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Commons Users

Instructure
Instructure

From the first moment when COVID19 hit the entire world, we saw that sharing information and its significance has increased. Right now, people are supposed to communicate even more than they are used to, and when it comes to Canvas and creating content, now it's even more important to share information, to share content with each other, and encourage and provide support for those teachers who are supposed to teach 100% online. And this is a major shift for most of the instructors all over the world as previously they could teach their students in a classroom environment. They didn’t need to face the challenges that they're facing now. As a response to all the changes happening in education, the last couple of weeks we implemented such improvements that provide help in this shift and support remote teaching and learning. 

Since COVID-19 has become a larger concern, users had quadrupled and shared about 30% more resources in the Commons library than before. So we decided we needed to help users find resources more easily.

Three ways that we are helping users are by making sharing available outside the United States, allowing instructors to create and share unique links to resources, and providing creating ways to highlight resources in Commons.

First, we saw a huge increase in sharing videos to Commons. It's really important for instructors to record some of their earlier classes or best practices. International instructors can now share audio and video resources to Commons. Sharing audio and video files should happen just in the same way as it works for other resource types. Instructors can still search for resources based on resource type, so if they are interested in only video resources, for instance, they can just filter down the search to videos or they can check out the latest resources that have gotten shared there.

Second, individual URLs are shown for each resource in Commons. Instructors can share these resources with their colleagues or anyone else. And the person who gets the URL just clicks it and opens it and can see if that resource is good for them or not. The unique URL can be pasted into an email or a chat message, or anywhere else that can be used for communication.

Additionally, not only can admins share resources with their institution by unique URLs, but they can also feature specific resources for their institutions. Right now there are resources that are featured by Instructure, but we wanted to give admins a specific way to highlight their own resources that are valuable to their institution. It works the same way as editing a resource. Featured resources show as the first resource on the main Search page of Commons. If an admin wants to feature 20 resources, they can do that. There is no set limit number for this.

We hope these changes to Commons will help benefit admins and instructors as they share and use Canvas content.

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Community Member

Our team at Purdue University is conducting a research on competencies needed for professionals in the fields of instructional design and educational technologies/technology coaches working across different sectors, including but not limited to higher ed (Higher Education), K-12 (K-12), healthcare, corporate, military, and others (Canvas for Professional Development). As a thank-you, we will share a white paper on top competencies once the study is completed. Thank you in advance for your time and insights!

Survey Invitation:
Share your expertise on modern competencies for professionals who design and/or deploy on-site and online learning opportunities, engage in learning technology evaluation and integration, and/or coach others in the integration of learning technologies into their practices! 

ID/EdTech Competency Survey - Details and Survey Link: https://bit.ly/3asnlmL

P.S. Thank you for moderators for allowing to share!

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Instructure
Instructure

With the last Canvas release, we released a survey on the Commons Search page.

 

We are researching how to better support instructors in finding the content they need, how search is used, and content is discovered. The survey takes about 8-10 minutes to fill out. You can access it from the notification that displays in the Commons Search page in case you have recently shared content to Commons or imported from Commons to Canvas.  We appreciate your time in helping us with this survey! We anticipate the survey link to be posted on the page for approximately a month. 

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Instructure
Instructure

With Monday’s Canvas Beta release, we released an improvement for importing favorite course objects from Commons to Canvas. 

Why have we built it? 

When our users find a great resource in Commons, they may not necessarily know which course they would like to import it to. Maybe the course doesn’t even exist in Canvas yet. So they can favorite the resource to import later. When editing a course in Canvas, those users may remember that previously they found a resource in Commons that could fit into their course perfectly and they would like to import that resource. Previously to get that resource, they needed to leave Canvas, open Commons, find the favorited resource, find the course they intended to import it into, import it, and then go back to Canvas. This process was tedious. 

From now on, our users can access all their favorited Commons resources within Canvas so they don’t need to stop editing their course and go to Commons to import a resource. 

Where is it available? 

Previously, embeddable Commons favorite resources could be imported only in the Rich Content Editor. From now this functionality is available on five other index pages as well for Canvas learning objects (quizzes, discussions, modules, pages or assignments). Now they can find content they want to include in their course and add it directly where they would like it to land, without going to Commons. 

In case of modules, an entire module can be imported as a new module, or all the different resource types can be imported into existing modules. 

New year, new design! 

The favorites tray has also received a facelift and has a new, improved layout. We have increased the size of the resource cards and the resource titles, so they are more visible and easier to find. 

We hope you’ll like it! 

We are planning to release this improvement on production in February. You can find this feature information as part of our 2020-02-15 Canvas Release Notes.

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Instructure
Instructure

We are happy to let you know that a Beta environment version of Commons is available. 

