It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve updated our Canvas Community with what’s been happening with the ID Crew, aka the Instructional Design Team at Instructure, so I thought I’d give y’all the latest. (All of those Mississippi folks are starting to rub off on me.)
It is a monthly update from the Turnitin Team. Below you can find the most up-to-date information about training sessions, teachers' and students' resources for remote and distant learning/teaching, and a quiz to test your awareness of academic integrity.
I use a Google Form for assignments where I want students to have a choice on how to complete it and if I want more control over what students submit than is allowed with Canvas assessment options. The challenge I have with entering data into the Canvas gradebook is that the list of students in Canvas does not match the list of entries on the Google Sheet where form results are collected. This has been bugging me until I figured out how to use the SIS ID as a sort key in both locations.
This works for me because my college is a Google Suite for Education client, we use single sign-on, and our students' Gmail addresses begin with their student ID number.
In the embedded video I show how to make the SIS ID appear in the Canvas gradebook and sort by that field. I also show how to sort the Google Sheet by email address:
Thoughts on embedding digital worksheets like this one?
One of the more clever Canvas / Google combinations, imho, is embedding documents. Besides saving paper,
Expandable! Paper documents have a finite amount of space. Even with margins set at 1/4" (not great on paper, but fine for Canvas with its built-in whitespace), you're limited in what you can share by your printing budget. Digital sheets can go on for far too long if you're not careful.
Links work! Click as hard as you want, the links on a paper document won't get you to any further information on a topic. Digital documents can lead students to many more places, and the students just click — no need to try to type in http://crazyhardlinktotryandtype-probablywithhardnumberstotranspose.com/anddefinitelyslashes
Input! You want students to work together to brainstorm? Seeing each other's ideas helps them generate more. A common digital document does that.
Ease! Embedded Google docs are easier to change than Canvas content. Once embedded, there's no opening Canvas to Edit, no deleting of old files or uploading of new ones, no saving, no waiting, no worrying that students might have the wrong version. The one they see is the one I want them to see.
Last-minute changes! Maybe this is a sub-point of "Ease" but because it's so easy to change, it's easy to correct errors that you caught minutes before (or during) your class.
Color! With our budget, color paper copies are a special treat, but with digital sheets I can get as crazy as I'd like.
Here's an example of one our documents. You can comment on it if you'd like, but I've set the sharing so only I can edit it:
No Printer Smell! Some people really like the concrete tangibility of a paper copy. At our Active Teaching Labs (the embedded Activity Sheet here is from that program) we do print off 1 sheet for them. Notice that at the top of that sheet are easy-to-follow directions to the digital copy. We direct them to the digital copy so they can more actively participate in the session by clicking on the links that interest them, by sharing resources that they have, and by chatting (Google Docs chat) with other participants about the topic.
Control! Because embedded Google Docs can allow participants to actually participate, there's a chance that they will. That means they might want to take the discussion and focus to aspects of the topic that are more relevant to them than what I want to blather on about. Giving students agency in their learning is not for the faint of heart.
Instead, I set the width and height in the HTML iFrame code, and swap out the suggested URL for the one in the URL field of the document itself.
I can use the "/edit trick" to make some documents fully editable on the Canvas page so people don't have to leave Canvas to participate (we always provide a link so they can open them in a new tab or window). Depending on how I set Sharing preferences in Google, the editing tools allow me or other instructors to make changes to Google Docs directly in Canvas! If I want students to be able to Comment but not make changes, I can set that up in the Google Docs sharing preferences.
The Canvas Instructional Design Team is excited to share accessibility clips, tips and tricks for our February Teacher Appreciation Event. Our team values creating quality courses that are accessible to learners with diverse abilities. While it is not only the right thing to do, applying accessibility best practices also meet requirements laid out by federal and state laws. Knowing where to begin can be challenging. To help you get started creating accessible content, we have compiled a variety of resources.
Now that you have dived into awesome resources, show off your accessibility knowledge by entering our Accessibility Kahoot Contest. This contest will be open, to the first 100 participants, from February 20th through 22nd. The top three participants on the leaderboard at the close of the contest will receive Amazon gift cards. We look forward to seeing you battle it out for the top spots.
2020 Course Design Essentials
Monthly Canvas Community Event Launch
The Canvas Instructional Design Team is launching our2020 Course Design Essentialsmonthly event. These events will include blog posts, live events, free design assets, how-to screencasts, and tips and tricks that focus on Canvas course design fundamentals to help you elevate your course design.
Who Are We?
We are Instructure’s Instructional Design Team! More specifically, we areKristen Andersen,Tiffany Foster,Marah Metallo,Laurie Norris,Lily Philips, andPaola Sanchez. Between the six of us, we have over36 years of Canvas experience! Within Canvas, we have been students, teachers, admins, trainers, and instructional designers. We have created fully-online, hybrid/blended and face-to-face courses for learners ranging from preschool through post-secondary and everything in between.
Why Are We Launching This Event?
We utilize the Canvas Communityon a regular basis to position instructional design resources! We understand the impact and power of the Instructional Designers space within the Community and want to give back. We are excited to collaborate and share tips and tricks about our Canvas Design Best Practices.
Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
Our Instructional Design team offers templates, consultation, badging services, course evaluations, workshops, and more. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Sallie Michalsky, Senior Manager of Content Servicessallie@instructure.com.
Surveys are possible in New Quizzes, although you may need some tweaking. There is an article here (FAQ: New Quizzes) mentioning that surveys do not exist in New Quizzes. However, this is not logically correct, since it's possible to create assessments without point values.
Let's first look at the current Quizzes tool on surveys.
As you can see, we have the RCE above as well as the options below.
