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Canvas LMS and Skills Tracking Help

Hi everyone,

I am hoping I can get some help on a project in canvas to help record skills assessments. I am a teacher and teach my entire nursing class from beginning to the end. I do not have a lab assistant either.  

Many of our programs at our school do skills checklist.  Whether it is putting in a urinary catheter, to doing a bed bath, doing an oil change in auto, or how to color someone’s hair in cosmetology. 


I am trying to see if anyone has seen some good ways how these skills checklist can be done and recorded in an easy way – without making it labor intensive for both the students and the instructor. 


Keep in mind,  I have over 200 separate skills checklist for nursing!    Some checklist have 10 steps – others may have 30 steps.  These checklist also can become outdated with new editions as the book changes every 2 years or even as best practices change.  Ie COVID!   Granted it should not be much – but it could... 😕  


I was looking at rubrics or outcomes;  but updating 200 rubrics and 200 outcomes and at least 200 assignments (possible 1 for the students to complete as practice and the 1 for the teacher to assess completion) seems a bit much!  Also grading and clicking that many assignments – all I would be doing is grading!    I may be able to chunk some together by chapter – but I am still just thinking the updating logistics when I also have book assignments and test along with these skills!

I do not think I need to record each and every step.  I think that as long as I can provide feedback on the overall skill – i.e. reminding students to follow step 5 infection control or teaching the patient how to clean the area would be good then mark them complete or incomplete.  I can even give good feedback. 

It would be nice if the students can help each other or self-check themselves with me giving final approval when completed.  The goal is they complete the skill effectively for safe patient care. 


One skill example I have is the Foley cath insertion. 


FA Davis 31-05

Inserting an Indwelling Urinary Catheter



We could do them as a self-graded assessment and provide feedback as needed to cut down on grading, but I am not sure if this is optimal.  We could checklist each skill as a quiz.  20 steps could be 20 questions.  However, this would quickly become outdated and cumbersome to keep up to date.  Even to eval each student with a touch screen in the lab would be tough to keep track of for 1 teacher!   30 steps times 200 skills times 15 students (even in speed grader is 90,000 checks!!!).  Not counting the time to update skills and actually teach them.   (currently we track these skills on paper – and most students loose them over the 2 year program). 


Making sure our students do the skills is a priority;  however not getting bogged down in record keeping would be good as well!  

I hope this makes sense and you can provide some ideas on how to tackle this!  I think other programs would greatly benefit from this as well!   Thank you!!!

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Community Champion

If the checklist is a way of grading student progress, I suggest an assignment for every skill with a rubric that includes a criteria for every step.  From your description that would be 200 assignments each with its own rubric, and about 30 criteria in every rubric. That is a lot but those numbers sound like a requirement for your program.  You can organize assignments in to categories related to the way they count towards the grade on the assignments tab.  You can organize assignments into the sequence that students should be attempting them in the modules tab. 

Assignments have a built in peer review tool that will allow an assigned student to grade the rubric of another student.  This gives feedback to the student being reviewed without setting the final grade, which is still up to the instructor.  This would allow assignments to also fit the category of having students help to assess each other.

Grading a rubric can be as simple as clicking the box, or you can add typed feedback in a comment area in the column on the far right.  That makes the rubric potentially as simple an activity as taking a quiz, whether a student is completing a peer review, or the instructor is completing a final grade. 

If the checklist is only a way for students to monitor their own progress, I suggest creating quizzes with true/false questions: "I can ____." A separate question for every step, and a separate quiz for every skill.  You can set up the quiz to allow multiple attempts so that students can update their checklist as they progress.  I can understand why you would want to keep these quizzes from cluttering your gradebook.  Unfortunately, new quizzes does not yet include an option for practice quizzes.  There is an open conversation about that here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/New-Quizzes-Practice-quizzes/idi-p/398053


Coach Emeritus

Hi @leavoj now this sounds like a challenge!

@Steven_S has made some cool suggestions. I'd like to repeat his one of making the most of peer assessments. I'm not sure how it would look in your context. Self reflections could also work well.

I was also wondering about using a microsoft form. This would give you some excellent data and keep your gradebook tidy! This might help https://office-watch.com/2019/microsoft-forms-a-quick-look-and-sample/ 

Sing out if you need a hand. 

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