Why have we built it? 

Previously, Commons hasn’t had a Beta version, and even if you used Canvas Beta, it had production Commons configured with it. 

Having a Beta environment for Commons allows you to access a preview of what is coming. Admins can create trainings or guidelines, or simply play around with the new functionality before it comes to the production environment.

When does Commons Beta get released?

From now we will release improvements and new features to Beta first, just like the rest of Canvas.  We will release to Commons Beta at the same time as Canvas Beta. The next beta release is scheduled for 20 January, 2020 which includes features for the 15 February 2020 production release. 

How does it work? 

Similarly to Canvas, Commons Beta syncs with production every Saturday. While syncing, Commons functionalities will be unavailable on Beta. 

How can I get access to it? 

We ensure that if you use Canvas Beta, and you already have Commons configured for your institution, you will have Commons Beta set up in your Canvas beta environment automatically.

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Instructure
Instructure

What is the history of Commons?

Commons was created in 2015 as a new way for educators to collaborate, share, and find the best educational resources available within Canvas. Since then we have made sure that Canvas and Commons play well with each other so that educators can join a community of creators who build and share amazing content.

We constantly develop Commons in order to make it a top-class content-sharing platform. The latest capabilities added are Favorites and Download Sorting. You can read more about Favorites here: Commons Favorites & Why We Got Rid of Ratings

Some numbers on Commons use:

  • How many resources are shared in Commons?

       979,328 resources are shared either publicly or within an institution or group.

  • How many Commons users are there?

       There are 1,675,530 Commons users.

  • How many users share resources in Commons by month?

       On average, 12,000 users share resources in Commons each month.

  • How many users import Commons resources to Canvas?

       On average, 26,000 users import a Commons resource to Canvas each month.

  • What is the most downloaded public resource?

SPS Secondary Template B from Springfield Public Schools with 3,597 downloads.

  • What is the most favorited public resource?

Growing with Canvas with 70 favorites.

What are the most important functions in Commons?

In Commons you can find and preview resources, share content created in Canvas, favorite resources, import to Canvas, and update Canvas content. And now, administrators can approve content. 

How is the service provided?

Commons is an LTI that plugs into Canvas. Currently, it is not deployed outside the US, but expanding deployment to other countries is on our roadmap and will be addressed soon. To enable Commons in your Canvas instance, you need to contact your Customer Success Manager. To access Commons, you need to have an email address associated with your Canvas account.

Why is it different from other LORs?

Commons is currently specifically tailored for Canvas. Commons and Canvas play really well with each other in both ways. Sharing and keeping Canvas resources updated in Commons is super easy. Commons also allows instructors to build course material from scratch by importing resources to Canvas.

What is the roadmap for Canvas Commons?

Follow the Priorities & Ideas space and Priority: Commons Search & Preview for updates.

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Community Member

@I love teaching with using an integrated curriculum approach utilizing STEM.  Please join me is discussing different ways you integrate curriculum to keep students engaged in what would otherwise seem like a boring topic.  

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Community Team
Community Team

This document outlines the steps to install and configure Commons in a self-hosted instance of Canvas. If you are not using self-hosted Canvas, please refer to the Commons guides.

Note: Self-hosted Canvas Commons instances can only share and view public resources.

Add Developer Key

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In Account Navigation, click the Developer Keys link or navigate to /accounts/self/developer_keys.

Click the Add Developer Key button.

Enter Key Settings

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Enter information in the following fields:

  • Key Name [1]: An easily-identifiable, human-readable name for your Commons key.
  • Owner Email [2]: The email address for an administrator in your self-hosted Canvas instance.
  • Redirect URI (Legacy) [3]: https://lor.instructure.com

Click the Save Key button [4].

Turn Commons Key On

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To turn the Commons key on, click the On toggle in the State column.

View Client Secret (Key)

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Click the Show Key button to view the Client Secret (Key). Copy this key as you will need it later in the setup process.

Open Account Settings

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To open Account Settings, click the Settings link.

Add App

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Click the Apps tab [1].

Click the Add App button [2].

Enter App Information

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In the Configuration Type drop down, select the By URL option [1]. Enter the following information:

Click the Submit button [4].

Configure App Settings

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Click the Settings icon [1] and select the Configure option [2].

Enter App Configuration

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Enter your Client ID in the Client ID field [1] and Client Secret (Key) in the Client Secret (Key) field [2]. Then click the Continue setup button [3].

Authorize Commons Key

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Click the Authorize button.

Complete Commons Setup

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Click the Close button.

Refresh the Browser

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To see the Commons link in the Global Navigation menu, refresh the page.

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Community Member

If I click on the button to calendar, the app will be crashed on the phone and exits automatically. How to solve this problem? I have tried to uninstall it and install it for many times. But it stills does not work. 

