Canvas Hack: Repeated Quiz Content

Yesterday I explained how I have “hacked” the true-false quiz format to create a Grading Declaration system so that students do their own grading: Student Gradebook DeclarationsIn today’s post, I want to explain another hack that helps me manage repeated quiz content that recurs from week to week. This hack might be useful to anyone who uses repeated quiz content from week to week for whatever reason, either in a Declaration-style system or for some other recurring purpose.

Here’s the problem: Canvas does not understand repeated content. If you have a quiz question one week and you repeat that quiz question in another week, they are completely separate entities. If I copy quizzes, Canvas doesn’t understand that they are copies; if I use the question bank, Canvas does not update existing instances when you change a question bank question. The result: if I decide to make a change (to fix an error or to make any other change), I have to go to each quiz and edit the question again, and again, and again, week by week by week. This was really frustrating for me. REALLY frustrating. I’m always trying to tinker with the language in the Declarations to make them as clear as possible and also to fix the inevitable typos, etc. Having to spend 30 minutes or more just to correct one error in one Declaration, going click-click-click through one week after another, is a terrible use of my time, not to mention the way that it introduces even more opportunities for errors to creep in. Ugh.

In D2L, I did not have this problem. The D2L question bank was no help (it did not update quizzes containing questions if the questions were later edited), but if you used the D2L “copy” feature, D2L would remember that questions had been copied one from another. So, if I created a Declaration quiz for Week 1, and then copied that to Week 2 and Week 3 and so on, D2L understood the connection. If I needed to make a change or correction later on, D2L would ask me if I wanted to apply the change to all the other instances of the question. You could say yes or no, and I always said yes, so D2L would automatically update all instances of the repeated question (if you said “no,” then D2L would sever the connection, no longer considering the questions to be the same).

My Canvas hack. So, after pondering this problem all summer, I came up with a solution, a weird solution, but it’s ended up working really well. Since Canvas refuses to let me create connected content, I decided that I would host the content remotely, and then display it via a remote-linked image, along with a link to the text for students who, for whatever reason, couldn’t read the image. You can see an example of what I did here in a Reading Declaration, one of 24 Reading Declarations that appear in each of my two classes (48 instances total per semester). 


As you can see, the content of the Canvas quiz question is an image which is remote-hosted (image file) and displays as part of the quiz, along with a link to the quiz text (text file). This exact same remote image and link appears in each Declaration, week by week, matching the assignment instructions. Even better: this solution works across my two classes, which makes this hack even more efficient than my D2L system (which required me to make the same changes to my two classes separately). So now, if I want to make a change to a Declaration, I just edit the assignment and update the image and the text file — presto, the new image appears in all the quizzes, and the link is the same link but it leads to the new text. I don’t even have to do anything in Canvas at all!

The magic of HTTPS. The key to making this solution work is having HTTPS webspace so that the images I use in Canvas will not be blocked out according to the mixed-content rules which require that remote linked images come via HTTPS. I am so lucky that the Domain of One’s Own project at my school, powered by Reclaim Hosting, gives me access to HTTPS webspace. That’s also the key to making my javascripts run in Canvas; I’ve written about that here: New Countdown Widget on Homepage.

Final thoughts. So, I am really pleased with this solution… but the failure of Canvas to support quiz content reuse is very frustrating. One of the boons of digital content is distributed content for effective editing and reuse, but the folks at Canvas don’t seem to have figured that out. They could take a lesson from D2L in this regard: the way D2L handled quiz question reuse was not ideal, but it was far (FAR) better than the lack of support for quiz question reuse in Canvas.

Of course, this quiz question conundrum is part of a much larger problem with content reuse, as I explained here: Open Content: Resources, not Courses. Digital tools should encourage us to review and improve our work, and also to distribute it widely, sharing with others. Unfortunately, the Canvas approach does not encourage you to improve and reuse content; just the opposite: it creates a burden that can discourage people from reviewing and improving, deterred by the click-click-click of mindlessly having to do the work of the machine ourselves.

This growth mindset cat is ready to review and improve! 🙂



Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.


Points-Based Grading: Student Gradebook Declarations

I gave an overview of my grading system in yesterday’s post: Points-Based Grading: Cumulative, Not Punitive]. Today I want to explain the specific way that I take myself out of the grading loop: Gradebook Declarations. These are “quizzes” that consist of a single true-false question where students declare their completed work. They declare all their work for the class this way; I do no grading of any kind.

