By Sara Frizelle and Ian Porter
Dr. Singh teaches Computer Science at a local public university. She is a passionate teacher who values the time with her students in class. She is able to respond to questions in ways that are just not possible online. She is able to help them work through problems in the Coding required for in her introductory programming course. When the chair of her department asked her to transform her introductory programming class into a hybrid course, she had serious concerns. “How will I keep the students engaged and show my passion for the topic with Web-based tools?” she asked. “Won’t this take a lot more time than my normal class?” With strong reservations, she decided to give it a try.
She worked with an educational technologist and staff from the Center for Learning and Teaching on her campus to design the class. For the first class, the design process took significantly more time than if she would have taught the traditional course. However, there were aspects of the hybrid course format that she hadn’t considered before. She realized that she could have students submit their programming assignments online and give them feedback using the video comment function in the course management system. She could have the students post their code in a discussion board and get debugging advice from fellow students. Most importantly, she still had a significant amount of time with them in her classroom, which she used for high impact teaching practices that are best done face-to-face with students. It wasn’t a perfect class the first time she taught it; there were hiccups and sometimes she had to focus on the technologies more than she would have liked. But, she realized that hybrid classes still allowed her to engage her students interpersonally, while allowing her to take advantage of web-based tools that expand learning opportunities for her students. She plans to give it another try.
It used to be that you needed to download student papers to insert comments, highlights, but no more! Now you can easily do all your student paper editing within Canvas with no downloading or uploading required.
The SpeedGrader in Canvas allows you to comment, draw, and more for each student paper right within your browser. You can easily move from one student paper to the next for each assignment and even add audio and video comments. There’s a screen capture included below of a sample paper in the SpeedGrader
The commenting feature works for .docx, .doc and PDF files, and students can download the comments and the papers as an annotated PDF by previewing the assignment.
When do I need to move my content from Blackboard to Canvas? How do I move my Blackboard content to Canvas? Will my Blackboard content look at the same in Canvas? These are all great questions! Here are some quick tips and info about moving from Blackboard to Canvas.
1. You can move your content over at any time. All of your Canvas courses are available for winter and soon spring quarter, so you can begin moving your content over using the Canvas import tool. You can access Canvas at http://canvas.uw.edu. It’s probably best to plan on moving your courses over prior to summer 2013 when no new Blackboard courses will be created. After Dec. 31, 2013, Blackboard will be shut down.
2. Course files, assignments, grade center columns, discussion forum prompts, tests and web links move over well from Blackboard to Canvas. It’s best to move course files separately to make it easier to use them in Canvas. Your Blackboard content will be organized differently in Canvas, but the essential core course concepts of assignments, grading, communicating etc. should hopefully be familiar enough to make it easier to make the transition. Here are the essential procedures to move these Blackboard elements over.
Learning analytics is an emerging field within education that involves analyzing data to help improve student learning. It’s not just tracking how many people are viewing a site! Check out this infographic for an overview.