Notice that, in a graded survey, since we have 11 questions in the survey, we made it out of 11 points. Students will automatically receive full credit once they take a graded survey. Also, notice the Keep Submissions Anonymous option below. We'll discuss it later on.
In Old Quizzes, students will receive full credit whether or not they answered all the questions.
Let's test how this survey is going to be affected by migrating it into New Quizzes.
Hold on! Something's not right here. Some features like Anonymous Grading are missing. You should check with your local educational institution for details on how to enable it so that those survey submissions will remain anonymous.
The New Survey Builder
We can look at the newly migrated survey here. All 11 questions were imported successfully.
(You cannot use Load this tool in a new tab when migrating a quiz. This feature hides the Global Navigation bar on the left.)
Settings are not migrated; you must reconfigure them manually. If you will be reusing this survey, allow multiple attempts. A great example of this is a weekly topic submission form. Since we set all questions to zero points, it is safe to keep the latest submission, in which the latest survey responses will overwrite previous responses.
For Restrict student result view, this needs to be turned on. The only options that can be used in a survey are Show items and questions, Show student response, and Show item feedback.
Attempt History will be disabled if Show items and questions is turned off.
A graded survey requires that all questions to be multiple-choice and that Vary points by answer is turned on. Using other question types may not return desirable results, as students may not necessarily receive full credit once they submit the survey. To be on the safe side, make all questions zero points each and set Display Grade As to Complete/Incomplete.
Survey Preview & Debugging
After running the test, here's the result whenShow items and questions,Show student response, andShow item feedback are turned on.
As you can see below, one question requires grading. Even though it shows that the student finished the survey in 1:13 minutes, it still shows the Points Possible field blanked out. To be honest, if the Show points awarded/possible options are not checked, it should only show the time taken to complete the survey (only if Show items/questions is checked). If no items are checked, the time taken is not shown.
When migrating to New Quizzes, we recommend that you make all questions zero points each, since graded surveys do not appear to be viable. From the Assignments page, display the grade as Complete/Incomplete.
The only options that can be used in Restrict Student Result View for a survey are:
Show items and questions
Show student response
Show item feedback
Preview the survey a few times so that you can check for any errors. We always want quality work when building surveys. (When we preview a quiz, it resembles as if we are in the director's seat.)
"Lock it up": The teacher clicks the Preview button.
"Rolling": Loading screen
"Action": The quiz screen comes up
"Cut": The teacher clicks the Exit Preview button; can be done before or after submitting the survey
Before submitting: When you need to fix errors (i.e., spelling) in questions or the instructions
After submitting: When you think the answer is right even though the auto-grader is wrong. Make a note of the affected questions on a piece of paper before exiting the preview.
When I studied the comparison table between Old vs New Quizzes, I thought to myself: If quizzes can be exported, why not individual assignments? They should. Here is a viable solution to export/import a New Quiz.
For this blog post, call the old course Course A and the new course Course B.
In Course A, create a new quiz in Canvas using the +Assignment or +Quiz/Test buttons.
Once you arrive at the New Quizzes Build page, write a custom message in the instructions to let yourself know that the import operation worked.
Unlike Old Quizzes, if you are going to export even a single assignment or page, you must export the entire course. To do so, follow the instructions in this article (How do I export a Canvas course?).
Once the export is complete, download the file (it expires 30 days after the export has completed) and save it to somewhere you remember.
Before you get too far, in the Content section, select the option Select specific content, because you're NOT going to import all of the data. Then click Import.
After a few minutes, the status will show Waiting for Selection. Now click Select Content to choose the data you want to import.
For this example, since our title is Migrating New Quizzes, we check this option only. Leave all other items unchecked. Click Select Content to continue. (Keep in mind, assignment groups will have a folder icon next to it.)
Wait for the import to finish and return a green Completed status. If it is red or orange, read the issues and try again.
Verify that the imported New Quiz appears in the Assignments page in Course B. The process is not over yet! We still need to check if the quiz data has been imported or not.
After you arrive at the New Quizzes Build page in Course B, you should see the message you created when you made the New Quiz in Course A. That's it!
You can only export and import New Quizzes assignments within the same institution. If you have Canvas accounts from different institutions, you cannot use this method to export from one institution and import to another institution, even though it is possible to edit the external tool URL to match that of the other institution, as instructions and questions will not import correctly. I've tested with New Quizzes imported from Canvas Commons that were created by other institutions. Even though the import succeeds, the operation failed, since it couldn't find the valid settings for the New Quizzes LTI link.
The Google Chrome browser has a built in set of developer tools. Included is an emulator that shows what the current web page looks like on various mobile phone browsers. It even includes a button to show what happens when the device is rotated. This is great help for when we are working on Canvas pages and want to see what they look like in the browser (not the app). I made a video showing how to access this neat tool:
I am finding my way to Canvas and I would like to share this community this canvas template that I have built upon another template that some one shared to the Commons (I can't remember the author now, but thank you who ever you were).
Canvas doesn't have allow the creation of navigation panel unit by unit, like Moodle or Blackboard Learn so I create a table in the frontpage and also use the menu 'Modules' on the left hand side. I don't think that the 'Module' links can be hidden?
Any feedback/comments for my template are very welcome.
If you've enjoyed the podcast, you will familiar with one of their closing questions asking their guests their big 3 things they love about Canvas or what's in their Canvas backpack? So without further ado.
Renee shared about the Canvas Advocate (changed name from Canvassador) program. Share your Canvas passion with other users. Both Scott and Renee spoke about the Canvas Community and invite users to join.
