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Community Member

Adding a good active learning capability to Canvas

I thought I would reach out to you with a suggestion for a change in Canvas, assuming you have the ability to make recommendations to them. Below is an out-take of an Eric Mazur video showing how this is done in a face-to-face class, and I'd like to see canvas facilitate this in an online format.


Eric Mazur had his class first take a one question quiz, then each person had to find someone with a different answer and pair up to share how they came to their answer. Then retake the quiz to see how the group converges toward the correct answer.


Wouldn't it be great if Canvas had an automatic function you could use that would take the results of a survey/quiz question and automatically create groups of two or three students who had different answers and have them get together in a mini-discussion to try to get to the correct answer? Perhaps retake the survey and if you had some convergence on the correct answer you could do it again making sure every group had in it someone who got it right.


Pose a question:

Together, a basketball backboard and ball cost $110.The backboard costs $100 more than the ball.How much does the ball cost?


Multiple Choice

A. $5

B $10

C. $20

D. None of the above


Each student thinks about this independently and selects an answer

The system knows the right answer.


For example:


Automatically the system calculates what portion of the students got the right answer.

The system then calculates how many students with the wrong answer must meet with each student with the right answer (or vice versa depending on the breakout of right and wrong answers)


The system then assigns each students to a small group (size calculated by the system to ensure as small a group as possible with one member having the right answer), larger than a group of one where the students have different answers.


You could set up a discussion forum for the group with instructions to work together to understand how each got to their answer, retake the quiz and if you still have a substantial portion with the incorrect answer have the option to have canvas set up new small groups of students automatically as before.

 If you think active learning could make your instructing better, please add your voice to the call for action.



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2 Replies
New Member

Yes, by all means.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Good afternoon, @burnettw ...

This is interesting, but not quite the area of the Canvas Community where you would want to post your suggestion as a new feature or enhancement to Canvas.  There is a different section of the Community where you can post this so that it can be evaluated by others here in the Community.  You'll want to click on the PRODUCT menu from the top of any screen here in the Community, and then select IDEA CONVERSATIONS.  On the screen that follows, you'll want to then select the "Suggest an idea" button.  This will allow you to first title your idea (and it might find similar ideas that have already been submitted ... in which case, add your comments to the existing idea rather than creating your own .... to avoid duplication), and then you'll be able to provide the details of your Feature Idea (much of which you could just copy and paste what you've already provided here).  Here are a few other Guides to help you along the way:

I hope this information will be of help to you, Bill.  Sing out if you have any other questions about how this all works...thanks!  Take care, stay safe, and be well.

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