Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Want some CPD? Try a MOOC

MOOCs are a great way to learn more about learning technologies, open education, and just about anything else you care to explore. 

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll. Participating in a MOOC can give you ideas for structuring your own courses, as well as teaching you the subject of the MOOC itself.

Here are a few MOOCs on blended and online learning as well as other topics that are starting soon and open for participation:
OU - Open University
7 week course, start anytime
UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales)
Starts Mar 26, 2018
The University of Hong Kong
Starts Mar 26, 2018
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Starts Apr 02, 2018
The University of Melbourne
Starts soon
Duke University, Creative Time
Starts Apr 09, 2018
University of California, Irvine
Starts Mar 19, 2018

Friday, 16 March 2018

Canvas Update: Changes to Announcements

You may have noticed a recent change in Canvas: Announcements are bigger!

Canvas updates happen automatically every three weeks. Sometimes the changes are unnoticeable, and sometimes they are quite dramatic. Canvas made changes to the size of announcements in order to offer better accessibility and a more modern aesthetic.

If you are finding that your homepage is now too crowded with the larger announcements, you can limit the number of announcements to just show the most recent one or two.

Here's a screencast showing how to do that:

And click here to view the Canvas guide. 

Section Announcements

Another new feature of the announcements has also come out this release: Section Specific Announcements are now possible! If you have created sections in your course, can select your section from the dropdown list below the announcement when you create it.

Want to know how to set up sections? Click here for the guide 

Want to know what else is new? 

Here is a short video recap of all the changes in the latest Canvas update:

Canvas Release Notes March 10

If you want to read the release notes every three weeks, you can subscribe by visiting here, logging in, and 'Following' the page:

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

View Content Page History / Revert to Previous Version

How do I view the history of a page in a course?

When you can edit course pages, you can view the page history and see the date, time, and author of any changes made to the page. Page editors can also roll back the page content to a previous version of the page.
The images shown in this lesson are for the instructor view, but the same steps apply for students who have access to edit course pages.
  • Even when granted editing access in page settings, students cannot roll back a prior version of a page within a course. They can only roll back page content for pages within student groups.
  • HTML and CSS changes are not stored in the page history.

Open Pages

Open Pages
In Course Navigation, click the Pages link.

View Pages

View Pages
Pages is designed to open to the front page for the course, if there is a front page selected. To select a page from the Pages Index, click the View All Pages button.

Open Page

Open Page
Click the page you want to view.

View Page History

View Page History
Click the Options icon [1] and select the View Page History link [2].

View Latest Revision

  View Latest Revision 
By default, the page history will show the latest revision.

View or Restore Prior Version

  View or Restore Prior Version 
To open a prior version of your page, click the date you want to access [1] and then click the Restore this revision link [2].
Note: Students cannot restore a prior version of a page within a course.
  View History 
Canvas will restore the prior version to the most recent revision [1]. If you want to replace your current page with different content, click a different date and page revision. Note that restoring a page revision will also associate your name with the page history.
To return to the current page revision, click the close icon [2]. You can also use the breadcrumb navigation [3] to return to the current page or the pages index.

Canvas Tip of the Week: Undelete anything in your course


If  you have accidentally deleted an item in one of your Canvas courses, see steps below to undelete:

  1. From within your Canvas course, take a look at the web address of the course and look for the course ID number. It’s the number that comes after the "courses/" . So in the example below, the course number is 149 (sample).
  2. If there is anything following the course number, delete it. Then add /undelete. The new URL should look like this: 

  3. Hit the Return or Enter key on your keyboard. Voila! Any recently deleted items will be listed.
  4. Click on 'restore'  to restore the item(s) you accidentally deleted.
NB: You must be a teacher or editor on a course to undelete items.

Want to see this in action? Here is a short screencast of the undelete process:

Monday, 5 March 2018

Learn 23 Things to do with Learning Technology

Is 23 the Magic Number? 

There are a lot of '23 Things' in the digital realm, and many universities have undertaken 23 Things projects to introduce tools and apps in a fun and accessible way. 

So how did this 23 things trend come about? It all started with a library project....

The very first 23 Things, originally called Learning 2.0, began as an education and learning project created by Helene Blowers in August 2006 for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  It was designed to help librarians to engage with web 2.0 tools. Each week, the librarians were introduced to a new web 2.0 tool - from blogs, to apps, to social media - in a friendly, practical, collaborative online environment. The 23 Things concept has been a roaring success and has inspired many similar projects. 

The content of the programmes listed here, except where otherwise stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) and you are encouraged to partake and reuse these resources! Long Live OER!