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What are the best ways to implement the mobile app in rural school areas, where the poverty level is high?

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Community Coach
Community Coach

The following FAQ document will be helpful in answering some of your questions related to 'Groups' feature in Commons.

What are Groups in Commons?

Groups are a way for administrators to manage users and permissions, making it easier to organize an institution’s resources in Commons. Groups, essentially, replace sub-account sharing in Commons. It allows users greater flexibility to share across grade levels and departments and colleges within their own institution.

Click How do I manage Groups in Commons?  for more details.

NOTE: Check out the Commons Release Notes (2016-06-12) for more details.

For sharing between schools or within a consortium outside of your institution, see How do I manage Consortiums in Commons?

What is happening to sub-accounts in Canvas?

Nothing. Sub-accounts in Canvas will continue to exist and their functionality will not change. Sharing resources in Commons will no longer be tied to sub-accounts structure, that’s all. Previously, a teacher enrolled in a course in Sub-Account X wouldn't be able to share a resource to those in Sub-Account Y unless the teacher was ALSO enrolled in a course in Sub-Account Y. Groups eliminate this limitation because group membership is not tied to sub-account enrollment.

What happens to resources originally shared to sub-accounts?

Post-migration, resources shared to a sub-account move to a group with the same name (i.e. resources shared to ‘math department’ sub-account will now be in the group called ‘math department’). Resources shared to 10 or more sub-accounts become institutional-wide (account-level) resources.

Sub-accounts without shared resources do not have an associated group. So, if there were no resources shared to the 'science department' sub-account, a 'science department' group would have to be created and membership would have to be added, manually.

Who has access to resources in these newly-formed Groups?

Here's how membership in these new groups will work:

  • Anyone who has access to a sub-account’s resources, such as, admins, teachers, course designers, or TAs (including custom roles that have these shared settings), will automatically be members of the corresponding Commons group, provided those users access Commons between 6/12/2016 and 9/15/2016.
  • Any new users added to a sub-account with an existing corresponding Commons group will also be members, provided they access Commons between 6/12/2016 and 9/15/2016.

What does the Group Manager’s role entail?

With Groups come the new role of Group Managers. Group Managers have the ability to add or remove group members, designate other Group Managers, and edit or delete resources shared to the group.

  • Any sub-account admin will automatically be a Group Manager of the corresponding Commons group, provided they access Commons between 6/12/2016 and 9/15/2016.

What does "provided users access Commons between 6/12/2016 and 9/15/2016" really mean?

After 6/12/2016, Admins who see a list of groups in Commons may not see a list of members automatically. Memberships to groups will sync-upon-access over the next 3 months. Meaning, once a user accesses Commons, the connection between group membership and sub-account enrollment will be automatic and the user will be able to import/share resources to the group, as usual. Adding users to sub-account during this period will also (technically) add users to the group (assuming those users also access Commons after they've been added) - but we want to encourage all group management be through the Commons interface. However, this sync-upon-access function will only be available through September 15, 2016. After this point, sub-accounts and groups will not be synced. Group Managers will have to add users manually through the Commons group interface (not via sub-account enrollment). Of course, group managers can always add users manually at any time after 6/12/2016, but this temporary sync-upon-access will help minimize membership management for a few months.

Is there a better way to manage groups than to do it all manually?

We are working on an API to bulk manage group enrollment.

How faculty/staff prepare for this change?

There are a few ways to message this change to help minimize the change.

"Access Commons at least once before September 15, 2016."

The more users who access Commons, the less up-front work Group Managers will do to manage the membership transition.

"Instead of sub-accounts, just think group accounts."

Sharing to groups has the same workflow as sharing to sub-accounts. The name on the interface is different, but the process is exactly the same. This should help facilitate a smooth transition for faculty.

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What happens to the resources if/when a Group is deleted?

Only Commons Admins can delete groups. But when a group is deleted, all resources shared to the group will remain visible and accessible privately only to the original sharer. So, if Teacher A shares an algebra quiz to the ‘Math Department’ Group and group is deleted, then only Teacher A can continue to access the resource within his/her private collection. The only exception would be if the resource was also shared to another group, at the institution level and/or publicly to Commons.

What are the considerations for creating groups?

Now that groups are no longer tied to sub-account structure, there may be various ways to want to pool users or group content. Click Considerations for Group Creation and Organization in Commons  for some suggestions.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

When creating/managing Groups in Commons consider the following suggestions and examples for group creation and management in Commons.

Considerations

Groups are a way for administrators to manage users and permissions, making it easier to organize an organization’s resources in Commons. So, how you create and manage Groups may require a few important considerations:

Decide if the group naming conventions need to mirror sub-accounts.

