asatkins
New Member

What do you wish you had known before you started?

Hi all!

I'm presenting next month on our fully online K-12 so I wanted to crowdsource this here, where lots of you are probably familiar with at least the K-12 specific issues, if not the fully online K-12 issues. I know generally what I want to cover, but I want to make sure that I'm adding as many things that will be useful as possible Smiley Happy I always feel like the Q & A sessions at the end of the presentations are the most useful anyway, so I'm hoping if I can build more of that into my session we can get as much useful info to people as possible in that really short half hour!

Here are my questions:

1. What is the most important thing you wish you knew about Canvas in a K-12 environment before you transitioned to/started off in Canvas? Would you do anything different if you were doing it now?

2. What is the most useful thing someone DID tell you/help you learn that made the transition easier?

3. What do you consider the BEST quality about Canvas for K-12 users? What is your proudest K-12 Canvas usecase/feature/moment?

4. What do you think is the WORST quality of Canvas specific to online K-12 users?

I know what the answers are for my institution, but we do a lot of weird things so I'm wondering how universal these things actually are. I'm specifically interested in anyone who has all or part of their K-12 fully online, but I'm also interested in hybrid and traditional classrooms as well. Feel free to answer any of the questions, even if you don't have anything off the top of your head on all of them Smiley Happy

Thank you!

9 Replies
clong
Coach Emeritus

Some great questions here  @asatkins ​, I'll have a go at a couple of them and comeback to answer the harder ones after I put a little more thought into it.

4) WORST would have to be the gradebook. I hear this all the time from teachers especially those new to using an LMS or Canvas. They want a few more features, don't like how much scrolling it takes, and for larger gradebooks its slow and clunky.

3) BEST = Feedback options. Audio/video, Crocodoc annotations, comments and rubrics. Best success story was one of our teachers who shared the student responses she had when she left audio comments on every student's beginning of the year writing assignment and then had her students use the resubmit button after they improved their work. Not only did this blow the student's away with how much the teacher cared, but she saw drastic improvements in their writing as a result.

mpoole
Community Member

The one thing I wish we had considered more fully before implementing wide is how different navigation structures affect students and how to better balance teacher choice with useful templates.

We have some teachers who created a home page of navigation, some who use modules, others who create a page for each week and set that page as home, and some who use the syllabus view.  A student might potentially have all of those teachers in a day, which means figuring out a completely different way of accessing course content.

Obviously each school is going to approach this differently but I wish as a faculty we had spent more time thinking about the student experience of the overall curriculum as well as in each of our individual classes.

Hey  @mpoole ​ - what templates did you give to teachers?  Could you share links?  I'm trying to help K-5 teachers decide what the purpose of using Canvas in their classrooms might be.  We will have 1-1 iPads in all their classrooms next year and want to help them utilize Canvas in practical ways.

racole
New Member

1. What is the most important thing you wish you knew about Canvas in a K-12 environment before you transitioned to/started off in Canvas? Would you do anything different if you were doing it now?

We started our contract in January and have offical roll-out this August but have been working with curriculum and school teams this spring.  Here are a few of the top items:

  • There is not an efficient ways to "copy" pages (e.g., doesn't work like a template)- when you copy a page and edit, it impacts BOTH pages (original and the copy)
  • Gradebook does not work well for elementary schemes (we are working toward a custom solution) - cannot add a grade directly into gradebook without creating an assignment
  • Outcomes can only be tied to a rubric- you cannot tie an outcome directly to an assignment without a rubric being used (this is limiting our ability to get people to adopt)
  • RCE needs some updates (div tags give us issues); we had to develop our own CSS to have pages display properly on a mobile device
  • Some permissions are "lumped" together so cannot be broken out (e.g., if you give permission for people to add event they can also delete any event- not just the one they create)
  • App doesn't have same functionality (iOS vs Android) and some features not available (as can find in the web version)

2. What is the most useful thing someone DID tell you/help you learn that made the transition easier?

  • Using Points of Contacts (POCs) for training across schools and grade levels
  • Started development with curriculum teams and school admins- their buy-in has been important before we officially go live this fall
  • Work through use cases for roles, org structure, curriculum dev philosophy, etc.

3. What do you consider the BEST quality about Canvas for K-12 users? What is your proudest K-12 Canvas usecase/feature/moment?

  • Ease of use for students, staff, admins
  • Lots of options to make items interactive and use LTI tools (like the audio and video as well)
  • Our staff ❤️ SpeedGrader

4. What do you think is the WORST quality of Canvas specific to online K-12 users?

  • Voting for features is not my favorite- it would be better to view roadmaps for tools that can prioritize within those product teams
  • Because it is software as service, some features cannot be changed or renamed b/c everyone is on the same instance
  • I outlined other pain points above- it is more geared to "let everyone do what they want" and not much in regard to working / selecting templates, etc.

Hi Robert,

I was bouncing around reading what people wrote and your comment about copying pages caught my eye. I "Copy" a lot of pages from time to time and what I found to work is not "Copying" the page but copying the html code behind the rich content editor. I will start a new page, open the page I am trying to copy, click edit, select the html link instead of the rich content editor and past that code in the new documents html. Might help a little.

Yes--this is how I do it too.  It's the only way I can find that doesn't end up with me accidentally over-writing myself.

Great idea, just be mindful that when you have a file linked to in an Assignment, Discussion, Page, etc. and you copy the HTML. The HTML code is still going to send user to the course files that you copied it from, and if they are not enrolled in that course they will not be able to see those files :smileycry:

This can really frustrate and stress students out when it happens.

Are you referring to copying pages across courses, or within a course?

0 Kudos
LisaCasto
New Member

Agree with many of comments above

2)Best things we did:

  • Small Phase One group, helped us determine another best thing we did-- "Allen Way" of Canvas. 
  • Strong partnership of technology and curriculum department
  • With over 9,000 students, we needed a common/standard navigation and module format for most classes, and suggested ways to begin. Student stress of they can't find things in their courses.
  • Extensive, on-going, just in time professional development for teachers. We meet with teams during conference periods and schedule with individuals as needed.

3)Ease of use for staff, students and parents.

4)Importing is hard to understand for non technical users. Most get it without much help, but some really struggle. Would like a drag and drop method--like Pinterest!:)