Here are some "23 Things" examples:

Title Image - Charles Stuart Uni 23 Things

The 23 things trend has migrated into other cultural areas. One example:  "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" is a 2011 book written by Ha-Joon Chang, published by Penguin which gives twenty-three rebuttals of neo-liberal capitalism. 23 Things has entered the cultural lexicon!

If you only go to ONE 23 things online project...try this one

 Never finished a MOOC and don't think this will be any different? Not to worry - it's still worth it!  

In 2012 San Jose State University assistant professor Michael Stephens performed a research study of 23 Things programs in Australia. He found that even if people did not successfully complete the program, the program still had the potential to positively impact library staff as the participants would still be likely to use what they did learn and/or to return to the program at a later date. Stephens also noted that a strong majority of those who completed said they felt confident exploring and using new technologies: confidence and curiosity were identified as particularly notable outcomes. 

Here's Professor Stephens on Youtube: 

"23 Things" as Transformative Learning: Promoting Confidence, Curiosity and Communication

So dip in and out of the 23 Things of your choice, take what you need, and come back if you want a bit more.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Canvas Tip of the Week: Automatically Open a File and View it in a Content Page

Do you want a file to automatically Display and open a file within a Canvas page?
There is a trick to do this using the inline preview tool. Read on!

Open a File by Default Inside a Content Page

When you add a file to a Page, you see the title of the file as a link. The students can click on the link to download the file, or they can view it inside of Canvas. This is known as Inline Preview.

Clicking on the  preview tool (see the image below) displays the file. It's the little magnifying glass icon.

This is a great feature, but it's very small and it's easy for a student to miss.

But fear not! There is a way to have the file automatically display within the page.
  1. Simply select the link to the file then click the link icon in the menu.
  2. Select the auto-open for inline preview option
  3. Click Update Link

The file will be open in the content page by default.
The student has the option to display the file preview full screen, or can use the zoom tools.  

There is a minimize link to shrink the file back to hide beneath the magnifying glass link once it has been viewed.

Here is a video screencast to give you a bit more detail.

Friday, 9 February 2018

How to Use Canvas Course Analytics and Course Statistics

Did you know that you can view course analytics from your Canvas course, including all the individual student interactions? 

You can drill into each individual user on a course where you are a teacher and see their first and last access, number of times spent on each resource of the course, and how often (or never!) they have accessed your resources.

Canvas has two ways to track activity: Course Analytics, and Course Statistics.

Course Analytics

Course Analytics is accessed by the View Course Analytics button on every course home page (top right corner).

Course Analytics show you course activity by date, with an overview of assignments submitted and marks awarded, and then each student is listed individually.

This video from the University of Kentucky gives a good overview of Canvas Analytics in a course.

More info is here in the guides:

Course Statistics

You access Course Statistics under Settings. Click the Statistics button on the top right.

Course Statistics give you a glimpse into which Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes are engaging students and what might be improved in the future. It will also help you to detect which students are not participating to the fullest or have started to fall behind the rest of the class.

There is some overlap with Course Statistics and Course Analytics, but in the Course Statistics give you a more general overview.

How do I view Course Statistics?

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Canvas Tip of the Week: Adding a Calendar Event to a Specific Group

Using 'Sections' to make appointments available to a group of students

 'Appointment Groups' are calendar events which can be divided into time slots, for which students can then sign up. This can be great for arranging things like tutorials.

However, ordinarily a group of appointments is available to all students on a course, and sometimes you might like to make those appointments available only to a specific group of students. You can do this using 'Sections'.

This 4 minute video shows you how to create sections within your course, add students to those sections, and then make calendar appointment groups available to a specific section. 

You can find this video and lots of other helpful tips on the 'Using Canvas for Staff' course.

For further information on using appointment groups, setting up sections and using them in the calendar, see these guides from Instructure:

Friday, 26 January 2018

Canvas Tip of the Week: Downloading Student Submissions from the Grades area

If you want to download all student submissions for an assignment, you can download them from the Gradebook in a bulk download. All submissions are downloaded as a single ZIP file that you can use to grade submissions on your computer offline. 
NOTE: If a student has resubmitted an assignment, only the most recent submission will be included in the ZIP file. 
In bulk downloads, Canvas automatically adds the username or group name to the file name:
  • For group assignments, the file name will include the name of the assigned group.
  • For individual student assignments, the file name will include the name of the student (last name first).
  • When anonymous grading is enabled, student names are not included in the names of downloaded files.