Initially, all Groups created in Commons will mirror sub-account naming convention. For example, if you have a sub-group for College of Arts and Sciences, then a group of the same name will exist (assuming there were resources already shared to that sub-account --- if not, then there will not be an existing group of the same name). If you prefer to modify this naming convention, think about when might be a good time to make that change. Perhaps you might want to call it "Art and Science Resources". Keep in mind that users used to sharing to sub-account "College of Arts and Sciences" might need a heads up that the group name is changing.

Determine the regularity in which new groups are created.

Post 6/12/2016, there may be sub-accounts which had zero resources hence why no group was created. Or, an institution may not have turned on Commons and therefore, no groups are listed. New groups will have to be created. Will someone be adding as they go? Will there be a protocol for group creation? What if a group of teachers want to create a group for math resources for their 4th graders? Remember admins are the only ones who can create and/or delete Groups from Commons.

Determine the admin who will manage requests for new groups and/or membership.

Back when you could share to sub-accounts, teachers, course designers and TAs could automatically share to it if they were enrolled in a course within that sub-account. Since groups are tied to users (not courses in sub-accounts), every quarter, semester or year, new teachers, course designers and TAs must be added to the appropriate group(s). Who will manage this?

NOTE: There will eventually be an API to bulk manage group enrollment.

Set training dates for faculty and/or staff.

Leverage this for opportunities to deliver additional trainings around Commons. While Groups doesn’t really change the core functionality of sharing to Commons, membership may change how user share to different or multiple groups and where they go to import resources.

Examples of Groups

What are the best ways to structure Groups in Commons? Well, the best way to organize your users and resources can only be determined by your organization, but here are some possible applications:

Mirror Sub-Account Naming Convention

This is most likely to be the default for most organizations who have used Commons and have seen success in sub-account sharing.

Organize By Topic or Subject

This is a great way to organize resources around a topic or subject. For instance, you can have STEM groups or an Art Education group, where subject matter experts and course designers and teachers can all import and share with a specific subject or topic in mind, regardless of grade, department or college.

Organize by Grade-Level

What if you had your 2nd grade teachers in a group? Perhaps they could share content assets that relate to their classrooms and curriculum.

What other ways can you group users? If you have suggestions or have set up groups differently at your school, share your ideas and feedback below!

Smiley Happy

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Closing out this month's National Poetry Month theme, we thought we'd conclude by highlighting vocabulary quizzes. What budding poet wouldn't want to take the time to learn more words, right?! Check out these shared K12 resources below.

More Than Words

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Search the term 'vocabulary' and you'll discover many publicly-shared resources in Commons - from quizzes that increase topical understanding (i.e., Genetics quiz) to general language-building (i.e., English, Spanish quizzes). For K12 students, new words is just part of their on-going language development during these critical learning years.

We found suffix and prefix quizzes ("Vocab List #3 Suffixes" shared by Alexandra Kent, Penn Harris Madison Schools; "Prefix 'Bi' Vocabulary Quiz" shared by Kristina Swift, Lexington City Schools). Among some of the harder vocabulary quizzes was Hohl Aaron's "Vocab Quiz #14" which included words like 'opprobrium' (stumping even us)! And of course, the must-haves in poetic writing, the synonyms and antonyms quizzes (i.e., "Antonyms and Synonyms" shared by Lisa Rice, Jenks Public Schools).

Best part about importing these quizzes is the mixing-and-matching of a variety of questions!

Question Type Preferences

What's your preferred question type for vocabulary quizzes? Matching? Multiple-choice? Fill-in-the-blank? And why? Most of the quizzes we discovered were primary designed using multiple choice questions (although Amanda Shirk, Lexington City Schools, had a great matching example in her shared resource "Vocab Quiz 11"). Sure, a blend of different question types is ideal, but what tips can you provide in the design of vocabulary quizzes?

Post your thoughts in the comments below!

Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: vocabulary, vocab, or any of the author names mentioned in this blog.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Let's take a bit of a departure from our monthly theme of 'poetry' and focus on Earth Day (which is April 22, 2016). If you're looking for ways to leverage Earth Day activities in your courses or just want to get inspired by photos of our beautiful, green earth, then this post is for you!

Pollution Awareness

If you're looking for an activity on the effects of pollution, look no further. Tyson McClain from State of Mississippi RCU created a quiz (26 questions) called "The Ecosystem/Pollution" emphasizing nature's harmful surroundings. Designed for 6th graders, but can easily be modified for younger and older grades, as well.

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Solar Energy

Want an entire course that examines the basic principles that are employed when designing a building to make maximum use of solar energy for heating and cooling without adding any mechanical, ducting or other energy demanding features to the building? We thought you might Smiley Wink caldwell@ncssm.edu​ from NC School of Science and Math shared his course "Passive Solar Design".