How Declarations work. The Declarations vary from assignment to assignment, and they usually contain some kind of checklist, short or long depending on how elaborate the assignment is. Here’s a typical Declaration (text):

This is the “question” (the only question) that appears in the quiz, and when students answer “true” (which is the “correct” answer to the question), the points for the assignment then appear in the Gradebook. It’s between the students and Canvas; it’s not about me, except insofar as I design the classes to begin with (for more about the classes, visit: Myth-Folklore and Indian Epics, which are my open Canvas classes).

I set up all the assignments in my classes with Declarations, although of course it would also be possible to use this approach for just some assignments in a class, but not all of them. My guess is that at least a few assignments in every class could use a system like this, which is why I am always eager to tell people about it. See what you think after you read through the details below:

Some history. I’ve used a points-based grading system since I first started teaching online (back in 2002), I would record the points for the students in the LMS Gradebook, but this was not a good approach. The students didn’t like having to wait, I found the process incredibly tedious, and it was not a good use of my time; instead of recording points, what I really wanted and needed to do was to give students useful, substantial feedback on their work that they could use to improve future performance. Plus, my email inbox was a nightmare, filled with notes from the students about the work they had completed. After about a year, it hit me: I could let the students record their own work. That made the students happy, and it made me happy too!

Advantages. Here are just some of the advantages of the Declaration system:

Students get their points immediately. Students don’t have to wait, and they can see their points accumulating assignment by assignment. For some students, this is highly motivating. I provide a Grading Chart for students who want to make sure they are on track for the grade they want to receive in the class.

Students can see exactly what is required. I am guilty of writing lengthy instructions for assignments (for example, here are the instructions for the reading assignment cited above). The Declarations, however, are very concise. For students who might have missed something important in the assignment, reading the Declaration gives them a final chance to check their work for completeness.

Students take responsibility for their work. It is not up to me to check that each assignment is complete; that is 100% up to the students. Being able to take responsibility for your own work is a crucial life skill, something every student will need to be able to do in their future professional lives.

The Declaration checklists are objective. The items in each Declaration checklist are easy for students to evaluate; there is nothing subjective about them. I far prefer these objective checklists to subjective rubrics (with rating scales like “effective-reasonable-adequate-limited-inadequate,” etc.). This Declaration system could be adapted for rubrics where students would rate their work and receive partial credit, but I prefer simple, objective checklists with full credit for completed assignments.

The Declaration system establishes trust. I believe that mutual trust is essential for teaching and learning. This system shows the students that I trust them to keep track of their own work. In addition, I hope that students will develop greater trust in themselves by taking on this responsibility. As one student said in a course evaluation: “The self-grading was definitely a nice feature. This class afforded me freedoms that I was not granted in any other class. I felt like I was being treated like an adult for once.” You can see more student comments on the grading system here: What Students Say.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share a Canvas hack that I use which allows me to have the same Declaration text repeat from week to week for recurring assignments!

And for now, here’s a growth mindset cat on the subject of trust. This holds true for both students and instructors: we all need to be able to trust themselves! 🙂


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Points-Based Grading: Cumulative, Not Punitive

One of the most important discussions we should be having in higher ed right now is, in my opinion, a discussion about grading. Each instructor is going to be making their own decisions based about what is best for their own classes and their students, and we can all gain from sharing our grading practices in order to learn from each other about the many different options. I use a cumulative points-based grading system in which I remove myself from the grading process. In this post, I’ll provide an overview of that process, and then in the rest of the posts here this week, I’ll zoom in on how I implement that system in Canvas; you can use the Grading label here at the blog to see the other posts as I publish them.

For the overview, I’m reposting here a guest post I wrote for Starr Sackstein‘s Work in Progress: An Adventure in Teaching Writing blog at Ed Week. I am a huge fan of Starr Sackstein’s book Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School, so I was really glad to be able to contribute my experience to her blog! So, here is that post re-posted below, and you can find more resources about my grading practices here: I know grading is very much on students’ minds at this time of the semester… and the more we, as faculty, can share our own thoughts about that, the better solutions we will find!


I’m an instructor at the University of Oklahoma, teaching General Education courses in the Humanities. In this post, I’ll explain my (un)grading system: the students do the grading, while I focus on feedback. I developed this approach based on my students’ needs and my own belief that I can do a better job as a teacher if I take myself out of the grading loop. Here’s how it works:

My Grading Challenge. I meet all kinds of students in my classes. Many are seniors who enroll in whatever Gen. Ed. courses fit their schedule. As a result, some students are interested in the subject; others have no interest at all. Some students want an A; others just need to pass. The courses are writing-intensive, but few of the students see themselves as writers, with majors ranging from accounting to zoology and everything in-between. They might love to read, or they might see reading as a monumental chore. You get the idea: diverse students, diverse goals. So, I need a grading system that respects those differences.