QUESTION: Can I just download my section of students?
ANSWER: NO, not unless you have a TA role on the course and are only assigned to one section. In that case, you will only be able to view and download YOUR assessments (your admin can change your role to TA if you'd like to try this).

QUESTION: Can I make comments on student files that I download?
ANSWER: YES. After downloading student files, you can add your comments to the files, then re-upload all student submissions in the Gradebook. However, you cannot change the names of the submission files. Otherwise Canvas will not be able to recognize the files that should be replaced.

Open Grades

Open Grades
In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

Open Assignment

Open Assignment
Hover over the assignment title and click the drop-down menu.

Download Submissions

Download Submissions
To download all the assignment submissions as a .zip file, click the Download Submissions link.

View Progress

View Progress
View the progress of the file compression by tracking the progress bar.

Download File

Download File
When the file is finished processing, download the file by clicking the Click here to download link [1]. Canvas will also include the size of the download file as part of the link for your reference.
To close the download window [2], click the close icon.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Canvas Tip of the Week: Multiple Markers for Assignments

Every wondered how to set up multiple markers in a Canvas course? It's easy to do - Here's how:

Setting Up An Assignment with Multiple Markers

(Moderated Assignments)

Moderated assignments (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. allow up to three individuals to grade and comment on student assignment submissions.
Generally, moderated assignments include two reviewers who add their comments and provisional grades. The moderator then submits the final grade and comments. 
The reviewers and moderator each have to be added to the course as a Teacher or TA to participate.
There are several steps to this process and they need to be completed in this order. 

Step 1: Create a Moderated Assignment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Go to the Assignments section and click on +Assignment (if you have already created the assignment, click on the assignment title instead and then select Edit).
Check the box next to “Allow a moderator…
Save and Publish the assignment.

Step 2: Assign Moderators (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Once you save the assignment, click on the Moderate button in the top right-hand corner.
Check the box next to all students [2] and click on “+ Reviewer” [3].
You should now see a space for two reviewers and a moderator. If you don't, refresh the page or click on +Reviewer once more.

Step 3: Mute the Assignment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(Complete this step if you don't want students to see reviewers' comments and provisional grades)
Go to the Grades section, click on the drop-down arrow next to the assignment name, and click on “Mute Assignment”.

Step 4: The First Reviewer Grades the Assignment  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

With moderated assignments, it's important that the first reviewer grades the assignment before the second reviewer. The moderator should wait to input any grades or comments until the two reviewers have completed their assessments.
To submit an assessment, the first reviewer should click on the Assignment title, then click on Moderate. 
Next to each student's name will be a link to SpeedGrader. The first reviewer should click on one of these SpeedGrader links.
They can then post comments and their provisional grades next to each student's submission using the SpeedGrader. 

Step 5: The Second Reviewer Grades the Assignment  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Once the first reviewer has finished their assessment, the second reviewer should go to SpeedGrader by either:
  • Clicking on the assignment title, Moderate, and then the SpeedGrader link under the 2nd Reviewer column.
  • Going to the Grades section, clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the assignment title, and choosing SpeedGrader.
The second reviewer should click on “Add Review” [1] near the top and then “Add 2nd Review” [2].
The second reviewer can now add their comments and provisional grades to each student’s submission.

Step 6: The Moderator Reviews the Provisional Grades and Adds Their Own Grades and Comments (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The moderator should go to SpeedGrader and review each of the reviewer’s grades and comments. They should NOT hit Select yet. They should just click on 1st Reviewer or 2nd Reviewer.
Once they have reviewed the other comments and provisional grades, the moderator should click on “Add Review”.
The moderator should select “Add Moderator Review (new)” if they just want the students to see their comments.
The moderator should click “Add Moderator Review (Copy 1st)” if they want students to also see the first reviewer's comments or "Add Moderator Review (Copy 2nd)" if they want students to see the second reviewer's comments [Note: You can only choose to show one of the reviewer’s comments, not both]. 
The moderator should now add their own comments and a final grade.
Once they are finished, they should click on “Select” next to Moderator. The moderator section should now have a check next to it.

Step 7: The Moderator Publishes the Final Grade (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The moderator should now go to the Assignments section, click on the assignment title, and then select Moderate.
They should double-check that the correct grade is showing in the final grade column because once the moderator clicks on Post, the Grades cannot be changed.
When the moderator is ready to post the grades, they should click on Post.

Step 8: Unmute the Assignment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Finally, the moderator should return to the Grades section, click on the drop-down arrow next to the assignment name, and select “Unmute the Assignment”.