Earth and its Beauty

Our very own scottd@instructure.com, Director of Community at Instructure, uploaded amazing stock photos of the beautiful scenery in Utah. If you're ever looking to add flavor to your 'green' assignments, you may want to leverage one of his photos!

Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: earth, environment, or any of the author names mentioned in this blog.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

In continuing the spirit of National Poetry Month, we wanted to dedicate this week's blog post to love. Many times, poetry is written as a means to demonstrate and describe feelings of love. Well, there's certainly no shortage of love in Commons public.

Classic Love Sonnets

A sonnet is a poem made up of 14 lines of iambic pentameter. And who's better at iambic pentameter than William Shakespeare, right? In searching our resources for the famous love story of Romeo and Juliet, we found many assignments, quizzes and modules worth importing (Thanks to: Jennifer Murray, Joseph Wolf, Dawn Nummer, and Corie McAbee). We found lori_campbell@khsd.k12.ca.us​'s (from Kern High School District) module "Romeo and Juliet" to be quite comprehensive. While there are a few parts in the module that require permission to access a Google Doc, the rest of the module is chalk-full of great ideas worth importing and remixing to meet your classroom's needs. We thought the study guide files (which can easily be translated to Canvas page) for each act were great in helping students break things down into 4 awareness areas.

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Analyzing Love Poems

Deactivated user​ from District School Board of Pasco County shared a high school assignment called "Love Poem Analysis" where students are asked to analyze a love poem using the SOAPS-tone method​, then submit the analysis through Canvas. This is a great example of an assignment that can easily be adapted to any literary analysis.

Say Hi to Haikus

Haikus may not always be about love, but they are certainly lovely, don't you think?! drushing@whatcom.ctc.edu​ shares the same resource on haikus twice, first as a Canvas page and also as Word doc file. Import into your course or download to your computer and leverage some of these resources for courses!

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Do you have any poetry resources you've shared to Commons? Tell us about it! Smiley Happy

Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: poems, love, romeo and juliet, Shakespeare

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Community Coach
Community Coach

April is National Poetry Month, so we thought it would be 'poetic' to feature Commons resources that align with this theme. From rhyme to rhythm, here were the resources that stood out.

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Poetry Literary Devices

If you're looking for a simple pop quiz to post in your high-school writing class this month, look to Rosa Gaskins. She has created the perfect resource for you. Check out her quiz "Poetry Literary Devices" and import this short 10-question quiz into your course today. (We must admit, we took the quiz and it was painfully easy - how's that for an oxymoron! Ha!)

I've Got Rhythm...

For a more comprehensive resource, check out the module entitled "Reading Review with Rhyme and Rhythm" by Mary Weir, from Charlottesville City Schools. This lesson breaks down poetry elements into different 'activity stations' (aka pages), which could be great for 7, 8 graders. Students watch videos at each station to learn about tone, mood, figurative language, inferences, and more! Each station are links to Youtube videos and discussion prompts. There are some stand-alone aspects of this module that one could import and re-mix (or fold) into a greater lesson. Or, keep the module as a whole. Overall, great way to deliver this topic.

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Not Poetry, but a Classic

So, in our search for poetic resources, we found this gem: "The Three Little Pigs and Point of View" document shared by mgensel@elkhart.k12.in.us​ from Elkhart Community Schools. This activity is designed so "students are able to analyze how the choice of language and evidence help the writer express their point of view." With 9 outcomes associated with this resource, a javascript:; teacher could leverage this assignment in their classrooms and modify it as they see fit.

Do you have a resource you want to share? Or, did you discover something in Commons unique to this month's poetry theme? We'd love to hear about it!

Want to import or download these resources from Commons?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: poems, poetry, rhythm, rhyme

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Community Coach
Community Coach

If you search Commons (public) for Canvas training materials, you'll get a solid array of resources! Whether it's canvas.admin@rts.edu​'s "Professor-TA Training Course" or kelley.meeusen@cptc.edu's "Advanced Canvas Training Course" or stefaniesanders​' "Canvas' Best-Kept Secrets" (inspired by javascript:;), most of these resources are chalk-full of tips to help acclimate faculty to Canvas and enhance the training experience.

But then we find a gem that makes us smile, knowing there are so many teachers out there being creative with their trainings. This month, we discovered ebaker@centralia.edu​'s interactive course "Gamified, Self-paced, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Training for Faculty". We couldn't help but import the course and check out the adventure for ourselves!

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Gamification of Canvas courses comes in many forms, of course (if you haven't imported jward@instructure.com​'s "Badges for Learning" course, you should). But Baker does a great job by creating a sequence of activities with a classic form of in-page navigation. Nice!!