The Solution: Choices and Points. Each week, students choose the assignments they want to complete. They do one or two reading assignments (there are lots of reading options to choose from), they write a story of their own, and they leave comments on other students’ work. They also work on their semester-long project. As they finish each assignment, they complete a “Declaration,” a true-false quiz consisting of a checklist. When a student answers “true,” the points go automatically into the Gradebook. I do no grading; all the points for all the assignments are recorded by the students themselves. Some students may be aiming for an A (more points), or for a B or a C (fewer points); that is all up to them — not me.

My Role: The Coach. Because I put myself outside of the grading loop, I can focus all my efforts on feedback and encouragement — on teaching, not grading. I provide detailed comments each week on the students’ writing, and the students use those comments for future revisions. The comments are not a grade; instead, they are meant to help the students become more confident and skilled as writers. The students are also coaches, commenting on each other’s work every week. We are all working on our writing, not thinking about grades.

Here are the things I like best about this approach:

1. The grades are objective. Students know exactly why they get the grade that they do: they manage the grading, and they have no grade complaints at the end of the semester. They might complain that the class is a lot of work, or they might complain about some other aspect of the class (which is good: I need their feedback!) — but there are no complaints about the grades, and that is a relief both to the students and to me.

2. The system is simple. Students do the work or not; they get the points or not — it’s that simple. At any moment of the semester, students know exactly where they stand.

3. Grades are not a judgment. Students know that they can choose to work towards an A or B or C for their own personal reasons. An “A” student is not a better student than a “C” student, and getting a “C” in the class is not a punishment. A student might decide to take a “C” for their own reasons (heavy workload in their major classes, other life commitments, unforeseen events of all kinds), which is fine. As long as students pass the class, they are making progress towards graduation — and that’s the goal!

4. There is no grade anxiety. Grades can be a terrible source of anxiety for college students (just ask them; they’ll tell you), and if grades are making students anxious, they are not going to do their best learning. Removing anxiety about grades can refocus their attention on the learning itself. That goes for teachers too: I know I am a better teacher because I don’t have to spend time worrying about grades.

5. The system promotes good time management. The assignments are meant to be completed in a single work session; some tasks might require 15-30 minutes while others might take an hour, but not more. I hope that as students see the benefits of this iterative, task-based approach, they can apply that same strategy in other classes where there might be only a few high-stakes assignments which the students must segment and schedule on their own.

Are there drawbacks to this system? Of course there are: if the grade is what goes on the transcript, students will think of the grade first and the learning second. I would far prefer to use a pass/fail grading system combined with portfolios of student work, thus highlighting the work itself, not the letter grade. Realistically speaking, though, I don’t expect to see an end to ABCDF in my lifetime. I am just glad that as a college instructor I have the freedom to design a grading system that can minimize the damage grades can do.

If you’d like to learn more about my (un)grading system, I’ve collected some materials at, including comments from my students. And if you have questions, let me know; this is an important topic that I am always glad to talk about! You can find me at Twitter (@OnlineCrsLady) or by email:

Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Blog Index / pre-Thanksgiving, 2016

Since I’ll be away for Thanksgiving week, I’m doing this week’s round-up today. Below you will see all the blog posts published so far (I’ve had the blog going for one month now, whoo-hoo!), with this week’s post bolded:

Canvas and Openness

Practical Canvas Advice

My Canvas Announcements Blog

Posts about Students

  • Student Tech Support for Canvas. Based on student feedback, these are the Canvas features I am supporting and promoting: Calendar, Notifications, Profile, and Mobile App.
  • Student Voices about Canvas. These are the results of my Fall 2016 mid-semester student survey, with lots of advice from students for instructors using Canvas.
  • Time Management Brainstorms. I got some big ideas from an ILED studio session on helping students with time management.

Posts about Instructors

Philosophy of Teaching

And here is a growth mindset cat for the Thanksgiving holiday. 🙂

Take risks: think about what you can gain.


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Advice: Course Images and Flickr

Yesterday, I wrote about using course images for the course cards on the Canvas Dashboard, and I wanted to follow up on that with some specific information about how you set up the course image, because it is really pretty cool: you can choose an image directly from CC-licensed images at Flickr! So, don’t worry if you don’t have some images lying around that you could use for your course; just look for something at Flickr.

