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.
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!