Do you have a fun way of designing courses? Share it to Commons!

Have you discovered something in Commons that people should know about? Oooh, tell us?

Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons public: badges, gamify, gamification, canvas training, or any of the author names mentioned in the post.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

TOTAL PUBLIC SHARES
12,379

Last updated 10/25/2016

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Community Coach
Community Coach

More Than Words: Vocabulary Quizzes

Posted 4/29/2016

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Search the term 'vocabulary' and you'll discover many publicly-shared resources in Commons - from quizzes that increase topical understanding (i.e., Genetics quiz) to general language-building (i.e., English, Spanish quizzes). For K12 students, new words is just part of their on-going language development during these critical learning years.

We found suffix and prefix quizzes ("Vocab List #3 Suffixes" shared by Alexandra Kent, Penn Harris Madison Schools; "Prefix 'Bi' Vocabulary Quiz" shared by Kristina Swift, Lexington City Schools). Among some of the harder vocabulary quizzes was Hohl Aaron's "Vocab Quiz #14" which included words like 'opprobrium' (stumping even us)! And of course, the must-haves in poetic writing, the synonyms and antonyms quizzes (i.e., "Antonyms and Synonyms" shared by Lisa Rice, Jenks Public Schools).

Best part about importing these quizzes is the mixing-and-matching of a variety of questions!

Click to read the rest of More Than Words: Vocabulary Quizzes

Earth Day Resources

Posted 4/20/2016

179594_pastedImage_6.pngLet's take a bit of a departure from our monthly theme of 'poetry' and focus on Earth Day (which is April 22, 2016). If you're looking for ways to leverage Earth Day activities in your courses or just want to get inspired by photos of our beautiful, green earth, then this post is for you!

Pollution Awareness

If you're looking for an activity on the effects of pollution, look no further. Tyson McClain from State of Mississippi RCU created a quiz (26 questions) called "The Ecosystem/Pollution" emphasizing nature's harmful surroundings. Designed for 6th graders, but can easily be modified for younger and older grades, as well.

Click to read the rest of Earth Day Resources

Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

Posted 4/14/2016

179040_pastedImage_6.png

In continuing the spirit of National Poetry Month, we wanted to dedicate this week's blog post to love. Many times, poetry is written as a means to demonstrate and describe feelings of love. Well, there's certainly no shortage of love in Commons public.

Classic Love Sonnets

A sonnet is a poem made up of 14 lines of iambic pentameter. And who's better at iambic pentameter than William Shakespeare, right? In searching our resources for the famous love story of Romeo and Juliet, we found many assignments, quizzes and modules worth importing (Thanks to: Jennifer Murray, Joseph Wolf, Dawn Nummer, and Corie McAbee). We found lori_campbell@khsd.k12.ca.us​'s (from Kern High School District) module "Romeo and Juliet" to be quite comprehensive. While there are a few parts in the module that require permission to access a Google Doc, the rest of the module is chalk-full of great ideas worth importing and remixing to meet your classroom's needs. We thought the study guide files (which can easily be translated to Canvas page) for each act were great in helping students break things down into 4 awareness areas.

Click to read the rest of Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Poetic Commons

Posted 4/7/2016

April is National Poetry Month, so we thought it would be 'poetic' to feature Commons resources that align with this theme. From rhyme to rhythm, here were the resources that stood out.

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Poetry Literary Devices

If you're looking for a simple pop quiz to post in your high-school writing class this month, look to Rosa Gaskins. She has created the perfect resource for you. Check out her quiz "Poetry Literary Devices" and import this short 10-question quiz into your course today. (We must admit, we took the quiz and it was painfully easy - how's that for an oxymoron! Ha!)

I've Got Rhythm...

For a more comprehensive resource, check out the module entitled "Reading Review with Rhyme and Rhythm" by Mary Weir, from Charlottesville City Schools. This lesson breaks down poetry elements into different 'activity stations' (aka pages), which could be great for 7, 8 graders. Students watch videos at each station to learn about tone, mood, figurative language, inferences, and more! Each station are links to Youtube videos and discussion prompts. There are some stand-alone aspects of this module that one could import and re-mix (or fold) into a greater lesson. Or, keep the module as a whole. Overall, great way to deliver this topic.

Click to read the rest of Poetic Commons

Making Canvas Training Fun

Posted 3/30/2016

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If you search Commons (public) for Canvas training materials, you'll get a solid array of resources! Whether it's canvas.admin@rts.edu​'s "Professor-TA Training Course" or kelley.meeusen@cptc.edu's "Advanced Canvas Training Course" or stefaniesanders​' "Canvas' Best-Kept Secrets" (inspired by Re: Your ideas of Canvas' best kept secrets), most of these resources are chalk-full of tips to help acclimate faculty to Canvas and enhance the training experience.