A colleague and I researched Project Management Strategies for Instructional Design Projects and applied the research to our Course Design and Development processes. She's in Florida, I'm in Michigan, and both of our institutions use Canvas and subscribe to Quality Matters. I thought that our research may be helpful to others in the Canvas Community. By the way: for designers who work at QM institutions and use Canvas, it's exciting that a New Partnership Brings Canvas to Quality Matters.
We placed our research resources into an open Canvas course as we read and discussed the articles, ebook, presentation, processes, and flowcharts and then made the resource course available to the public at bit.ly/ID-PM. If anyone has an instructional design process or flowchart that we can add to the research resources, please share!
We presented our application of the research last month to the ID2ID program sponsored by Penn State and EDUCAUSE. The recorded webinar is included within the research resources. Also, in case it's helpful to anyone, here's our presentation from a pre-conference workshop we facilitated at Quality Matters “QM Connect" last October.
This image shows a sample of the articles and other content available at bit.ly/ID-PM:
Since Canvas doesn't officially support printing quizzes and printing directly from the browser doesn't properly support all question types, I made a tool (Edustrap) that converts exported quizzes from Canvas into a printable PDFs. I don't believe this'll work for New Quizzes as they can't be exported. Let me know if you encounter any errors, formatting issues or have suggestions.
Select appropriate course from Dashboard or Courses
Go into Settings (boxed in red)
Select "Export Course Content" located on the right side (boxed in red)
Select "Quiz" and uncheck "All Quizzes" then select a quiz (General Chemistry 112 for example)
You should see "New Export" after it has processed. Click on it to download the file.
Go to edustrap.com/canvas. You can drag and drop the downloaded file or select from the file menu.
The Canvas Instructional Design Team is launching our 2020 Course Design Essentials monthly event. These events will include blog posts, live events, free design assets, how-to screencasts, and tips and tricks that focus on Canvas course design fundamentals to help you elevate your course design.
Who Are We?
We are Instructure’s Instructional Design Team! More specifically, we are @kristen_anderse , @tiffany_foster , @mmetallo , laurie.norris, Deactivated user, and @psanchez1 . Between the six of us, we have over 36 years of Canvas experience! Within Canvas, we have been students, teachers, admins, trainers, and instructional designers. We have created fully-online, hybrid/blended and face-to-face courses for learners ranging from preschool through post-secondary and everything in between.
Why Are We Launching This Event?
We utilize the Canvas Communityon a regular basis to position instructional design resources! We understand the impact and power of the Instructional Designers space within the Community and want to give back. We are excited to collaborate and share tips and tricks about our Canvas Design Best Practices.
January Teacher Appreciation Event: Seasonal Home Page Button Giveaway
For January’s event, we have created free, seasonal-themed home page button images for your course! You can choose from photography or illustration-based designs. Just like changing a bulletin board in your classroom to reflect a season change, you can update the design of your Canvas home page buttons. Be sure to check back in the Community in the coming months for other seasonal button sets.
Each of the buttons can lead to course essential topics: Learning Modules, Resource Materials, Question Forum, and Teacher Contact Information. Link your buttons to relevant materials in your course to give your students easy access to commonly needed materials.
Test your new buttons to ensure links are functional.
Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
Our Instructional Design team offers templates, consultation, badging services, course evaluations, workshops, and more. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Sallie Michalsky, Senior Manager of Content Services firstname.lastname@example.org.
In New Quizzes, one of the things that you may have not noticed is setting the seconds in the time limit. Here's how you can work it out.
From the Settings tab, turn on the time limit feature. In the Minutes box, delete any other values. Now, enter a decimal point, followed by the amount you want to put in. When we tested this feature, we noticed that when attempting to enter 3 seconds (0.05 minutes), the decimal point disappears after entering the 0. In order to successfully enter it, we first must enter .5, then move the cursor left and type a 0 to get .05 in the Minutes box.
You can only enter the Minutes in 0.05 increments. A 422 error is generated if it is not a multiple of 0.05.
In this example, because we called this blog post "Who's Got the Fastest Finger?", we set the time limit to 30 seconds (0.5 minutes).
Why call it "Fastest Finger First"?
You might remember the world's most popular game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, where contestants play one question before the real game begins. The contestants have only 20 seconds to enter the correct order on the keypad, and answers cannot be changed after pressing Submit.
(In New Quizzes, we set the time limit to 30 seconds, due to the fact that time limits can be only set in multiples of 3 seconds, and there are loading times of around 3-7 seconds after pressing Begin.)
The options are randomized every time the Fastest Finger round begins. Answers 1-4 shown above correspond to A-D below. The order of A-D depends on the order the answers appear once the round begins.
Fastest Finger Question
Put the following artists in the order they're going to perform at the 2018 KSCS Country Fest in Grand Prairie, TX.
A: Cole Swindell
B: Dustin Lynch
C: Travis Denning
😧 Harper Grace
After submitting, or once time is called, the below screen appears, showing the number of seconds taken to complete. Students will NOT immediately see if they got it right or not. We'll show you why in the next picture.
The host reveals the correct order, one answer at a time. He/she will give out a brief description of why that item fits in that order.
(This was taken from October 2018.)
Once the order is revealed, the results are shown.
In this example, from the WWTBAM game show, 4 out of 6 players got the question right (in green boxes). Heather got the answer correct in 1.95 seconds. Only correct responses will have the completion times shown.
If NO one gets the question correct, another question is played. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the fastest students will play again while all the other students sit out. The process repeats until a student gets it right in the FASTEST time possible.
Whoa there! There seems to be a problem here in New Quizzes.
(Ignore the times and scores below, all Fastest Finger rounds are limited to 30 seconds, and scores can only be 100% or 0%.)
The teacher will take a few minutes to review the times and correct statuses.
