After several years of teaching online and fielding learner emails full of questions and confusion, I started adding an “Assignment Purpose” section and an “Assignment Overview” section to each learning activity.
With the addition of the Assignment Purpose section, I was able to explain how the learning activity contributed to the course, the program, or their career. I would include information about previous coursework, or connect the activity to another course in the program. Once the learners understood the purpose of the activity, I also saw more engagement with the content and higher overall grades.
With the addition of the Assignment Overview section, I was able to explain the details and the expectations of the learning activity. Depending on the complexity of the activity, I would sometimes include step-by-step instructions, a quick overview video, or examples of completed work. Again, with this addition, the learners were more engaged with the content and did not have as many questions about the activity.
When using the Discussion Board in Canvas, there are two important settings that I like to use. The first setting allows learners to edit or delete their posts. For example, learners could correct spelling or grammar, or add a reference after posting. I also like to use the setting that requires learners to post their work before they can see other posted responses. This prevents learners from reading the work of others and synthesizing that content instead of conducting their own research. However, I did learn a valuable lesson – do not use both settings at the same time! To gain access to the Discussion Board, learners could post a few words as their original post, see the response of others, and then edit their work with a more complete response. Therefore, now I only use one of these settings at a time for the discussions!
Workshop Wednesday: Using Canvas Tools to Deliver Quality Pedagogy
COFFEE – Canvas training courses
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