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Community Member

Nebula: A New Design for Canvas Discussion Boards

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William Parod Jr

Northwestern Information Technology, Northwestern University - HigherEd

By presenting Canvas Discussions as personalized network graphs in which students directly interact with the evolving structure, Nebula offers an innovative way to view and participate in Discussions. Hear about the Nebula LTI App and the tangible learning outcomes of this exciting visual discussion board experience.

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11 Replies
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Community Member

Since, conference abstracts are usefully brief, here is a link to Nebula in Northwestern Learning Apps​ store. At the session, I'll be going into more detail on Nebula and its feedback from students. We'll also discuss a companion app for rating discussion activity and an associated feedback messaging experiment we conducted with it. I'll also briefly describe the Northwestern Learning Apps store where our campus community learns about Nebula and can install it in their courses.

I hope to see you there.

Bill

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Community Member

Will you be sharing your presentation notes here?

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Learner II

HI Bill:

Great to meet you! This looks pretty promising and when you guys decide to open up the code we would love to take a look at it. Anything open-source is a bonus for us not having to dance around consent forms due to FIPPA (British Columbia)

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Learner II

Bill: I wasn't able to attend your session, but your tool looks amazing. Does Northwestern have any plans to make the tool available beyond your university?

Thanks!

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Community Member

Sarah,

Yes, we are working on a public release. We don't have details at this time but will announce in this space and elsewhere when we do. Feel free to check in directly as well. We would love to hear about your interests and work in this area also.

As an FYI, Northwestern's implementation and deployment uses AWS services for server-side components. Nebula is almost entirely a client-side app. We're watching some possible developments in Canvas regarding token handling that would allow us to remove much of the server-side architecture, making Nebula an easier install for others. We want to see if/when these Canvas developments come about before preparing an AWS release. Just some background regarding release - FYI.

Thanks much for your interest.

Bill

Bill Parod

Architect, Software Development Group

Academic and Research Technologies

Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT)

NUL 2EAST E-2639

1970 Campus Drive

Evanston IL 60208

bill-parod@northwestern.edu

Office 847 491 5368

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Learner II

Bill,

So you mean this locally developed tool will utilize the AWS services in order to work or will it work? We will not get AWS until at least the end of this year is what we are hearing....

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Community Member

Keroleen,

Yes, Nebula currently uses AWS.

We are preparing an OAuth-based version that will obviate (Canvas API proxy) components running in AWS.

Bill

Bill Parod

Architect, Software Development Group

Academic and Research Technologies

Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT)

NUL 2EAST E-2639

1970 Campus Drive

Evanston IL 60208

bill-parod@northwestern.edu

Office 847 491 5368

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Community Member

Keroleen,

Thanks much. We'll certainly post in this space and elsewhere in the Canvas Community. I'll note your interest as well and followup.

Bil

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Community Member

Henry,

Presentation slides are now attached above. Thanks for your interest. We're happy to answer any questions.

Thanks to Tara Cave at Instructure for helping me get the file attached.

Bill