The time is shown whether or not he/she gets the question right. The main problem is: what if there are two students who got the question right AND finish in 11 seconds, or even ALL students got the question right in the SAME number of seconds?! We don't want to go to a sudden death round or play a game of rock paper scissors! The only thing that I want to see in New Quizzes is showing the hundredths of a second in the Time column (if the Time Limit is set to one minute or less) so that instructors can accurately tell who is correct in the FASTEST time. For example, if Student A finishes in 11.45 seconds, and Student B finishes in 11.50 seconds, Student A wins by only 0.05 seconds.
Another problem to know here is: how to enter ordering questions quickly? A more viable approach is to press the numbers 1-4 that correspond to the items in the right order and tap Submit, but this has not been implemented in New Quizzes yet.
If you use Chrome with touch screen enabled devices (Chromebook, iOS, Android, Windows), make sure you enable Touch Initiated Drag & Drop in the Chrome Flags menu (chrome://flags). However, this will require you to press and hold the item for at least one second in order to move it, which wastes precious time. You should tap the dots to the left of the item and move it up or down.
In the education world, Fastest Finger First is used to give students something like a daily warm-up when class begins. The question types are not limited to Ordering questions, but other types are possible without issues (excluding File Upload and Essay questions).
In the example below, students will need to click on the note that answers the question of what that singer's peak vocal range is.
Tips & Tricks
You can combine minutes and seconds together; however, there is a catch. To do so, first enter the decimal, followed by the main minutes. For example, to set 28 minutes and 15 seconds, first enter .25 (15/60) (this shows up as 0.25), highlight the 0, and enter the desired minutes.
Sorry about that, the hundredths got cut off here.
After entering 28.25 minutes, we get:
And that's how you fine-tune the quiz timer! One more thing to note. In the past, the sky was the limit; you can set a time limit as long as you want, like days, weeks, months, or even years, but that is no longer the case with New Quizzes. Now, the maximum time limit you can set is 168 hours (or 7 days). The only way to increase this further is from the Moderate tab.
We do not recommend setting below 30 seconds, as the "Time is up" message appears if it takes too long to load. The longer it takes to load, the shorter the time limit will be.
If you submit before the question is loaded, a foul will occur. Even though the time shows 0.00, the score will not count.
You may have noticed today there is a new look in Free-For-Teachers. The new responsive layout is here! This layout ensures that the Canvas website looks great on ALL devices, even on smartphones and tablets! See this link Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18) for more info.
According to the release notes, Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines. This ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.
This responsive layout change is enabled by default in the beta environment, but it can also be optionally tested in the production environment until February 2020 with the Responsive Layout feature option in Account Settings.
This feature option is now enabled for Free-For-Teacher accounts at this moment and will be enabled for all other accounts in the production environment by default starting this February.
Here's a sneak peek of what's to come with the Responsive Layout.
The dashboard will look similar to the one in the Canvas mobile apps. Options to start a new course and view your grades are shown at the bottom.
▶ Make a copy of the Canvas Course Evaluation Checklist v2.0 (shared as an easy-to-copy preview via Google Docs) so you can customize it for your institution. Note: We ask that you comply with the Creative Commons licensing located at the bottom of the document.
A few months ago, it came to my attention that the original Canvas Course Evaluation Checklist had been reviewed in the International Review of Research in Open & Distributed Learning journal. I was thrilled to discover the checklist had received that type of attention. Additionally, it opened the door to an excellent opportunity to collaborate with one of the authors, Sally Baldwin, implement her suggestions, and make some overall improvements.
The purpose of the Canvas Course Evaluation Checklist is to support the majority of Canvas course creators as they strive to elevate the quality of their Canvas courses. What are the strengths of the checklist? The checklist is designed to support a variety of course creators (instructional designers, K12 teachers, higher ed faculty, etc.) in diverse settings (brick and mortar, hybrid, fully online, etc.) as they create Canvas courses for learners of all ages. As we say, “Our mission is to enable the learning and development experience — from the first day of school to the last day of work.” The checklist doesn’t require any formal training to use and is helpful whether you’re starting a course from scratch or evaluating a more mature course. It’s short — four pages! In no way is this tool meant to compete with or replace proprietary evaluations. Rather, this free tool serves as a great starting point for institutions to make a copy and customize it to meet their individualized needs. That’s why we put it in the Canvas Community — to encourage conversation amongst Canvas users and create a space for ongoing dialogue.
Share this checklist with your colleagues
Apply the principles to your own course
Elevate the quality of your institution’s courses
Please comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
P.S. Look for a blog post next quarter that will share hands-on, researched-based principles that will elevate your courses to a whole new level.
It is in our best interests to ask ourselves clarifying questions as we struggle with design puzzles. Are we pursuing the right solution? Are we even focused on the right problem?
Every improvement helps. That said, it is tempting to want a slick, impressive layout for a course when the real need is better content. It is tempting to want greater speed building course content when the real need is a better UX plan with a student-centered rationale. We sometimes want our courses to be more entertaining when they really need to be less confusing.
"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency."
Innovations in technology are changing our world faster than futurists can line up to predict what is next in business or education trends. Anyone who is old enough to remember standing in line to register for a college course or life before Google knows that there is no going back, and we don't want to. Nostalgia for what is lost has little value until it contributes to what is next.
"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."Arthur Schopenhauer
Examining trends in Leadership and Organizational Communication reveals familiar, deceptively simple issues with severe impact. Organizational growing pains are utterly predictable and unavoidable, yet they stand as a somewhat positive marker of success. Growth is good, right? Unfortunately, growth is also laden with missed opportunities and unaddressed issues that grow as companies grow, with deep roots and scaling repercussions.
