Welcome to the second Blog Index post of 2017! I had a great “Week 0” with the soft start to my classes, and classes start officially this coming Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Holiday. Best wishes for the new semester, everybody!
This week’s posts are in bold:
Thoughts about Canvas and about LMSes
- Introduction for a Canvas Training Course. This is an introduction I wrote for a Canvas training course (closed course), and I crossposted it here.
- The LMS and its Ecosystem. The LMS is just one tool in a technology ecosystem, and it’s good idea to know your ecosystem #BeforeYouLMS.
- The LMS and Its Dis-Contents. Looking at the advantages of publishing on the open Internet and the disadvantages of the LMS.
- How Instructors (Don’t) Use the LMS. These are my thoughts on the Blackboard study showing limited (VERY limited) use of LMS features by instructors.
Blogs and Blogging
- Building My Student Blog Network with Inoreader. As students set up their blogs for the new semester, I subscribe to them with the Inoreader feed reader.
- Inoreader: How I Manage Incoming Blog Posts. As students blog, Inoreader automatically sorts, files, and tags the posts based on content.
- A Blog Network for Class Content. This post explains the network of blogs that I use for all the different types of content in my classes.
- Friday Thoughts re: Online Presence. Blogs are great for building online presence; the LMS is not.
- Fall Semester: Blog Success. The Fall semester is over, and having this new blog is one of my semester’s successes.
Spring 2017 Reports
- Friday: Spring Classes Begin … in the Snow. The first day of Spring 2017: I open the classes early for students who want to get a head start.
- Power of API | Power of Community. I was so grateful for James Jones’s API script to globally update all my class assignment dates: wow!
Widgets and Other Dynamic Content
- The Power of a Student Project Archive. A randomizing widget gives my students access to hundreds of past student projects.
- Widgets to Awaken Curiosity. I will be able to use all my new/updated widgets to prompt my students’ curiosity this semester.
- Progress at the Canvas Widget Warehouse. I got a lot done at the Widget Warehouse over winter break!
- Widget Warehouse Update. I’ve added some new widgets, plus a Widget Catalog to keep track of them all.
Openness, Sharing, and Connectedness
- Open: It’s the Canvas Difference. This post in praise of open was prompted by Keegan’s great Camp Canvas and also a video meet-up with the crew at CSU CI.
- Connectedness. This is my grateful response to Jesse Stommel’s blog post about Creative Online Educators.
- Open Content: Resources, not Courses. A warning about the dangers of putting content into LMS course spaces.
- Go Open with Canvas. Canvas, unlike D2L, has some open options, which is my main interest in our switch from D2L to Canvas.
- Canvas for Open Syllabuses. Canvas makes it easy to open up your syllabus so students and other faculty can learn about the class.
Posts about Students
- More Student Voices from Fall 2016. A steady stream of blog posts kept me well informed about student use of Canvas in my classes!
- 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
- Faculty Survey … Faculty Voices. I hope the results of this survey will be shared so that we can learn from each other.
- Big Canvas News for Spring. Instead of being opt-in for Spring, we are going to be opt-out. I hope this blog can be useful for faculty who will start using Canvas.
- Moving from Marketing to Conversation. In addition to student voices about Canvas, we need faculty voices too.
- Writing-Enhanced Curriculum Canvas Minicourse. I am really glad that I got to participate in this online learning opportunity, and it would have been even better with more faculty participants. Writing: it’s a topic that can and should be something we all have a lot to say about!
- WEC Minicourse, Day Two. I really appreciated the emphasis on low-stakes, creative approaches in this day of the course.
- Engagement, Creativity, and Non-Conformity. Yes, I believe in creative non-conformity in both teaching and learning.
- Writing yesterday. Writing today. Some thoughts after the presidential election.
Canvas Class Announcements
- The Power of Random Cats. I used random cats to promote growth mindset in my Canvas announcements blog.
- New Countdown Widget on Homepage. I created a new “__ days left in the semester” widget for my Canvas announcements blog.
- Maati Baani in my Canvas Homepage. I like to share videos with students via my Canvas announcements blog… and Maati Baani is great for my India class.
Some Practical Canvas Advice
- Use the Canvas “Grace Period.” Having a two-deadline option in Canvas allows me to create a grace period for all assignments (D2L did not).
- Keep Canvas Modules Current. It just takes a minute to keep your module list up-to-date. I make it a weekly routine!
- Use a Course Image. Instead of a (boring) colored block, you can choose to display an image on your Dashboard course card.
- Course Images and Flickr. Not sure what image to use? You can choose your course card image by searching Flickr inside Canvas!
- Think Before You Link: Creating a Canvas URL. To create continuity from semester to semester, you can create a URL for each course you teach.
Grading with Canvas
- The Tyranny of the Percentage: Part 1. In which I learn that I cannot assign letter grades at semester’s end based on my students’ total points.
- The Tyranny of the Percentage: Part 2. In which I research past feature requests related to serious limitations in the Canvas Gradebook.
- The Tyranny of the Percentage: Part 3. In which I vent my frustration with numeric-based grading, the only kind that Canvas supports.
- Feature Request: Text Fields in Gradebook. In which I make a Feature Request, only to learn the Feature Request process has been put on hold.
- Points-Based Grading: Cumulative, Not Punitive. My philosophy of grading is driven by student choice and forward progress.
- Points-Based Grading: Student Gradebook Declarations. Students record their work in the Canvas Gradebook on their own by means of “Declarations.”
- Canvas Hack: Repeated Quiz Content. For recurring Gradebook Declarations each week, I remote-host the content: Canvas meets POSSE.
- Points-Based Grading: Choices, not Zeroes. I am glad that in the Canvas Gradebook a blank really is a blank, not a zero.
And here’s one of the growth mindset cats from last week’s posts:
Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.