But then we find a gem that makes us smile, knowing there are so many teachers out there being creative with their trainings. This month, we discovered ebaker@centralia.edu​'s interactive course "Gamified, Self-paced, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Training for Faculty". We couldn't help but import the course and check out the adventure for ourselves!

Click to read the rest of Making Canvas Training Fun!

WANT TO SUBSCRIBE TO 'CURATING COMMONS' BLOG

Go here and click on the 'follow' link on the upper right.

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We can all use constructive feedback on our course content and teaching materials. Whether it's a technical comment about settings or a qualitative thought about design, every little bit helps refine our resources. If you are interested in leaving reviews for resources in Commons​, read these tips ​to ensure your feedback is well-received.

1. Rate each resource.

What will it be? One star or five? Ratings are one way users are able to filter their searches. So the more you rate resources, the better searches become in Commons!

2. Preface your review with perspective.

It's always nice to know the context in which you are offering your review.

  • Are you assessing a science project because you are a subject matter expert?
  • Are you evaluating a quiz because you're a Canvas pro-user (whose had a lot of experience designing quizzes)?
  • Are you an instructional designer giving overall feedback on a course or module?
  • Are you a teacher who imported this resource into your course and are offering your assessment of things that worked and didn't work in your classroom?

It's good to lead with some context so the author knows how to effectively interpret your feedback.

3. State (at least) 1 'Good' and 1 'Modify'

Basic feedback 101-type stuff: share one thing the author did successfully and one area upon which he/she can improve. Keep it short, but concise.

4. Provide opportunity for follow-up (optional)

Hopefully, you see your role as a reviewer as being more than just a person providing feedback. Posting reviews in Commons is a chance for you to enhance your reputation and build your professional network. Offer your contact information at the end (email or community profile URL) so the author can reach out to you for follow-ups.

5. Endorse other reviews (optional)

If you find that others have reviewed the resource you're about to review, read through their reviews and click 'yes' if the feedback was helpful. One way to give another reviewer a 'thumbs-up' is by building off of their reviews and letting them know that their feedback was helpful, as well. Smiley Happy

What else do you think is important to include in a review?

Include your thoughts in the comments below!

Smiley Happy

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176382_pastedImage_2.pngWhen winter storms start rolling in, we all know that could lead to SNOW DAY!! Missing school due to weather can put a halt to learning or even slow down the momentum of a lesson or unit. While it may be snowing outside, it's not snowing in Canvas. So, it might be worth checking out a few wonderful resources that have been publicly shared in Commons just in case you're snowed in.

Amanda Whigham, from Hall County Schools, shared the assignment Snow Day Assignment #1 which finds environmental science in the movies. Complete with thorough prompts and rubric, this could be a great assignment to import and modify (as needed) into any 9th grade (or any high school-level) science class.

If your snow days are dragging on, Sarah Hamby might have the perfect assignment to keep your spirits up. She shared Snow Day 3: SNOWFLAKE FUN in which students can complete an easy snow day math activity by taking a picture in the snow where arms display any type of angle (right angle, acute angle, obtuse angle). How fun is that?! Perfect for elementary school students!

Want a lesson on Arctic Habitats? Deactivated user created a page called "Snow Day Science Lesson" with instructions on how to access BrainPop (3rd party app) for brrr-science fun, complete with link to a video and quiz to share with your homeroom teacher!

Whether you're creating your own snow day activity or leveraging one from Commons, you best check out jmcbee​'s photo Snowy Day and Dog. It's a great visual addition to any assignment, quiz or lesson for your snowy-day activities.

Have a snow day activity? Share it in Commons public!

Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: snow, snow day, snowflake, snowy, winter, arctic, cold

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Monthly Focus: Poetry

In light of National Poetry Month, check out these poetry resources in need of your review.

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Latest Resources Tagged with 'Community Review'

The authors of these resources request your feedback.

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February is dedicated to a month-long learning about the African American icons, leaders, activists, and inventors who have made significant impacts on American history. And what better way to integrate these topics into Canvas courses than importing just-in-time resources from Commons public.

For starters, a handful of resources exist about Martin Luther King Jr. Import a content page with an activity and his speech (by Sarah Larrison), start a discussion about the impact of “I have a Dream” (by Sara Atkins), or download a complete module that includes a look at Aristotle's Appeals, The Emancipation Proclamation, and other Civil Rights Issues (by Sarah McCain). From discussions about slavery and John Henry (thanks to Michelle Adgate) to Black History Month Essay Contest (by Rachel Clark McCabe), there is something for all grade levels. Oh, and don’t forget about the amazing influences on jazz music by checking out “New Orleans: Where it all began” (by Mrs. Jehl).