Solutions may be counter-intuitiveto leadersbecause the same skills and vision needed to create successful companies can become the precise limiting factors for stable growth. Most companies and innovations would not exist without a leader's skills and attitudes, yet these same entrepreneurial skills often require being consciously set aside in order for organizations to move to the next level. Case in point is one of my favorite user experience UX heroes--and cautionary tale--Steve Jobs.
Playing to Your StrengthsversusTackling Your Growth Edges
Long before documentaries, books, and feature films charted Jobs' amazing comeback and world-changing innovations, he was also a scary Silicon Valley poster-boy for purging hugely-successful companies of their founders in order to reach the next level. His maniacally-long work hours cut down legions of talented employees through burnout. Since stability and balance were not his virtues, he did not value it in the people around him. Converting the public to his elegant taste seemingly led rise to a belief that the rest of his decisions were infallible as well. Which, of course, they were not.
One takeaway is: Whatever skillset leaders use to create their companies will tend to be over-used. Eventually, those same overused skills will aggravate the lingering weaknesses. Organizational needs may change and mature. The temptation is for leaders to just add more of what worked before. After all, it works! Until it doesn't.
For contrast, consider Starbucks' Howard Schultz who is generally lauded as a visionary leader. He was gracious enough to acknowledge a tough phase for his company when they had reached a peak of success and were risking a crash due to losing touch with customer feedback. (Check out fascinating interviews with Schultz and other thought leaders.) In a nutshell: An entrepreneurial founder tends to keep momentum by ignoring distractions from naysayers and charging ahead with a vision, inspiring people to join along the way. When that same company is a success, leaders do not readily change gears.
Addressing the Little Things
Starbucks grew fast, outrunning feedback from customers and low-level employees while essentially labeling any unpleasant news as coming from complainers and their "negativity." Then the business was blindsided by the realities of shop closures as organized protests smeared the company image. Starbucks' growth and global reputation teetered until they reconsidered their strategies and the limiting attitudes toward feedback and complaints that were now embedded throughout the company.
Not surprisingly, a leader's attitudes become the organization's attitudes for better or worse. If the boss does not value customer complaints, no one else is motivated to accept feedback either. Starbucks re-blossomed when top brass gathered people with varying skill sets to manage communications and invited input from every employee. Now, each Starbucks Barista is considered the top advertiser and the top investment for retaining customer loyalty.
Making room for complementary skills--not complimentary--is the mark of a mature leader. (See the book: The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make.) Leaders get successful by paying their dues, often fighting distractions to their vision and supplying the bulk of effort to successfully create a new product or innovate at the foundational level. Continued growth beyond a launch can be treacherous territory unless conscious effort is expended to stabilize and solidify innovation.
This ideal of stable growth is the product of cooperation from teams who duplicate the passion, but not the methods or personality of the original leader. Bold leaders set themselves apart when they cultivate differences, including skills and viewpoints they lack. Fine-tuning and addressing the little things like user complaints, employee ideas, and unpleasant feedback stabilizes organizations through the dangers of fast growth. Sometimes these small adjustments move beyond stabilizing and open the flood-gates for exponential growth, therefore, valuing interaction and openness is the next level of growth leadership.
In the UX process of discovering what is useful and usable, learning moments (mistakes) have an upside: lots of cautionary examples to share. Enjoy this selection of standout bloopers and rookie mistakes.
The iterative worlds of SAM, Agile, and ADDIE invite a continual balancing act between "get it done" versus "get it right."-Rachael Sweeten
Asking your users to design the product.Looks like designers taking the users' orders. Sounds like, "If I give them exactly what they asked for, then they'll have to be happy."
User relies on the "Back" button.Puhleeez.
User is completely stuck. Excruciating.
Blaming the user.Sounds like, "That person just isn't tech savvy," or "They just need to learn how to do this." * The user has probably just learned to hate your product and to distrust you.
Shaming the user.Sounds like, "C'mon. This is really easy." *Remember, everything is intuitive for the person who designs it.
Breaking the 4, no more, rule.Long feedback forms require too much recall and invite ultra-negative feedback. Prioritize to 4 main questions, unless your goal is specifically to weed out unwanted users.
Overconfidence in your product. Sounds like, "What's there to change? It's fine. Those complainers aren't our target market."
Uncertainty avoidance. Looks like analyzing in mid-test, rushing feedback, or accepting a wrong conclusion over not knowing.
Shiny Objects. As a rule, designers and other primates tend to covet shiny objects like the coolest interaction and the spiffiest layout. Designing to impress other designers is satisfying--until it bombs with your real users.
A space where news and reactions to the proposed Thoma Bravo acquisition can be gathered that would be of interest to the community. Please add additional resources, questions or concerns in the comments.
Some of you might be wondering, will we see dramatic changes in the business? The answer is simple: no. When TB started this process, they were excited about the involved, collaborative, and strong community that is the foundation of Canvas. To them and to us, this acquisition only strengthens opportunities for growth of our community.
While this story of the Instructure sale has taken a back seat to the COVID-19 transition, this sale will have a real impact on EdTech markets moving forward. It has been remarkable how much the Instructure executive team has changed since Goldsmith’s departure. Quite honestly it’s been night-and-day in terms of being open with analysts and with with proactive communication. I doubt the company can fully repair the damage to reputation that’s occurred over the past year – it will need to be a new company with new standards.
"My position has always been neutral-positive on Instructure being acquired by a private equity company in general and neutral on being acquired by Thoma Bravo in particular. Instructure needs some time to move past its current growth plateau. There is a reasonable argument to be made that they could focus on doing that with fewer distractions that could harm their core work for customers if they were under private ownership rather than under the quarter-by-quarter performance pressures of the public stock market. Instructure's acquisition could be good or bad for education, depending on two major factors."
