Canvas ” Magic!”

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The 3rd Annual ” Magic” conference is a one day conference for instructional designers, technologist’s, and faculty alike who get together to talk about and explore new ideas for working with the Learning Management System Canvas. As MICA makes its transition to Canvas in the fall, we felt that this would be a great opportunity together new ideas and information on how to get the most out of our new LMS! Here are some highlights from the day:

Keynote: The Higher Ed Canvas: Connecting Challenges and Tools

The keynote, given by Dr. Christina Sax  from the Maryland University of Integrative Health, went into great detail about the challenges that our industry will surely face in the upcoming years.She discussed the increased need for blended learning, and gave suggestions on how we could possibly humanized the online learning experiences. How do you individualize online learning and what tools do we currently have to create those unique online experiences?

Canvas for Norming: by Laura Yoo

This Breakout session discussed an experiment held by Howard Community College faculty member Laure Yoo and her quest to figure out an interactive and productive way to use canvas as an assessment tool. Using a canvas course shell Laura had various (volunteer) faculty member pilot a new way to do norming at HCC.

The course shell was set up with modules and the volunteer faculty were set up with a student account to anonymously grade papers. Incentives such as Professional development credit were offered in exchange for participation. In the end, they discovered that perhaps it would be better to have a set rubric to work off of and that this method of norming could potentially show a trend in student work over time. However, grading differences between faculty resulted in some challenges.Over all,this study produced interesting results, with both positive and negative results. This idea has a great potential for the future of norming using readily available tools.


Laying the Foundation: Penn State’s Approach to Building faculty support for Transition to Canvas LMS

This session was very helpful, as people from three different teams within the Penn State community discussed there techniques, trials, and tribulations from moving from the LMS Angel to Canvas. Being such a large university presents it unique challenges for the school, and they took a campus by campus approach to the migration. Some campus’s have been completely migrated for over a year now, while others are still hanging on to angel with all of their might.

In order to make their transition as smooth as possible they employed a multitude of different support methods such as virtual office hours, a help request portal, as well a learning center dedicated to the canvas LMS.While not every school has the resources that penn state does, there was some good new innovative ideas shared on how to make sure that help is accessible to every faculty member, whether it be online or in person, at times that are convenient for them. This produces happier and more involved faculty which creates a better learning environment for the students overall.

Canvas UX Research: Leveraging User experience Research to Understand student Preferences to Improve Canvas course design

Another group from Penn state showed their discoveries of a study that attempted to figure out what students were looking for in their LMS experience,particularly within canvas. The study aimed to try and really understand how students navigate and function within the confines of the system itself. Over the course of their study they discover that students want their work front and center. Modules are the most preferred homepage arrangements, and students cared the most about due dates, timely instructions and a course outline. The students also reacted positively to a more branded website, where they were reminded every step of the way to what school they were taking part in. Overall it was very insightful and will create a more overall user friendly experience within canvas for students and faculty alike.


Canvas+Google=Happy Pandas!

This Breakout session, given by Beth Crook from St. Andrew’s school of Delaware was a wonderful look into demonstrating the endless capability with the google LTI integrated into the canvas interface. Sharing photo galleries that can be automatically updated without logging into canvas through google drive, creating cloud assignments that move documents over to students drives and let them submit their own person copy of your doc without ever leaving the canvas environment. Google and Canvas work in seamless harmony that will make everyone using both systems jump for joy! These tools create a powerful new way to make the most out of google apps for education and integrate technology with MICA’s online learning environment. Canvas+ Google indeed makes Happy Pandas!












Teaching Technology Center Events Calendar

Please RSVP to events by emailing:

Can’t make training? Request training here.

Guide to Adobe Connect at MICA


Four Best Practices

Use Firefox  as your server. Safari and Chrome work but could cause playback errors.
Firefox can be downloaded for free here:

There is going to a lot of information transferred to and from your computer. If possible, use a wired connection instead of Wifi.

It is also recommended that you use a microphone headset. If you need a headset, one can be borrowed from Pam Stefanuca in the Academic Technology Department.

Pam would also be happy to help test run your Adobe Connect presentation with you at least one week in advance:


Troubleshooting Audio Problems

A common audio issue with Adobe Connect is a sound echo. It happens when the computer speakers play audio and the sound is captured by the microphone on the same computer creating an audio loop or echo. This doesn’t always happen in Connect sessions, but it can sometimes happen. Adobe Connect is designed to cancel any audio echoes in the default setting of Enhanced Audio.

You can find additional information about audio settings here:

If you choose to use a microphone headset, you may need to adjust sound settings on your computer speakers in the following way (MAC). Make sure you do this before going into a new Adobe Connect session.

  1. Connect your microphone headset to the computer.
  2. Go to System Preferences> Sound> Output. Here you should see your headset and internal speakers on the list for sound output.
  3. Select the headphone set (it is usually labeled as the brand of your headphones). Your headset earphones are now selected for sound output.
  4. Next, select the “Input” tab and select your microphone headset as your default Input. This will make sure your headset microphone is selected for sound input.

For other audio solutions, refer to:


Sharing Documents, Images, and Presentations

As a host or presenter, you can share the PPT, PPTX, PNG, MP4, F4V, Adobe PDF, SWF, FLV, JPEG, and MP3 file types from the Content library or your computer.


When you are in a session, click on the “Share my Screen button in the middle of the presentation pod. 

For more information and problem solving, visit these sites:


If you need more information or training, support is close by:

Restoring and Importing In Moodle

How to Restore a Moodle Course

 How to Import Content into your Moodle Course

What’s the difference between Importing and Restoring course content?

In short, there isn’t a significant difference except that Restore can bring in users & user data, and Import cannot. You can import content from an existing course as long as it is visible on your account. In the future, we may only be able to guarantee access to a course for a year after it has run. In that case, Restore will allow you to bring content into a new course that is from an older course – provided you saved a backup of that course. Restore also allows you to bring user data from an existing course, provided you included that data in your backup. 

We conduct regular backups of content in Moodle each week, but we encourage faculty to back up their courses regularly to avoid unexpected loss of course content.

If you have any questions about this or anything else as you use Moodle, please contact Pam Stefanuca at