Canvas is the campus-supported, cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that can be used as a repository for course materials, a communication system, as well as a place to collect and grade assignments. A learning management system helps keep all students connected to course objectives and provides transparency about course expectations.
Various elements of Canvas are highlighted here as they can assist in delivering a hybrid or remote course effectively. This comprehensive guide from the Learning Design Group in Continuing Education will instruct you on how to use these elements, and recommends certain considerations for remote teaching. On-demand videos describing these features have been created by OIT as well.
- Announcements are a great way to send regular reminders to students about coursework. If allowed through your settings, students will also receive an email. Using this tool creates an easily accessible record of communication for you and students.
- The Quizzes tool allows for accessibility surveys and student feedback (as ungraded surveys) as well as weekly quizzes and midterms. Questions can have several modalities, and user time can be monitored individually allowing for accommodations. Proctorio will interface with Canvas Quizzes, if you need a proctored exam.
- Discussions allow for asynchronous access to course content. Students can receive grades for posting discussion boards, or replying to course discussions. Setting norms for discussion boards is important.
- The Kaltura media tool (integrated via "My Media" in Canvas) allows professors to upload recorded lectures. Consider interfacing with PlayPosit, a tool that generates frequent pauses for quizzes during the video, in order to keep students motivated. Students report that the ideal length of a video, or video segment, is 15-20 minutes. You can do light editing with Kaltura to optimize your video lecture.
- Using the Attendance tool in Canvas is encouraged, as students may have issues connecting with your course due to internet issues, unreliable technology or family responsibilities. Keeping track of their engagement, and reaching out to them, will illustrate your desire to be flexible and connected during this challenging time.
- Canvas has a Grading system which is connected to all assignments, discussion boards and quizzes that you create in your course. Keeping your grades current will ease anxiety for students.