"For those who have not followed corporate acquisitions before: No, this is not typical. I’ve talked to several people in the investment community who have noted that they have never seen a sales process like this before. And there will be much more to the story as the new tender offer comes out."
"First, today we announced that Dan Goldsmith has informed us of his intent to step down as CEO... As an executive team, we realize some of this can seem overwhelming, but we will continue building products and helping this community to create the best educational experiences possible. We also promise to continue to be as transparent as possible."
"In December, we announced that Instructure had reached an agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, LLC, a private equity investment firm. Our board has always had a financial responsibility to the shareholders of Instructure, but as you all know, key components of the financial health of any organization are ensuring that customers’ needs are being addressed and that innovation is continuing at a healthy pace. Financial health, customer commitment, and innovation are inextricably intertwined and must remain balanced. Thoma Bravo also appreciates this balance and shares our commitment to customer success."
"I realize that the proxy statement is primarily driven by SEC rules, but Instructure is harming its brand by its consistent focus on monetization and shareholder value with no meaningful communication to customers or prospects (I do not consider the letter above meaningful). The academic LMS market deserves better from its market leader."
"Instructure's brand has, until now, been its primary and best product. It is still one of the best in the sector, even if it is getting a little ragged around the edges. Because the brand is still good, the company can still build the relationships it needs to make good acquisitions, evangelize those acquisitions to its customers, and work with its customers on even the most sensitive (and important) product research and development efforts."
"Has Instructure provided customers with a detailed and credible enough strategic roadmap to inspire confidence that they have a more compelling alternative for growth? No, they have not. Has Dan Goldsmith thus far proven, lacking such a roadmap, that his reputation for performance alone is worth betting the company on? No, he has not. No smart PE company would make an attractive counter-offer under these circumstances. There is no sound investment thesis until Instructure is able to regain its footing as a product-led company."
"While debate continues regarding fair market price for the company (Hill, 2019b), there is much speculation within the Community and amongst stakeholders about the role being played in the sale by the student data Instructure has spent years collecting and harvesting to inform the company’s innovations."
"Underlying the valuation question though, is the real concern. Can we discern the plans and future for Canvas (and thereby schools, instructors, students, the higher ed system, pedagogy, etc) from this transaction? "
"Obviously this is big news for the LMS market, and it is worth noting that in the press release Thoma Bravo specifically mentions Canvas but not Bridge, which should give a hint about future plans. And perhaps more importantly, the press release explicitly mentions future growth that will or could include M&A – Instructure buying other companies."
"But whether the sale is good news for colleges and other education customers remains to be seen, Hill added. “It’s now a waiting game to see how their strategy changes,” he said. 'Don’t expect it to be the same.'"
"Brian Jaffee, a principal at Thoma Bravo said, 'We’ve followed the impressive Instructure growth story for many years and believe Canvas is a highly unique vertical market SaaS leader with exciting scale and future growth potential.'"
"What does this mean for Instructure’s future? One guess is to expect the Bridge separation with increased focus on the Canvas / academic business to happen quickly. Another guess is to expect Instructure to ramp up their corporate acquisitions starting in 2020."
"Working with Thoma Bravo over the past weeks, it is apparent that they support our strategy for focus on continued investment in Canvas LMS, expanding our impact in education, positioning Bridge to be more successful, and being a well-run business. As a private company, we will be able to better control our future and execute on these strategic imperatives."
"The Instructure management team, led by CEO Dan Goldsmith, will continue to lead the Company in their current roles. Thoma Bravo will support Instructure as it increases investment in education technology innovation and expands internationally."
"For academic community, it is worth noting that much of the investor-based pressure is for Instructure to focus more on supporting Canvas, not less. Instructure management has made it a point to say that they are increasing investment in Canvas, but today’s news puts even more emphasis on that need."
Incredibly excited this morning to announce Thoma Bravo's definitive agreement to acquire Instructure (NYSE: INST). We're looking forward to partnering with the @Instructure team and continuing to invest in the K-12 and higher education sectors. https://t.co/HMQZ6p67mb
Not surprising that a "hint" of acquisition is closely followed by an actual acquisition. Will be interesting to watch how the support and culture developed by Instructure fare under new ownership. https://t.co/r4FmNqG9AH
I'm sure more news and reactions will be coming in and as I'll update this as they do - feel free add any links or questions in the comments, follow to stay up to date. It will be very interesting to understand what this means for the future of Canvas!
Just before I get into the SpeedGrader, there has been some changes to the New Quizzes feature on November 16. You can still add/edit/remove any rubrics, but you cannot modify the instructions once the Quizzes 2 LTI is added.
Unlike regular assignments, where you go in and click on the SpeedGrader button on the right, New Quizzes does not display the button to you directly. You will need to go to the New Gradebook to do it.
FROM THE NEW GRADEBOOK
To go to the SpeedGrader from the New Gradebook, click the icon next to the grade (expand-start, the one with a right arrow inside a rectangle), then click the SpeedGrader.
If you turn on Launch SpeedGrader Filtered by Student Group in Settings, you must select a student group before launching SpeedGrader. This is to make sure there are no grading issues for large courses.
USING A URL
To launch the SpeedGrader for any assignment (including New Quizzes), visit your Canvas URL for your local institution. After the URL, type /courses/XXXXXXX/gradebook/speed_grader?assignment_id=YYYYYYYY where XXXXXXX is the 7-digit course ID and YYYYYYYY is the 8-digit assignment ID. For example, if the course ID is 1234567 and the assignment ID is 12345678, you would enter /courses/1234567/gradebook/speed_grader?assignment_id=12345678 after the URL.
