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barnettda
Community Contributor

SoftChalk Lessons - Better To Display Within Course or In New Tab?

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Hi, everyone,

SoftChalk Cloud is a Canvas certified partner, and there's a handy tutorial for putting in the URL of a non-graded SoftChalk lesson into Canvas.

The tutorial suggests putting it in as a non-graded assignment, and when the student clicks on the link the SoftChalk lesson opens in a new tab.

Is there a way to use frames to have the lesson open within Canvas? If so, how well does it work, especially on mobile devices?

Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks!

Dan Barnett

Butte College

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Hi Dan:

I actually prefer to have my SoftChalk lessons open within Canvas, and my students do not seem to have a problem with the dual navigation.

One thing to try in Canvas with SoftChalk is just loading the learning objects, without them being in an entire SoftChalk Lesson. I have never taken the time to view a SoftChalk lesson in the Canvas app, but all SoftChalk activities are now HTML5, and I understand they scale very well.

To Create just Learning Objects:

  • Create a new SoftChalk lesson,
  • within the lesson, create your activities,
  • Right-click an activity, and choose the Save as Object option.
  • When you create the embed code for the object you do not get the huge and distracting banner across the top,

I hope this helps,

Kelley

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13 Replies
dhulsey
Community Champion

I always have SoftChalk open in a new tab. It simply gets too crowded to have it open within Canvas, and if you have a multi-page SoftChalk lesson, this gets confusing for students because they have Canvas navigation and SoftChalk navigation nested inside of Canvas.

I know  @kmeeusen ​ is another fan of SoftChalk, so he might have thoughts as well.

For what it is worth, I use SoftChalk as graded lessons in Canvas; the grades report to the grade book, and that lets me keep an eye on student progress.

I hope that helps, Dan!

barnettda
Community Contributor

Hi, Dallas,

This is really helpful. I'm impressed by how neat and compact the pages created within Canvas can be if the lessons are relatively simple, but SoftChalk allows me to do self-check quizzes and other activities and in general make the page itself more immersive. And I agree that navigation within navigation wouldn't be helpful, especially on a smartphone!

At my college we're pulled in two directions. PDFs are pretty much the standard since they keep the formatting, but they're static. Yet developing an HTML page from scratch using the editor is pretty time consuming. So SoftChalk is my go-to workhorse since it provides a template within which to post content.

And if I have multiple course sections, it's great that I can change it once in SoftChalk Cloud and the changes are instantly available in each section.

Cheerily,

Dan Barnett

Butte College

dhulsey
Community Champion

Absolutely. SoftChalk has many benefits, and I am a big fan of how quick it is to develop nice looking, interactive content in SoftChalk.

One thing worth noting is that SoftChalk lessons cannot be viewed in the Canvas mobile apps at this time. They can be accessed through the browser on a mobile device though. I alerted SoftChalk to this a few months ago, but I have not heard anything back.

barnettda
Community Contributor

HI, Dallas,

I'm told that SoftChalk lessons automatically create a mobile-friendly version when viewed in a browser, but I was wondering about whether or how they'd show up in the dedicated Canvas app.

I wonder if that's changed in iOS 9 for iPhone and iPad? As I understand it, apps no longer need to incorporate their own browser but can call on Safari.

Cheerily,

Dan Barnett

Butte College

Hi Dan:

I actually prefer to have my SoftChalk lessons open within Canvas, and my students do not seem to have a problem with the dual navigation.

One thing to try in Canvas with SoftChalk is just loading the learning objects, without them being in an entire SoftChalk Lesson. I have never taken the time to view a SoftChalk lesson in the Canvas app, but all SoftChalk activities are now HTML5, and I understand they scale very well.

To Create just Learning Objects:

  • Create a new SoftChalk lesson,
  • within the lesson, create your activities,
  • Right-click an activity, and choose the Save as Object option.
  • When you create the embed code for the object you do not get the huge and distracting banner across the top,

I hope this helps,

Kelley

barnettda
Community Contributor

Hi, Kelley,

This is wonderful!

Would it be possible to do a screen shot of a SoftChalk lesson page within Canvas, showing both navigations? Does this work when you and students are using the mobile apps or viewing on a mobile browser?

I'm not sure what you mean by not getting "the huge and distracting banner"? Do you mean the banner that shows up in a SoftChalk lesson? Do you have a screen shot of a SoftChalk activity embedded in a Canvas page (showing the context)?

I'm excited!

Cheerily,

Dan

Dan:

Below is a screenshot of a SoftChalk Lesson (my syllabus for a course) embedded in the Syllabus Description content page. This process works the same for any page in Canvas. As you can see, the SoftChalk lesson's Table of Contents is both visible as the first page of the lesson, and is an active TOC, meaning that when users click on a TOC item, they are navigated to that page of the lesson

119600_pastedImage_0.png

Below is a screenshot of just a SoftChalk Learning Object (in this case a quiz) embedded in a Canvas page. The object is fully interactive. You will note that the large banner that displays in the image above, does not display when just a learning object is embedded. There is a smaller banner at the bottom, but it is much less distracting.

119601_pastedImage_1.png

I hope this helps.

barnettda
Community Contributor

Hi, Kelley,

This is great--very helpful!

Thanks for taking the time to show what it looks like.

I'm taken with the possibilities....

Cheerily,

Dan

DaleDrees
Community Champion

 @kmeeusen   @dhulsey ​ I was wondering if you heard back from Softchalk to see if it loads on the Canvas app?

Our school is finally moving past our transition from Angel to Canvas and looking for a product for content development.

Was wondering if anyone has some insights (pros and cons) on tools such as Softchalk, Storyline, Camtasia for content development.

One big concern is students using them on mobile devices.

Sorry if an existing thread is out there that has this summary already.

Dale