DEU EdTech Quick Tips – Issue 35

In this Issue: Winter Term Warm-Up

    • DEU Digest Announcement
    • Beginning of Term Checklist
    • Tips for creating a class intro video for your students
    • Community-building Resources from OneHE and Equity Unbound
    • DEU support and contact information

DEU Digest Announcement

The Distance Education Unit Digest (DEUD) began in April of 2020 in an attempt to broaden the reach of Instructional Design services common to Distance Education developments and to better serve the University community with online teaching and learning support. Due to the major shift in course delivery modes casued by the pandemic, DEU began delivering the DEUD on a weekly basis with contributions and curations from our entire Instructional Design Team. Your response has been overwhelmingly positive and we thank you for your appreciation and kind words for these efforts.

In 2021 we will be shifting to a bi-weekly format offering the same bite-sized serving of edtech quick tips, resources, news, and opportunities to connect directly with the Instructional Designers at DEU every two weeks. We look forward to connecting with you this year and supporting your online teaching and learning from a distance.

Beginning of Term Checklist

Since today is the first day of Winter term, you might be running through a mental list to decide if you’ve put all the pieces in place to get your new classes up and running. The following checklist should cover the essentials and offer some helpful links for completing these tasks in Canvas.

1. Finalize your Syllabus and upload it to the “Syllabus” area of your Canvas course.

2. Set “Due” dates for graded components (Assignments, Quizzes, and/or Discussions) of your course for the upcoming term.

    • You can do this by clicking the “Edit” button on any Assignment, Quiz, or Discussion. Near the bottom in the “Assign” > “Due” field, set your date and time accordingly. Note that you must also check the box that marks a Discussion as “Graded” before you can set a “Due” date for it.
    • Canvas tip: Note the difference between “Due” dates and “To-do” dates in Canvas. When you are editing an ungraded Discussion or a Page in Canvas, you have the option of checking a box to “Add to student to-do” – this is not the same as a “Due” date! Due dates are for graded work, and often instructors will impose penalties for late work. To-do dates are for more informal classroom management tasks, and set reminders into a student’s Canvas calendar to complete ungraded tasks by a certain time (e.g., join a group for an upcoming project, submit a topic for a presentation, or post about themselves in an “Introductions” Discussion thread).
    • If necessary, you should also adjust the “Available from” and “Until” dates. This is most likely to apply to Quizzes or Assignments used for examinations in which you are giving students a limited time to access certain materials. See the following for more information: What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?

3. Publish your Canvas course.

    • See the following link for instructions: How do I publish a course? Note that students can see everything in your course once it is Published, except for any individual items that you have specifically marked as Unpublished (see the following links for information on Publishing/Unpublishing individual course items: Assignments,Quizzes, Discussions, Pages, Modules).
    • If you want to double-check how a course will appear to students before you Publish it, remember that you can toggle to the student view: How do I view a course as a test student using Student View? (note that the test student will not be enrolled in any Groups, so won’t be able to see within any of those).
    • Canvas tip: Only once a course is Published can your students receive notifications from Announcements and Inbox messages (see following points).

4. Make an Announcement and start communicating with your students.

5. Recommended: Via Canvas, send an “Inbox” message to your students.

Tips for creating a class intro video for your students

This is a great resource from the University of Windsor. As professors it is important to find one concrete way to show our students there is a real live person facilitating their learning at the beginning of the semester. The students will connect with you personally, and have enhanced understanding of the course logistics. It is this humanizing introduction of yourself and the connection and description of the course that will help set the stage for enhanced student success!

Read more about, and see some examples of, some great class intro videos

Community-building Resources from OneHE and Equity Unbound

Equity Unbound has been working with OneHE to create and curate open educational resources centred on community-building activities. These activities and resources can be reused and adapted for use in your remote classes throughout the whole semester. Focusing on intentionally equitable hospitality, the activities and resources are intended to be designed and implemented in a way that makes everyone feel welcome in your online classroom.

Click on the image link to view the YouTube video overview from the creators of this website.

You may already have some of your own community-building activities or resources that you have implemented with your students. Consider contributing your own community-building activities or resources to the OneHE website.

If you are finding that your remote staff meetings need better engagement, try adapting some of these activities and resources to benefit your work community too.