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Community Coach
Community Coach

Top Instructor/Student Issues

As part of my InstructureCon 2017‌ presentation I'm going to go through some of the top issues Instructors and Students have with Canvas. The catch? They are things that CAN be fixed/avoided! So not bugs or things we would like changed in Canvas, etc. 

I've got a pretty good list going, but was wondering what are some of the top/current issues YOU have seen/noticed? Also, if you come up with something I don't have on my list and that I use in my presentation I'll not only give you a shout-out in my presentation, but I'll also award you a badge and some points (I might have a few I could share... :smileylaugh:).

Let the fun begin!!

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Link validator? kona@richland.eduI'm going to research that one!

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Community Coach
Community Coach

It’s not perfect, but it works pretty good! 

Go go into a course, click on settings, then on the right there is a button to validate links. Click on it and it will take you to another screen. Start the validation and it will check your links. 🙂

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Adventurer

A weird thing that we get a lot is on Assignment submissions. Being a nursing school, many of our students are in clinics or hospitals and have issues submitting assignments (generally notes about what they did while in the clinic). The problem is typically that the computers in these sites are only running IE in compatibility mode which makes the submit button not appear. We are constantly telling students that they may not be able to submit from the clinic since there is no controls over the systems in those locations.

The short version is that they need to make sure they are on a recommended browser.

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Hi mjennings@uab.edu

Your post points to a more general issue for students, and that is the problem of available and usable technology, and orientation to that technology. Too often we have teachers with expectations that students perform tasks using tech that is not available to the student, or that the student is unfamiliar with.  Faculty need to make sure that tech is available, and  clearly communicate to the students where, when and how that tech can be available. Faculty need to orient students to any tech that the students might be unfamiliar with, and this includes using Canvas as a student.

I always apply a lowest-common-denominator principle when orienting students to tech - I assume that none of my students know anything about the tech, and provide orientation materials and activities appropriate to that level of understanding. The students who do understand the tech can move past that orientation, and those that do not can engage in the orientation at the level needed. Syllabi and course description in catalogs and schedules must prominently and clearly identify any tech used by students in a course, and where the student can get help.

And of course there is my mantra - never use a tech as a teacher that you cannot at least minimally troubleshoot and support for your students (yes, we see that all the time also) - login procedures and credentials, navigation (from the student perspective), assignment/activity processes and submissions, etc., how to contact vendor support when the tech does not perform as expected.

Agent K

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Yep, for us it's no IE or Edge! The first thing we check when a student contacts us about this type of issue is the browser they were using! 

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi Kona - I don't like to toot my own horn much, but feel free to borrow numbers 3 and 5 from here:  What the Setup Checklist Does Not Tell You .  I'm going to have to rename that blog title soon, though, with the removal of the setup checklist that's coming.  (Besides, it's a good way to toot your OWN horn on number 7, at least until the new quiz interface.  🙂 )

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Awesome list! Thanks for reminding me of this blog and yes #7 is pretty important... if I do say so myself! 😉

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Learner II

Kona,

I second the thought that faculty need reminders every semester about start and end dates AND publishing. That is something that is new for us with Canvas. Also related to access - students frequently come to Canvas support for access to course materials if they have an incomplete. We are often times just pointing them back to the instructor for access.

Another question we frequently get this summer is "how do I give students an extra attempt on a quiz?"

While we talk about the best way to get Help (the HELP MENU!), faculty and students tend to email us with questions that are in the guides, questions for their faculty about assignments, etc. More comfort with the Help Menu would save us lots of time.

I'm looking forward to your presentation!

Laurie

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

"But it's so much easier to just call you than it is looking it up online!" - Most often-heard quote by most Canvas administrators anywhere.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

LOL... honestly we don't have this problem. I'm not sure if it's the mandatory online training we have faculty go through before using Canvas or the way we promote the different ways faculty can find information/get help themselves, but our faculty seem to do pretty good. Side note, I have a 10 minute rule that I tell faculty about. I tell them to try figuring something out (or looking it up) for 10 minutes. If they can't then PLEASE contact the Help Desk (basically our Canvas Admin's) because nothing in Canvas is that hard that it should take more than 10 minutes to figure out... unless of course you can't do it or there's a bug/issue. Also, when faculty contact us about questions that are easily addressed (from our training material or the guides), I normally tell them, "Hey, great question, if you look in our Instructor training course you'll find that information in Module X under Z." Or something similar and a link to the Canvas Guides and the guide that will help them.

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