Effective Faculty Training on Canvas

Community Champion
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How does one effectively train faculty on a new LMS?

Training faculty, especially in a large organization with diverse faculty needs is challenging to say the least. I work at a community college with full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty who teach online, hybrid, and web-enhanced face-to-face courses. LMS usage runs the gamut here as does experience level and training and support preferences.

So, how does one meet everyone's training needs and do an effective job?

We focused on making our training fully online (with optional workshop and appointment hours), self-paced, and asynchronous. We all know that faculty have busy schedules with many demands on their time.

Some other features of our course:

  • It follows universal design (UDL) best practices. For example, we offer multiple ways to learn the training content – video, reading, etc. 
  • It's visually pleasing.
  • The material is chunked and meaningfully organized.
  • The course allows for self-directed consumption of learning materials, while also using requirements, so that learners can track their progress.
  • It offers authentic assessment opportunities. Participants are evaluated on their ability to build out parts of a course.
  • The content dynamically updates when embedded webpages are changed. Canvas Community webpages are embedded and update in our course when they are updated by Instructure, which means less maintenance for the course developers and more time to support faculty.
  • It demonstrates good design and pedagogy.
  • It uses badging to reward faculty who complete the course. Certified Canvas users can share their badge on their social media networks.

How do we know it's working?

Ninety-five percent of faculty surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their training on Canvas. Participants have been able to access the level of support they need to complete the course. For example, novice users supplement the online course with a workshop or one-on-one appointment with online learning staff. Participants who have used Canvas elsewhere can demonstrate their skills with an existing or practice site. Some participants complete the course in a day; others complete the course slowly over a period of months.

We don't attempt to teach course participants everything about building a course in Canvas. We show them the basics and empower them with the tools the need to learn more when they're ready.

Are you working on a Canvas training course and looking for inspiration?

Our Canvas Certification course can be found in Canvas Commons. Please check it out and leave us a review. We're always looking for ways to improve.

Canvas Certification course in commons