Create a Button and Dialog Box in Canvas Pages with this HTML Trick

Have you ever wanted to include a simple knowledge check or self-check question in Canvas pages that would give you an easy way to build-in immediate feedback to the learner? One quick way to do this on your Canvas pages, with just a bit of HTML code, is to insert a button with a “popup” dialog box. This post will show you how (and give you the HTML code snippets to try it yourself!).

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Using Poll Everywhere in an Asynchronous Online Course

Poll Everywhere is a web-based polling tool now available at USask. It allows for group engagement, feedback, and interaction through live online polling, surveys, Q&As, quizzes, word clouds, and more. Poll Everywhere is also a fairly flexible tool, and can be used for teaching and learning in face-to-face synchronous, online synchronous (i.e., Zoom), and online asynchronous situations. This post will focus on providing some tips and ideas for using Poll Everywhere in your asynchronous online courses, including instructions for how to embed the activity into a Canvas page.

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The Haunted Garage: Interactive Online Space using Mozilla Hubs

Chris Lambert, the Learning Resources Coordinator at the USask Language Centre (USLC), works with international students, studying remotely and F2F. As part of what she calls “Free-Range Fridays” Chris designed a Mozilla Hubs interactive space for students to learn more about the tradition of celebrating Halloween. With a mix of language students from all levels and diverse backgrounds the Free-Range Friday activities allow for mixing the students up, meeting other students who are not in their class, etc.  Keep reading to find out how Chris used Mozilla Hubs to create an interactive online space for students to explore and interact with together for a little Halloween fun!


By Chris Lambert, Learning Resources Coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC)

I work with international students, some of whom are studying remotely and some F2F.  Each day, I meet with a different level at 10 am on specific topics.  On Fridays I hold what I call “Free Range Fridays”, in which all levels are invited to participate (mixing the students up, meeting other students who are not in their class, etc.).  In other words, not specifically planned to support the curriculum, and more interactive. Continue reading “The Haunted Garage: Interactive Online Space using Mozilla Hubs”

Adding a Little Mystery…

This week’s Bridging the Distance Contest entry comes to us from Lisa Krol at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC). The USLC offers full and part-time EAP programs for international students at the University of Saskatchewan. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing this great learning activity!


By Lisa M. Krol, Bridging Coordinator/Instructor at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre

I love mysteries and lots of other people do too, so I wrote a chapter story that was interspersed throughout a learning module. Students work through academic sections of the course and then practice those same language skills with a chapter of the mystery story. Continue reading “Adding a Little Mystery…”

Discussions or reflection? Why not let students choose?

Some days, the right idea comes along at the right time. In today’s case, that has to do with online discussions. Facilitating authentic, engaging discussions online can be tricky at the best of times. Some students participate enthusiastically, while others may prefer to lurk. Students can learn just as much by watching and reflecting on a discussion as they can by participating, regardless of the format. So the question might be, how do we facilitate engaging discussions that help our students towards the learning goals for the course? Continue reading “Discussions or reflection? Why not let students choose?”

Using Student Self-Assessment to Grade Discussions

Most online courses feature a Discussions element, and it is very common for this activity to be worth at least a portion of the student’s course grade. However, it can be challenging to assign a grade to student work in Discussions — and this is particularly true if you have Discussions frequently in your class (like a weekly thread), if you have a large class, or if you just have a particularly lively or busy Discussion board with many replies.

As an alternative to carefully reviewing and grading each Discussion post your students make, why not try Self-Assessment for online course Discussions? Self-Assessment is a great way to support student autonomy, build metacognition, and move away from rote responses on Discussion boards. Rather, you are aiming to have students think critically about why and how they are participating in the Discussions, and reflect upon how Discussion activities can enhance learning for them and their classmates.

This post will outline how to set this up in Canvas, offers a sample rubric, and presents a few things to consider when trying this approach.

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Hidden Gem: Canvas Student Annotation Assignment

In the May 15th Canvas release a new Assignment submission type was added. The Student Annotation Submissions allow you to upload a digital file and have students annotate the file and then submit it all within the assignment editor. This simple submission type has big potential depending on how you design the learning activity. In this post we’ll give you a few ideas of how you might use the Student Annotation Submission assignment in your class. Continue reading “Hidden Gem: Canvas Student Annotation Assignment”