Follow Up Friday: Hide Your Files Tab and First Friday Coffee & Conversation Notes

February 4, 2022

decorative image. The word "Modules" has a check mark next to it. Beneath it is an image of a folder with the word "Files" on it and a slash through it. Online Teaching Highlight: Hide Your Files Tab! 

  • Canvas is an especially useful tool for organizing information. So, if you use your Canvas site to store files of all types for your students to access and use, let us offer a gentle reminder: hide your files tab! 
  • Why do we (strongly) recommend that you hide your files tab? Also, where is my files tab? These are great questions.
  • Short answer: keeping everything in the Files tab is like throwing every document you have for a particular project into one manila folder. Not likely helpful for you, but definitely not helpful for your students. 
  • Longer answer: When digital content is not organized or curated, our brains have a difficult time sorting through it all to make sense of what is important or what connects to what. Your learners are of a generation where digital content is curated to make the consumption of that content (for better or worse) easier. Taking the time to organize readings (required or supplemental), post original videos, or share supplemental material from outside your course implicitly demonstrates the relationship between these topics for students.Let the educational content you are sharing make the impact you know it can make by organizing your files using the Modules tab…and hide your Files tab! So your students do not accidentally wander into the virtually bottomless digital manila folder. 
  •  Let me demonstrate in a short video how to hide the Files tab. 

First Friday Coffee & Conversation Notes: 

  • Missed the return of First Friday Coffee & Conversation? Don’t worry! We have the highlights for you. 
  • This week, we focused on the topics of sharing the teaching strategies that have helped us remain flexible or fluid and the teaching strategies that have helped us avoid becoming overwhelmed or burnout. 
  • Notes: 
    • In addition to the topic, faculty shared questions they were grappling with such as:
      • How to deal with the influx of communication about the health and well-being status of students is draining, especially if you have a large number of students
      • How to use the online teaching option while keeping your students engaged
    • The strategies shared by our faculty for what has helped them were varied yet taken together showed a comprehensive approach. In other words, no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are the general areas for strategies:
    • Personal Strategies
      • Managing your time and tasks is aided by deciding what is urgent for today and what can wait for tomorrow. This distinction can be the starting point for filtering which student status emails require your immediate attention and which you can let be.
      • Simplify your interaction with your tools. Know which buttons in Zoom get you what results and keep it simple.
      • Stay positive by celebrating the small wins, practice your mental skill of focusing on what you can actually impact or change, sharply keep your personal time for personal activities that you find rewarding (hobbies, time with family and pets, etc.).
    • Teaching Strategies
      • Clearly and plainly share with students what you are able to help with and what you are not able to help with, but add the resources and contact information learners need.
        • Consider posting in Canvas what you are able to help with if students reach out about how they are struggling. As the subject matter expert, you are most ready to aid them in mastering the content and thinking through how to learn. But your role is not a counselor. Making the distinction between what you can offer students in terms of support and what you cannot is the honest and ethical strategy that can help them find the help they need. As they seek it, be sure to promote our Academic Services and Student Support Services.
  • Be sure to catch our next First Friday Coffee & Conversation on March 4th, 8:15 am – 9:00 am, and join your colleagues to share or hear about:
    • What teaching materials do you use (textbook, selected readings, OER, etc.) and what are the benefits of those materials?
    • Do you use your content librarian at Clemson Libraries and if so, why and if not, why not?

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