Revise Calendar Events to Show in Modules

Idea created by Rachael Sweeten on Jun 15, 2018
    Open for Voting
    • Christoph Haug
    • Rob Ditto
    • Patrice Lawless
    • Rachael Sweeten

    Events do not currently have a spot in the course Navigation menu or Modules. Why not?  

    Please make it possible to have Calendar Events show in the Modules and be maintained within the course. 


    There is a consistency issue between the Calendar tool, Events, and Canvas Courses.  (Note: My college's instance of Canvas may have some features turned on or off, though fixing the consistency issue would help all users and all instances.)


    This could be possibly programmed as an optional "setting" for existing content pages that adds a date range & calendar presence, or alternatively, Events could be a separate section with its own bar in the Course Navigation menu--in which case events would need to function as Module overview pages. 



    Why it matters: 


    The weird workarounds that instructional designers and faculty invent to deal with this inconsistency distract from course quality and general Canvas user satisfaction. 


    *I teach faculty the differences between content pages and assignments. For some reason, even amongst the experienced users at my school, there is a frequent confusion between modules and assignments.  Part of this confusion comes from inconsistencies and trying to outsmart the limits of certain Canvas features, like Events.


    1. Teachers and Instructional designers need a better way to signal students when to "begin" something major (like a module or a project.)
      1. Due dates tell students when an assignment is due, not when to start.  Sometimes, start time is vital info. 
      2. Calendar events are hard to manage from within the course and most often turn into a huge mess.
      3. Some colleges have a high turnover of new adjuncts each semester who inherit existing course content, so the teacher-intensive maintenance needs to be built into the Canvas course and not elaborately trained each time for an already overwhelmed new employee.
    2. Currently, Assignments show up in the To-Do list and the Calendar tool. This leads to teachers creating assignments when they don't want a column in the gradebook or an ungraded assignment.
      1. The current Syllabus/Calendar To-Do list encourages students to attempt assignments without completing readings or Module content. Yes, kudos to Canvas for being student-centered first, yet this software setup assumes a perspective that teachers give busy work and the final Assignments are all that matters. Not the case.
      2. Yes, there are restrictive settings on Modules, but this has a disadvantage of being too controlling for many courses and generates lots of complaint emails from students. (Teachers want to reward curiosity, not squash it with an iron fist. Plus, students who want to click around assume Canvas is broken.)
    3. When training faculty on Canvas, the Calendar is a really bad place to start.  If a course is designed well, the Calendar takes care of itself for student view. Any new faculty user who tries to jump into using the Calendar tool to avoid learning how Modules or Assignments work is in trouble--and this happens a lot. 
    4. Faculty can do a lot of damage in the Calendar tool, like deleting assignments and erasing student work. 
      1. Calendar tool works great to change a lot of due dates very quickly. But again, it only works in a polished course. Many times, other things need maintenance in assignments and teachers miss this when they work from the Calendar tool.
    5. Faculty and instructional designers also come up with dysfunctional, hard-to-maintain work-arounds to try to get Module overview pages or Module date-ranges to show up in the Calendar.  *Like making a single assignment function as the entire module, etc. Not fun.