Protecting your Development Investments with Canvas Commons

In this post we’ll look at a brief case study of a USask Department who, working in collaboration with the Distance Education Unit (DEU), invested quality time in the full instructional design process to develop a set of strategic online courses that aimed to permit several certificates and a three-year degree program to be completed …

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The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer

In 2005,  now Emeritus Professor, Richard Schwier, Educational Technology and Design, USask and Dean Emeritus at the Faculty of Extension, U of A, Katy Campbell, along with two other authors, published a literature review of What Instructional Designer’s Do. In this post we attempt to summarize and demystify some of those findings as they relate …

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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 …

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USask Instructor Engages Students with Escape Room Learning Activities

This past year Dr. Michel Gravel, a faculty member in Chemistry in the College of Arts & Science, challenged his students by developing an “escape room” activity using WebEx and a variety of tool options in Canvas. After creating a series of “locked doors” using the quiz tool and module requirements in Canvas, with content …

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Share your Synchronous Success

We’re starting an interactive component to the DEU Digest this week and we need your great ideas to make it a success. Share with us, and your fellow USask instructors, some of the best synchronous learning activities you used to engage students over this past year. Write a short description of your best synchronous learning …

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Redirect Tool App in Canvas

DEU often uses platforms like WordPress, Pressbooks and other content management systems for building learning technology functions beyond the capabilities of a standard LMS. We tend to think of the LMS as a central learning hub where students can branch out from to access pockets of content across the world wide web. However, once unleashed …

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Canvas HTML editing

At the start of 2021 Canvas released a new Rich Content Editor (RCE) with a variety of new and updated features. Despite these upgrades the Instructional Design team at DEU has had a number of requests from instructors for some specific ways to enhance the look of their course content pages. The HTML Editor in …

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The Case of the Missing Journal

One of the glaring omissions from the Canvas LMS toolkit is the Learning Journal. This tool often provided a personal space for student reflection where instructors could see evidence of learning from each student’s perspective. In Blackboard Learn there was a dedicated tool called Journals that allowed for these entries to be collected, shared and …

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Basic ePortfolio Activities and Tools

Often ePortfolios are used as a tool for students to collect and share evidence of their competencies across an entire academic program. Outcomes at the institutional, college, and program level are all mapped and tied to the course level objectives through a curriculum mapping process and students organize their course work within these constructs of …

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Offline Activities in an Online Class

For many students, a completely online fall term will be a major change. Aside from the obvious challenges of getting comfortable with the learning technologies they’ll be presented in each of their classes, students will be challenged further with screen fatigue. Taking a full load of courses online is not a common strategy for most …

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