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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Professional Development Ideas

So I have recently accepted a brand new position at my public HS as a Teach on special assignment as we roll out Canvas and a 1:1. I have (2) 3 hr sessions I am in charge of leading to help my colleagues get familiar with Canvas after having completely misused a different LMS for the past 3 years...any one have suggestions on most efficient way to spend a full 6 hr training day?

My first thought was to create every kind of basic activity. I made 4 different assignments each with a different submission type. 2 Discussions...1 graded with Peer reviews and one as a group discussion. Then I made a quiz using each of the question types in the normal version and the beta version. And have them exprience Canvas as a student then teach them how I set each one up for first half...Then sandbox it for the afternoon so that they leave their creating course shells with at least an outline of modules to build over the summer.

Anyone have any success stories or tips? 

Thanks in advance!

94 Replies

If you admin has the setting allowed, you can make any course a Blueprint course at any time.

Explorer III

Hi  @jayoder  I wanted to throw in my suggestions as well! 

For face-to-face training I have started offer the following: 3 hour Getting to Know Canvas course, a 1.5 hour Canvas Next Steps, and a 1.5 hour Canvas is Elementary. The 3 hour course is basically a hands-on version of the online course mentioned below, with me there supporting them and walking them through the steps. If I had 6 full hours for this, I would structure things a little different, with more time for hands-on creation. Right now, in my 3 hour window (sadly all I get!) they do get some hands-on, but the extra three hours would give the chance to really create content, adapt existing content, and think about how to utilize Canvas as so much more than a file dumping ground! 

I have found, and again just in my experience, many of our teachers want to be more "directly" taught how to use an LMS. I think the key is having that hands-on experience. 

With that said, I do have a fully online course that teachers can access year round. That course is badge-based, and essentially walks the learner through the steps of creating a course. The goal (hopefully!) being to lead them to creating a complete course while avoiding it becoming a file dump. So things like setting the course navigation, that may seem like after thoughts, are included early on as components of earning a badge. 

I am sharing the slide deck I used to lead my most recent 3 hour session. Anywhere it has an "I Can" slide with a checklist, we switched over to hands-on. This way, there was a mixture of the why and the how throughout the training. This may be totally off base from what you are looking for, but I know I love shared resources! (It is branded, but you can make a copy and edit as needed!) You may also be way past this point with your teachers, but when you said it was essentially year 0 after a 3 year misfire, I hear that as needing to have some level of basics and scaffolding for learners at all levels! 

I love to talk Canvas so please reach out of you have any questions or follow up thoughts! 

Wicked. Thanks for the insights AND the share  @mjoaquin .

I love how you blend the pedagogy and the hands on experiences.

We started using KungFu Canvas as part of our onboarding process for new faculty. We are going to be starting our 4th year in Canvas, and we want to be sure that our newest teachers feel comfortable with the basics before jumping into full-faculty tech/Canvas meetings. I hope that it helps everyone feel more confident with Canvas as an LMS and come to the beginning of the school year with questions on like "Is there a way I can require students to move through content in a specific order?" rather than, "How do I create an assignment?"

 @jayoder - I love that you prioritized the dual experience! I think it's very important for teachers to have professional development housed in Canvas so they understand the students' point-of-view. (For a bonus, encourage them to complete a certain number of assignments on a mobile device!) You learn a lot from being a student!! Smiley Happy

It's too bad that you had such a low completion rate. It's tough to get everyone on board, especially if it's not required. Adult learners are a lot like the students we teach. WHY and the VALUE of the experience is important. If it's not clear, the engagement goes down. Also, if there's not a way to hold everyone accountable, that influences completion. least that's what I've noted. You'll always have those super-intrinsically-motivated individuals who do everything because they love to learn everything and everything, but beyond that, people need to be checked-up on and have a clear reason why they should finish. (Think how it works for people agreeing to work out at the gym together. Typically, people are a lot less likely to cancel if they have a workout buddy.) Has your administration been able to help with that?

Anytime!! Let me know if I can share anything else, I am always happy to share! 

Community Team
Community Team

Hey  @jayoder ,

People have already shared many excellent thoughts and ideas here but I wanted to also point out that you could also take a page from  @Bobby2 's book.  It appears that during her faculty orientations she often orients people to the Canvas Community as well so that this community becomes a part of their own PLCs (at least I surmise this is happening as I often see new batches of her associates showing up contemporaneously.

 @scottdennis what a groovy word! 

'Contemporaneously' LOVE IT!

Community Coach
Community Coach

One thing I want to be front and centre is WHY not the What.

It's not what we do but why we do it.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk  

Trying to get across that "I Believe..." feeling about Canvas is key. 

But how to do that with tired teachers after a busy day in the classroom is quite an art. 


Community Advocate
Community Advocate

That is one of my personal favorite TED talks! I talk about his Golden circle all the time with my students when I introduce a project or even just talk about life and why we do what we do. Same is true of my colleagues and getting used to a new LMS! So important to keep in mind! Love it! I'm about to start my trek to #InstructureCon2018 and sad we won't get to meet in person  @Bobby2 !