Note: If the numbers contain leading zeros, you do not need to enter them.
There we go!
Uh-oh! Some of our students failed to submit! That raises eyebrows for us! We click on the View Rubric to see the rubric that we've created from the previous post.
This is the rubric that we've created from the previous post.
Since the student did not take the quiz at all, we would click No. A Yes is denoted by a green arrow, while a No is denoted by a red arrow. Finally, save the rubric selections.
We would mark the completion status as Incomplete in this case. You can also leave a comment to encourage the student to catch up.
(Please be polite when writing comments in the SpeedGrader. You don't want students to get upset!)
In Part 2, we'll show you how to grade questions and check for errors in SpeedGrader for New Quizzes.
My team created a post on our blog on the New Gradebook Grade Posting Policy for our instructors. You are welcome to share it with your instructors. As the policy is updated, I will update this same link.
At FIU Online (based in Miami, Florida International University) we are blessed to be able to participate in a variety of professional development opportunities, such as leading conference presentations or attending at conferences. For the past two years, Maikel Alendy (FIU Online's newly appointed Learning Design Innovation Manager) presented with FIU Earth & Environmental Dept. Professor Rodolfo Rego at Realities 360. The annual conference addresses the latest developments in the use of virtual reality (VR) for training and education. Beyond being a great presenter, I'm always learning new things from Maikel; he raises "my bar."
In their 2019 presentation, "Lessons from a Year of Cost-Effective Immersive Strategies in Higher Ed" they covered the two prominent college classroom challenges: technology costs and instructional relevance. Specifically, they addressed how to create VR assignments using tools like Cenario VR, Seekbeak and GoogleEarth. An example of a solution they demonstrated was a interactive laboratory orientation. Often when students would arrive in labs, they were unsure where materials were located and "wasted" valuable lab time. Additionally another example shared was a tour of FIU's Nature Preserve (link is website, not the example) with great interactions to explore and learn more about its features.
If an image is worth a 1000 words, what is a 360 image worth?
[Unfortunately the embed for SeekBeek is not working here once I publish the article, but it works in Canvas & also WordPress. See an example in one of our articles on our Faculty news source.]
*Blog article written with assistance from Charles Roig (FIU Online)
Sky V. King Senior Instructional Designer, FIU Online Adjunct- Marketing & Logistics, FIU
I don't know about you, but I love podcasts. I would never do my own, so I especially laud and respect those that do. Know what else I love? Canvas & the Canvas Community. Now those two loves have mashed up like PB & J, introducing the CanvasCasters podcast. Friendly Disclaimer: This is an unofficial Canvas LMS podcast.
Your hosts with the most-est are @Eddie_Small and @mpainter . They tout themselves as two middle-aged men seeking to become Canvas Jedi! [ Wonder if they know the #CanvasJediSloth ??? ] Learn about their secret identities. Their goal is to publish a new PANDAcast (podcast) every few weeks.
Beyond learning about their Harry Potter themed Professional Development Speed Dating endeavor, learn more about takeaways from CanvasCon 2019 & CanInnovate 2019. What's really awesome about the podcasts is their special guests! So far, they have had the following amazing guests.
WARNING - THIS IS QUITE A LONG POST BUT IT HAS LOTS OF PICTURES!
In my school we are very fortunate to have a 1-1 device model based on the Microsoft Surface Pro. All staff, teaching and support, have a device and this device is the same as the one used by the students. We are big users of OneDrive and Office365 and make good use of the integration with Canvas (Note to any Canvas/Microsoft people reading - Please add more features!)
Getting students to develop their digital (literacy, numeracy and communication) skills is always a challenge at K12 with increasing demands made on a curriculum by qualification based subjects. In the UK system, Computing has replaced ICT as a subject in its own right. Whilst some aspects of digital literacy continue to play a role in Computing, the subject stands on its own (quite rightly) and is not simply a provider of skills for other areas.
So how do you develop students digital literacy skills? In my opinion, this works most effectively by applying the skills across subject areas. By that I don't mean a token approach where students might create a poster in Geography or use the internet to research some facts in History. I mean fully integrated projects in which students develop skills in those areas that have an impact on what they are learning. [More of this in another post]
With students skills being developed in subject areas, how can we best develop the day to day skills needed to manage the blended classroom? Students have a device for learning. They are expected to keep it updated, sort out passwords and know how to navigate and use features within the learning platform. How are they learning those life skills?
One of our targets this year is to become a Microsoft Showcase school. As part of this process, we had to have 10% of our staff qualified as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs). To achieve this qualification, staff had to become Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIEs). This is done by gaining points for completing online courses at Microsoft's online Educator Community - Microsoft Educator Community home - Microsoft in Education . This online learning is free to join and offers a huge range of different courses focused not just on learning the software but on digital pedagogy. The courses range from 250 points to 5500 points!
Many of the courses follow a similar patter:
Watch online presentation/video
Read some on key points
Complete a short quiz
If you score around 80% then you gain the points for the course but also a digital badge. The course and the badge are then stored in your Achievements area and added to a digital transcript which you can save as a PDF:
The courses are high quality and the badge earning/point scoring feature is very engaging. Our staff enjoyed earning badges and moving their cartoonified avatar along a points runway that I had constructed in the staffroom.
So this got me thinking that I could sort of do the same thing for students....
Using Badgr's badging system I created a number of Badge Earning Modules - well 2 so far... Each Module comprises of FOUR PARTS.
Here is the example for the Windows Update Module
Task One: Read This
This is a Word document embedded via the Office365 integration which allows me to correct my mistakes and update without uploading (I have not yet moved to videos)
Task Two: Do this
Once students read the help guide they have to do the task and upload the evidence. In this case its was two things:
Students could upload the evidence as they wished - print screen, images, Word document etc
Task Three: Take this
This is a 10 question multiple choice (self marking) quiz made with Quizzes.next.
