• Assessment and Evaluation,  Canvas,  Uncategorized

    Creating Efficiencies: Grading Discussions in Canvas

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba Perhaps you are using Discussions in Canvas as a supplement to your face-to-face class or using it in an online course. While students’ posts may provide evidence of their learning and allow for online engagement, giving feedback on the posts is a vital part of the process – and as you are no doubt aware, can be a very time-consuming task! Strategies to manage your marking load and provide timely, actionable, and specific feedback for students, seem to fall into three categories: 1) Lighten the load for everyone: Requiring weekly discussions may impact quality through posting and grading burnout; consider bi-weekly discussions or the option for students…

  • Canvas,  Instructional Strategies

    Assigning Students to Act as Discussion Moderators

    During in-class discussions, the entire class and the instructor may be part of the same discussion, but sometimes instructors put students into smaller groups, with multiple discussions happening around the room. While the instructor may be able to walk around the room and listen in on what the students are saying, they can’t catch everything that is said throughout the room. In such cases, instructors need to rely on students to facilitate the group discussions on their own. The instructor may then ask a representative from each group to share the key points of what was said. Online discussions in Canvas can work the same way. If the class is…

  • Canvas,  Educational Theory,  Instructional Strategies,  Uncategorized

    Discussions in Canvas – Asking Good Questions – Part 2

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba   The exchange of questions and responses is vital to teaching and learning. The types of questions we pose as instructors should grab our students’ attention and curiosity, reinforce key points, encourage reflection, and foster active learning. Discussions in Canvas – Asking Good Questions – Part 1 explored creating open-ended questions by using Bloom’s hierarchy of cognitive skills. Part 2 looks at categorizing questions by type and using divergent, higher level questions in discussion forums. Categorizing Questions by Type1 The type of questions used in the discussion forum is dependent on the purpose of the discussion and your learning outcomes. Some question types are useful for redirecting,…

  • Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Educational Theory,  Instructional Strategies,  Remote Teaching

    Discussions in Canvas – Asking Good Questions – Part 1

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba Asking questions is one of the most powerful tools we have as instructors. Just like asking good questions in class, promoting discussion with questions that capture students’ attention and stimulate intellectual engagement can be facilitated online, using Canvas Discussions. Crafting questions for a discussion forum depends on the purpose of the discussion, and your learning outcomes. Open-ended questions with multiple possible responses challenge students and can help to deepen the discussion, supported by your facilitation (or your TA’s) in the forum. One way to create open-ended questions with multiple possible responses is by using Bloom’s hierarchy (1956; Anderson & Krathwohl, 2000) of cognitive skills, a framework that…

  • Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Remote Teaching

    Create Groups for Collaborative Learning Spaces in Canvas

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba Perhaps you’d like to set up groups in your Canvas course for discussions, assignments, projects or presentations. The process creates smaller groups, as well as a space within the course for group members to collaborate, called a Group Homepage. Group creation can help our courses to be more active and social, and enable connection with the people, ideas and concepts students need to support their learning; using groups is aligned with USask’s Learning Technology Ecosystem Principles, characteristics of effective digital learning spaces, and can support skill development and learner achievement for our students. By bringing students together in smaller groups and inviting them to communicate and work…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Instructional / Course Design

    Managing and Facilitating Discussions in Canvas

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba This is the third post in a series of four about using discussions in Canvas to support student learning. Once you’ve settled on why and how discussions will be used in your course and have set up the initial discussion(s) and specific guidelines for posting, let students know your plan for how you or a TA will be moderating the posts. Your involvement in discussions, especially initial ones, is vital for guiding the direction for learning – reading, commenting, encouraging, and sometimes redirecting the conversation, helps foster consistent and substantive dialogue between students and with you. Considerations around your involvement, dependent on the types and number of…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Educational Technology,  Instructional / Course Design

    Setting Up Discussions in Canvas

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba This is the second post in a series of four about using discussions in Canvas to support student learning. Discussions can be set up from within a module, or from the Discussions index page found by clicking on the Discussions link in the course navigation menu on the left of the course screen. Choose ‘Discussions’ as the option for adding one within a module, or click on the +Discussion button on the Discussions Index page, top right of the screen, as below.   First, choose a title that is clear and indicative of the discussion’s focus and then give explicit directions for posting. Consider including the following…

  • Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Instructional Strategies,  Remote Teaching

    Creating Discussions in Canvas to Support Student Learning

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba The technical creation of a discussion in Canvas is relatively straightforward and intuitive. What requires deeper initial consideration is how using the discussion tool will support student learning. Here, we look at the necessary planning for setting up purposeful discussions, then the post that follows, we’ll go through the technical aspects of discussion set-up. This is the first post of four in a series on using the Discussions tool in Canvas. Why use discussions? Substantial research over the past 20 years indicates discussion forums can be places where high quality discussions take place, to rival the quality of in-class discussions and include contributions from all students. As…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Remote Teaching

    Grading Discussions in Canvas

    By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba You’ve set up and run your first graded discussion in Canvas – and the volume of posts seems a bit daunting. Now it’s time to assess the individual student contributions against the defined criteria and get results out to them before the next discussion goes up. Here are some tips for grading discussions, using tools in Canvas to assist you. Canvas automatically marks posts as ‘read’ when you scroll down the page (changing the green dot left of the post to white). This function might interfere with keeping track of what you’ve read, and be a time waster if you have to backtrack through posts automatically marked…