Here’s how it works:

When you go to Canvas Settings, you will see your course image information right there at the top.


When you add/change the image, you have two different options: you can upload an image from your computer, or you can search at Flickr.


Just enter a search term, and it will show you different options to choose from. For this class, I entered the search term “Stonehenge,” for example:


Pretty nifty, isn’t it?

So, there’s really no excuse NOT to use a course image of some image of some kind, thanks to the treasure trove of images you can find at Flickr. Kudos to the Canvas designer who built that option into the system!

And speaking of excuses, there’s also no excuse not to join the OU Canvas Community: it’s a fun space in which to connect, share ideas, and get answers to questions! Kevin Buck has it all set up and ready to go if you want to join: OU Canvas Community. I’m crossposting this blog there every day. 🙂

Advice: Use a Course Image

I was really excited when Kevin Buck, our intrepid Canvas admin, agreed to turn on the course image option for us; that was a new feature that Canvas just released in September of this year. With this release, you can have an image for your course on the Dashboard instead of a (boring) color block. So, for example, here is what my Dashboard looks like:


Each of my courses has an image there; the colored block is for a Canvas training course in which I am a student, not an instructor, and only instructors can set a course image. Just speaking for myself, I think students should be allowed to choose course images for themselves, but that is not the Canvas it-shall-all-be-standardized way.

Course images: fun and useful. As students have more and more classes on their Dashboard, the visual cue provided by a course image can help them quickly find the course they are looking for. I know the students value it, because they spontaneously mentioned this feature in the midterm Canvas survey I conducted. In the “Advice to Instructors” part of that survey, they said: “set a picture on the main page” and “I like most how the class link on the Dashboard has an image compared to my other classes that are set colors.”

Color overlay problem. As you can see in the screenshot above, a course without an image is identified in the Dashboard by a solid color block, and those colors correspond to the display color for each course on a student’s course calendar. The instructor sets a color default, but students can change the color; they need to be able to do that to make sure sure that their courses are different colors. As you can also see in the screenshot above, the color feature is causing a real problem for the course images: Canvas is displaying the image under an opaque color overlay (instead of a solid color block), and that’s why my course images look very washed out. Not good, but I am confident there will be a fix for this soon. Within days of the release of the course image option, there was a request from the Canvas Community to fix the color overlay problem; you can read about that here: Remove colour overlay from course cards that have an image. Because I am a Canvas minimalist, I have almost no interest in the (many) feature requests coming from the Community, but this was a feature request that I followed with great interest; it was fun to participate in that discussion and I was glad to be able to contribute my thoughts about it. The feature was quickly voted up, and I am waiting to see what happens next.

Even with the color overlay problem, the course image option is a good one, and it will be even better when that problem is fixed. With more and more of our courses being on Canvas, students’ Dashboards will get busier and busier. I am sure they will appreciate when instructors take advantage of this option to improve the Dashboard display by using the course image option. Plus, it’s fun to pick the image you want to use. I’ll have more to say about that in tomorrow’s post. 🙂

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Big Canvas News for Spring

Wow, big news about Canvas for Spring: instead of being opt-in, it will be opt-out. Unless faculty specifically ask to use D2L, they will all be on Canvas in the Spring. You can read the email here.

Given that I am an Internet enthusiast, I was disappointed that there were no links in the email for learning about Canvas or for connecting with other faculty who are using Canvas now — thanks to Kevin Buck, we have an OU Canvas Community all ready to go, and that’s why I created this blog, crossposting everything here inside that OU Canvas Community space.

In addition, I was sad to see that there was no mention of the option to create open syllabuses in Canvas, something which is very different from D2L and, in my opinion, one of the most useful things about Canvas, even for faculty who don’t use many LMS features (I fall into that category). I’ve written several posts here about the way that Canvas (unlike D2L) has some great open options, including both open syllabuses and also open courses.

Most of all, I was disappointed that there was no mention of OU Create, OU’s Domain of One’s Own initiative, which gives all faculty access to web space of their own, beyond the LMS, so that they can create content which would be impossible to design or manage inside the very constrained space of the LMS. And even for faculty not developing content with the OU Create project, it really is handy to be able to create your own Canvas URLs.

Faculty don’t get a lot of mass emails related to teaching, so I see every such email as an opportunity to let faculty members know about some of the really exciting new things that are going on, like OU Create. I don’t really care about Canvas one way or the other (being an LMS minimalist), but I really do care about opportunities for faculty to connect and to do more open sharing of their work.