All of the answers are somewhere on the Help Guide and they can take the quiz multiple times (without seeing the correct answers).
Task Four: Earn this
This last task just explains what they will get if they successfully complete all the tasks:
Clicking on the button takes you to the Module. I wish that we could have the Modules closed by default and then open up when clicked on - alas no!
I looked around the web for badge designs and made up using a collection of ideas from various sites. The badges are made in Word using the basic Drawing tools. I also use Pixlr for image editing which is awesome!
I am currently able to manage the workload of marking and the gradebook helps me identify who has submitted work. It is early days yet but I think there are suitable incentives and encouragement for students to want to try it. Communication and promotion is key and the support of our tutor team is very important.
I thought about getting our tutors involved in the program so they can also earn House Points and encourage students at the same time
Badgr do a Leaderboard which is great (although not quite working yet...) and I am not sure if I want to have anything else eg Points scores. There is a line between gamification and playing a game I don't want to cross. After all, the main purpose of this is to develop digital skills
So far the badges based on device management with OneDrive, Printing and other functional badges to follow. I am toying with a Digital Citizen badge where student provide evidence that they have helped someone with some aspect of digital literacy - maybe a person in their class, a friend, a relative and a teacher?
We have signed up for a year long trial with Portfolium. At some stage I should develop a similar model on that platform
Creating physical badges for students who have achieved a certain number of them?
If you have got any thoughts or ideas or suggestion, would love to hear from you...
We have set up a custom grading scheme linking Mastery style statements to points score in a Student Self Review form (disguised as a New Quizzes quiz) in Food Technology lessons.
There are 15 questions that the students answer with statements that reflect levels of mastery of the task, for example:
Using the Partial Credit feature of New Quizzes we then assign different marks to each statement eg:
We make the Review Quiz out of 5 in total which hopefully reduces the risk of big errors if a student gives themselves an answer worth 5pts (Excelling) instead of 3pts (Secure). Having 75 possible maximum marks squeezed into 5 means 15pts per boundary (I think)
We then constructed the Custom Grading Scheme with Percentage scores that reflect a level of Mastery:
When students complete their self assessment they can see how well they think have mastered the task:
Teachers can also compare their 'level' with the answer students gave in one of the (0pt questions) at the end of the quiz:
The teacher in their gradebook sees just the statement so they can very quickly reflect on the student outcomes
According to the teacher it works really well and has made huge improvements both to work flow, impact of the task and also teacher time.
But like the banner heading, it is almost perfect as there are two ANNOYING STICKING POINTS!
1. The grade in the Teacher Gradebook is from the Custom Grading Scheme. Is it not possible to remove the Out of 5 part as it is meaningless!
2. Why does the student needs to see their score of 4.2 out of 5 when all they/we are interested is the Mastery term?
Having numbers and scores does not help with Mastery in this regard. We have a grading scheme with statements for bands - why do we also need to know the raw score/percentage?
Is there anyway we can remove it?
I know that a number of UK (and beyond) colleagues have mentioned something similar in the past about not having a score/percentage in the gradebook when dealing with qualifications that work differently from GPA.
Next September will be the beginning of our fourth year of Canvas (well, 31/2 as we had had a phased launch). I have been thinking more and more about conducting a formal audit of the courses and getting our departments to review their courses.
I contacted James Wells, the Head of Digital Curriculum, who I would imagine has played a major role in the implementation of such a scheme. I am hoping he might give me a head-up and some direction as to where best to start (UPDATE: Skype meeting set up 19/07)
I am clear in my mind that the audit needs to look at requirements that will support teaching and learning across a spectrum of elements eg from Adding resources to a Module to providing timely feedback to assignments. In delivering training to staff about Canvas, I have tried to follow the tenet of "Creating resources/activities on the platform when you know it has impact and makes a difference" leading on from many great posts such as Horse Before the Cart. Purpose first, Canvas second and Creating a Purpose
The challenge is where do you start and what outcomes do you use. There are lots of interesting models around
A quick Google search for similar models led to a nice post from Croydon college and their review of Moodle -
https://moodle.croydon.ac.uk/elearning/item/363-gab-quality-report-2012-pilot What was interesting about this model was how the college went from a Yes/No tick box of features for each 'medal' to a points based system. I agree with the author, Andrew Checkley, on this point and this is something I would be using in mine. Although the Course Reckoner is yet to be made, I am thinking about using Excel and Forms. Although the amazing @tobe_baeyens created a Canvas quiz from the Evaluation tool guide above - I turned all the items with one star into a little checklist that I added to our Canvas teacher course. It's a graded quiz. The quiz has one question with 15 checkboxes. Teachers do get 1 point for every item they check. The grades appear in the gradebook, so I can give feedback based on what (they say that) they did. So food for thought.
Whilst I am interested mainly in Canvas, I am also aware that many of our staff also use Class Notebook to support students (using the Class Notebook integration in Canvas) so not quite sure how I go about this.
My question to the Community asks if anyone has done something similar and would they be willing to share some of their ideas.
Note: There are easier ways to embed a Google Document, but I found that the other options caused problems: the document would be too small, would not update (or very slow to update), and/or it was hard to navigate. The steps below are more extensive, but the result was worth it.
Embedding A Google Document
1. Get the share link from the google doc
2. On Canvas Page, click to insert media
3. Paste the share link, but change the last part of the link CHANGE/edit?usp=sharingTO/preview?pli=1 *Note =this is what puts the document into preview mode and show up on the page correctly.