Strategies for Using Canvas for a College Program

Community Member

Hi! So our college started a new program a few years ago so we're still trying to get a footing on what we're doing, specifically with tracking our students' work in the program.

We serve about 80 students in the program. At the end of each quarter, students are eligible to receive a gift card if they complete a certain number of requirements which is organized by categories: Social Events, Professional Development Workshops, Volunteer/Service Events, and Professor Office Hours. Students are not required to attend all or any events and this does not affect any part of their overall academic records (no credits, no GPA, etc.).

Currently, the way we've been running our Canvas page is that when we find events or workshops, we post an assignment to Canvas so that students can see it. If they attend, they must submit some sort of proof that they attended (answering questions, submitting a flyer, etc.). We then "grade" the assignments by giving them a score of 1/1 so that it becomes easier for us to track at the end of the quarter.

While this whole process works for us, it's looking like it's not too organized the students. On their dashboard, for example, students are seeing a list of assignments for our program on their To-Do List. This often gets mixed in with assignments for their actual classes. Their gradebook also contains a lot of "Missing" assignments which often confuses students that they need to attend all of the events on the assignments page.

I thought about no longer posting assignments for each event and either using the Calendar tool or using announcements, but students have mentioned that having individual assignments for events/workshops helps them to see what's coming up - it just gets confusing when they first land on their Canvas home page.

Does anyone here use Canvas for their College Program or just any Program in general where students aren't required to complete everything and are not receiving an actual grade? Would love to hear some tips/strategies/methods.

Thank you!