Which is why I am blogging here. Hope springs eternal. And now that Canvas is going to be our default LMS already in the Spring, I am even more pleased that I got this blog project up and running already in the Fall. Plus, I am even more motivated to carry on with this blog, hoping it can be useful as the record of one faculty member’s learning experience with Canvas on our campus.

So, if you want to connect with others and share your experiences, check out the OU Canvas Community and/or start your own blog (either with OU Create or any of the many blogging options online). Are you at Twitter? That’s another great place to connect. I’m @OnlineCrsLady, and there are lots of OU faculty and staff who you will find on Twitter; I keep a list. Plus, I try to remember to use the #OUCanvasCommunity hashtag on my Twitter posts. It’s easy to connect and share. 🙂

Curiosity: the quest for new ideas and information.


Advice: Keep Canvas Modules Current

In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of faculty voices, and how useful it would be if we shared our insight with each other and advice based on our experience teaching with Canvas, something that a marketing team cannot do: Moving from Marketing to Conversation. Those weekly marketing emails would, in my opinion, be much more effective if they shared stories from actual faculty using Canvas and solicited advice from faculty based on their experience. In the meantime, I will be using the “Advice” category for posts that are explicitly about what I’ve learned from using Canvas that might be useful to other faculty. I’ve also created an Advice section in the weekly Index posts that provide a blog inventory.

So, here is my advice post for today: keep your Canvas Modules currentIt’s easy to do! You just need to move the current Module up to the top of your Modules list as the weeks go by, moving the completed Modules down to the bottom of the list.

Here’s one of my courses, (the courses is completely open; just click-and-go, no log-in required), and you can see how it looks now, in Week 12 of the semester when we have just Weeks 12-13-14-15 remaining. Then, below Week 15, you can see the completed weeks, starting with Week 1: 


So, each week on Monday as the old week ends and the new week begins, I go into the Modules list and move (drag and drop) the completed week down to the bottom. It takes just a second, but it matters to students, as I learned from his comment a student made in the Fall 16 Canvas Survey. This is what the student said in the “Advice to Instructors” portion of the survey:

Please adjust the settings of the modules to load the current week at the top. It has made a great deal of difference in getting to the modules I need quickly and efficiently. We’re covering a lot of material, and I like that the material we are finished with is at the bottom of the page.

The students had other advice about using Modules also:

  • Use the modules page for documents so that students can see a preview before downloading.
  • Posting things to “Modules” and “Files” gets confusing so I would only choose one to use.
  • Use the modules as a week by week guide for what’s going on in the class.
  • Please utilize the module tool for grouping content.  It makes the canvas page so much easier to navigate.

Given that we didn’t have Modules as a design feature in D2L, it’s something that will be new to both instructors and students… and it’s one of those new features of Canvas that is definitely worth using. So, remember to use the Modules! Your students will thank you. And it will just take a minute each week to keep the Modules current by moving completed Modules to the bottom of the list.

Additional detailsSince I am using the Modules only to group quizzes (that’s how the students do their grade declarations), I had three choices of how to provide access in the left-hand navigation bar: Modules, Assignments, or Quizzes. I tested them, and the Modules page loaded much faster (MUCH faster) than the Assignments or Quizzes pages. So what I did was to just suppress the Quizzes tab, and instead of the regular Assignments tab, I created a redirect link to my class calendar page. For that, I had to use the very annoying Redirect Tool that scares students with a warning that they are leaving the Canvas space… but I’ll save that rant for another day.

And here’s a growth mindset cat to inspire your design efforts:

I plan; I design; I create.


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Blog Index / November 13, 2016

This is now my third week of blogging in this space. No progress in the OU Canvas Community, but this has been a good space just to save and clarify my ongoing thoughts about Canvas, and it has also proved useful for sharing with people at other schools. So, this is the new index post, and you will find links below to all the blog posts so far, and I’ve bolded the posts that were new this past week:

Canvas and Openness

Practical Canvas Advice

My Canvas Announcements Blog

Posts about Students

Posts about Teachers

Philosophy of Teaching

And here’s one of the cats from this week’s posts. Blogging is a great tool for colearning. 🙂

Observe others: the task is possible!



Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.

Moving from Marketing to Conversation

Last week I shared here some of the ways I am gathering feedback from my students, including the nifty live feed which collects their blog posts which mention Canvas; I’ve pasted in that feed again below, and here are the relevant posts: Student Tech Support for Canvas and Student Voices about Canvas.

