already hit the ground running with your Courses, how does your organisation set it up and what are the pros and cons that you've encountered?

 

If you're just starting out, how would you like to set it up? What are the pros and cons that you feel are most important when organising your Canvas Courses?


Ready for the next step?

Take a look at the next part in this mini-series, Managing Rolling Enrolments.

 

 

Candice Lim.

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