If you have a timely resource to share, tag it with “Black History Month”!

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Want to import these resources?

Do a keyword search in Commons Public: martin luther king, black history, jazz, slavery

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This is a place for all types of Commons-folk.

Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources with the public (or within their institution). Come here for all your news, resources and questions related to Commons.

Educators leverage Commons for a variety of reasons. Whether they mostly import content, review materials, or share (re-share) resources, everyone benefits from the collective contributions of all users. However you use Commons, we've got something for everyone!

Recent Updates

Here are a few things you should have on your radar:

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What are Commons Collaborative Projects?

We want to encourage educators to collaborate on projects together in Canvas and share it publicly in Commons! When people work in groups or in tandem, the course materials and teaching resources developed has no bounds!

What types of projects can we submit?

Whether you're working on a worksheet for algebra or a creative mobile assignment for an art class, projects can be as comprehensive or as specific as you want. You don't have to have everything fleshed out. All germinal ideas are welcome. Collaborations start here and your submission begins the brainstorming process. Initial discussions lead to greater ideas and pique the interests of other potential collaborators. And from there... it evolves...

What happens after I submit a project?

Each idea is different. Some quickly gain interest and are developed quickly and shared immediately to Commons. Others take some time to generate momentum. Regardless, someone from Commons team will reach out to you after your submission to help find possible collaborators and facilitate collaborations with any logistics, if needed.

Any other questions?

Reach out to Biray Seitz.

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TOTAL REVIEWS
2026

TOTAL RESOURCES REVIEWED

1552

TOTAL REVIEWERS
1733

Last updated 10/25/2016

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What is "Community Review"?

Any user can review content in Commons. But we want to prioritize giving feedback to users who actually want it! So, when sharing publicly, you will be prompted to tag a resource with 'Community Review' to actively request a review. Users can filter content with ‘community review’ and begin reviewing resources.

Rate and Write Good Reviews

In order to successfully review a resource, you have to interact with it.

  1. Search for content tagged 'community review'
  2. Import resource into a demo/sandbox course (if preview is unavailable)
  3. Leave a review for a resource in Commons
  4. (Optional) Direct Message the author of the resource in the community and open dialogue for follow-up.

For more information, check out these 5 Tips to Providing a Helpful Review in Commons

Where should I start?

Technically, you can rate and review anything in Commons. In an effort to surface exceptional content, we'd love to have more professional feedback on resources shared publicly. Check out the List of Suggested Resources for Review

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Commons team wants to recognize those users who are leveraging Commons Public to share, import and review resources! Therefore, we made some awesome badges to show you how much we appreciate you!

Commons Badges are awarded at the end of each month!

BADGEDESCRIPTIONPOINTS
175677_CommonsShare10-thumb.pngCommonsShare10-thumb.pngYou've shared 10 resources to Commons Public.50
175678_CommonsShare25-thumb.pngCommonsShare25-thumb.pngYou've shared 25 resources to Commons Public.100
175685_CommonsShare50-thumb.pngCommonsShare50-thumb.pngYou've shared 50 resources to Commons Public.200
175686_CommonsShare100-thumb.pngCommonsShare100-thumb.pngYou've shared 100 resources to Commons Public.
400
175687_CommonsImport50-thumb.pngCommonsImport50-thumb.pngCollectively, your publicly-shared resources have been imported 50 times.
25
175688_CommonsImport100-thumb.pngCommonsImport100-thumb.pngCollectively, your publicly-shared resources have been imported 100 times.
50
175689_CommonsImport200-thumb.pngCommonsImport200-thumb.pngCollectively, your publicly-shared resources have been imported 200 times.100
175690_CommonsImport500-thumb.pngCommonsImport500-thumb.pngCollectively, your publicly-shared resources have been imported 500 times.250
coming soon!You've reviewed 10 resources in Commons Public.
coming soon!You've reviewed 25 resources in Commons Public.
coming soon!You've reviewed 50 resources in Commons Public.
coming soon!You've reviewed 100 resources in Commons Public.

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Please add your title to the project subject line (above) and then fill out the form below <--- then DELETE this part.

What is the goal of your project?

double_click_to_insert_text

What type of resource do you want to create?

double_click_to_insert_content_type_module_quiz_assignment_page_course_discussion_etc.

What kinds of collaborators are you looking for?

double_click_to_insert_resource_type_instructional_designers_SMEs_teachers_anyone_etc.

What's the deadline for completion?

double_click_to_insert_date_or_timeline

Please add additional tags below, but DO NOT DELETE the existing tags. <--- now DELETE this part.

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