Even though I am an absolute LMS minimalist (I use it only for gradebook; no content, no interaction — for that, I use other tools), this shift to Canvas was a really big deal for me, and I was eager to hear from students what they thought about it. As the semester started, I knew it must be going okay because I was not getting complaints, but feedback means more than just complaints (or the absence thereof). I wanted to find out what the students liked and what they didn’t like so that I could make sure I was highlighting the features of Canvas that they found valuable, as well as finding solutions to any low-level problems they were having. Some students were bound to be more adventurous than others in exploring Canvas’s features, so by asking all the students what they were doing with Canvas, I could then turn around and do a better job of promoting Canvas with students who were less likely to explore Canvas’s features on their own.

Mutatis mutandis, I would say the same is true of faculty: some faculty are bound to be more adventurous than others in exploring Canvas’s features, so by asking all the faculty what they are doing with Canvas, we could then turn around and do a better job of promoting Canvas with faculty who are less likely to explore Canvas’s features on their own.

Yet there has not been any effort to solicit feedback from faculty using Canvas so far this semester, and that seems to me a lost opportunity. Every week, we receive a marketing email about Canvas (here’s this week’s email), but that email never requests a reply from us. There is no survey. There are no faculty stories. There is nothing in the email to turn the top-down marketing into a conversation among faculty who are actually using Canvas.

Personally, I think we need the faculty voices. Just as we need to make sure that there are ways to listen to student voices in our classes, I believe that faculty voices are also important, sharing stories of just how we are using Canvas the ways that we do, and why, talking about what is working for us and what is not working. By sharing our experience and expertise, we can learn more than we would learn on our own. No marketing team is ever going to have the experience and expertise that faculty do. We are the ones actually using Canvas, and we need ways to communicate with each other how that is going.

I’ve been told that there are plans to do a survey at the end of the semester, yet it seems to me that just as student evaluations lose a lot of value by taking place at the end of the semester, the same would be true of waiting until the end of the semester to solicit faculty feedback about Canvas. A semester is four months long, and your experience changes over that time: setting up the courses happened back in August (doesn’t that seem like forever ago?), and then there was the big effort of the first week of classes, then settling down into the regular routine of the semester, and then the hectic flurry of end-of-semester activities (starting about now), all focused on finals and grades. People are stressed and pressed for time at the end of the semester, which is not going to result in the best feedback, and that end-of-semester stress besieges both students and faculty alike.

When that end-of-semester evaluation does come, I hope it will have open-ended questions to collect faculty members’ stories of how they are using Canvas, beyond just asking us to rate the features. When I surveyed my students, the most valuable comments came when I asked them for advice they would give to other students and advice they would give to instructors using Canvas. Open-ended, consequential questions, not just metrics. I’ve shared those comments from my students because I really DO hope my students’ advice to other instructors will reach those other instructors… but will that happen? I’m not sure.

I also hope that the results of a faculty Canvas survey will be shared quickly with all the faculty who are using Canvas so that we could make use of it in preparing our Spring courses, although that’s probably a long-shot given the constrained calendar. Classes start on January 17 (the Tuesday after MLK Day), which means I’ll be releasing my classes to students on January 9. It doesn’t give me a lot of time to tweak my classes, but based on student feedback so far (and ongoing feedback; see below), I do have some ideas about how to do a better job of introducing my students to Canvas. It would be great if I can could also benefit from the learning and experience of other OU faculty members, both in terms of how they are using Canvas and also what they are hearing from their students.

As for those marketing emails, I wrote back to one of them, asking if the OU Canvas Community could be promoted in the emails. And, yes, it did show up in the email after I made that request… and was never mentioned again. There is no link to our OU Canvas Community in the email boilerplate included in every marketing email, and there is no link to the OU Canvas Community in the list of Faculty Resources.

So, I guess I should not be surprised that the OU Canvas Community is a ghost town. But I’ll keep on posting, because hope springs eternal. And I’ll keep on sharing my Canvas “stories,” minimal though they are, here at this blog and crossposting to the Community. Leaving a trail. Digital trails are good. 🙂

And in honor of #Caturday, here’s a growth mindset cat on the power of colearning:

Observe others: the task is possible!


~ ~ ~

As mentioned above, here’s the live feed (thank you, Inoreader!) of my students’ blog posts that mention Canvas. I’m hoping to be gathering new feedback from students every week this way, in addition to the midterm survey, as the semester draws to a close. It’s easier to read outside the confines of this blog post: Canvas Post Stream.

Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.