Category Archives: New tools and ideas

Canvas July 2017 release: New duplication, sidebar features

It’s July and the Canvas team is deploying some exciting new features on the 15th. To preview these or any planned Canvas updates prior to the release date, simply log into the Macomb Canvas Beta Server with your Macomb credentials.

Canvas updates are scheduled every three weeks. Some notable updates in this release include:

  • Duplicate menu item added to the Assignments page and Pages list
  • Rich Content Editor sidebar now appears in Quiz and Assignment editing mode.

Please see the New Feature Screencast for a demonstration:

Detailed release notes are also available on the Canvas Community website.

Duplicating assignments is a quicker alternative to copying and pasting.

Duplicate assigmentBe aware that this new function is currently available only from the Assignments and Pages menus and not the Modules menu.

The Rich Content Editor sidebar, which provides easy access to links, files, and images, is now available for use on Assignments, including Quizzes.

Join the Canvas Community and receive direct updates about Canvas releases by logging in using your Macomb credentials and following the Canvas Release Notes page.

As always, contact us with any questions (ctlsupport@macomb.edu or 586.226.4774) or feel free to leave a comment below.

Canvas Student Feedback

StudentLaptop-01In the last edition of our blog we shared what your colleagues were saying since the rollout of our new learning management system, Canvas.

So far, the response has been extremely favorable from the faculty side of the class, but what about our students? How has their Canvas user experience been?

We reached out to some of our students to find out what they had to say:

Canvas Notifications

These students were particularly fond of Canvas Notifications:

“I liked that Canvas would keep me updated on what I had due and when it was due. I also liked that Canvas would mark my assignments as done. It was a mark of achievement.

– Jacquelyn (Social Psychology Student)

“I like the notifications on the sidebar about which assignments due are coming up, and I like that it shows what you’ve submitted.”

– Melissa (Phys. Ed. Student)

“I really enjoy linking my Canvas calendar with my G-Mail calendar. It really helps with reminders and notifications.”

– Fadi (Macomb Student)

submit assignment

Holly likes the organization of Canvas and the ease of submitting assignments:

“I like that all my classes and materials are in one place. I like that I can submit assignments through canvas. It saves time from having to print out assignments, plus it saves paper.”

– Holly (English, Biology Student)

Canvas Communication

The best part of Canvas is the communication methods. From what I have used, along with what I’ve learned through Canvas’s tutorial, is that the communication functions are absolutely terrific.”

– Fadi (Macomb Student)

Print Grades

“The interface and grade reports are awesome. The interface is easy on the eyes and simple to use. The grade reports show a lot of information in an easy-to-read manner.”

– LeeAnn (Biology Student)

What If Grades

“I like the “What If” feature and the Grades feature in conjunction because together they give me a grade as of that moment and a goal to shoot for on my next assignment right in front of me. It helps in watching and maintaining my grades. It’s a great tool.”

– Ashley (Macomb Student)

It seems that Canvas is being well received from both faculty and learners. We would like to thank those students that kindly allowed us to use their comments for this month’s blog.

If you still need assistance with transitioning from Angel to Canvas, or you need help getting started in Canvas, contact us at the Center for Teaching and Learning. We are always available to assist you!

How to Create Video Lessons

Lecture-01

Choosing to produce videos for your students can make an incredible difference in their education. If you read last month’s blog post, you’ll remember it focused on faculty experiences utilizing this resource. While we explored the “Why” of creating video lessons for class, we hardly touched upon the “How”.

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Why I Create Videos for My Students

this image shows a computer screen displaying a video paused on an instructor teaching at a blackboard.As the use of technology grows, meeting your students’ learning needs becomes more feasible. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on instructors Shaun Sarcona (MACA), Sam Sarkissian (BIOL), and Mark Champagne (CHEM) who create videos and post them online for their students. Although the three instructors represent different concentrations in the college, their stories all followed similar narratives.

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Free Textbooks, Quality Courses, Student Engagement, and More!

(What You Missed at ETOM 2014)

Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Theater graphic. The running headliner is the keynote speech, titled "Open Educational Resources"November was an especially stimulating month for several Macomb faculty and members of the CTL staff. On November 7th, we trekked northeast to attend the 2014 Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Fall Conference at St. Clair County Community College. Through a multitude of breakout sessions, this conference spotlighted faculty and staff from Michigan colleges and universities, giving them a space to share how they use technology to enrich education.

We tracked down a couple of participants and asked them to share their experience.

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Shape Up Your Syllabus!

The beginning of fall semester is a constant battle to redefine the balance among school, work, family, and personal time. It can be overwhelming, but there is a simple step you can take to help lighten that load. Update your First Day Handout!

Syllabus …Thrilled? You should be! The most effective syllabi are integral resources and communication documents for students and instructors alike. Revising your first day handout will help keep you organized for each class session and ward away repetitive questions about assignment due dates and absence policies. Here we offer some helpful resources to make updating your first day handout more efficient.

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The Best Recipe for Most Effective Lectures

RecipeWhen it comes to brain food, higher education offers the richest dishes. Instructors are master chefs in a fully stocked kitchen with a main course in mind and a hundred different ways to prepare it.
And, as you know, the preparation of a lesson is just as important as the delivery. It can make the difference between a bland dish and one bursting with flavor. Here’s one recipe to help you brew up a memorable course.

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Click it -> Learn it -> Share it: Social Media’s Role in Education

Can YouTube video clips improve the lessons you teach? Will encouraging students to use Twitter reap academic benefits? Does blogging provide an effective means for instructors to connect with their class?

SocialClassroomIn short, yes, all of the above are possible.

Before continuing, let’s define “social media”, that often-used term. Whereas media refers to a means of communication (newspaper, television, or radio), social media takes those channels one step further, allowing people to interact with the presented content and with each other. The ability to have a two-way conversation is what sets it apart from traditional media.

Though the expression is beginning to feel stale, the opportunities social media provides for communication and learning are still fresh for educators across the globe. Continue reading

Five Tips on Retaining Student Engagement

Daydreaming

Summer is just around the corner and our minds are beginning to wander. It can be tempting to daydream, especially after the past four frosty months, but we need to stay focused. Now is the time to reinforce the lessons taught throughout the term and confirm that your students are capable of applying them. We’ve spoken with some instructors at Macomb Community College and they have provided a few tips on how they manage to keep engagement and retention high through the end of the semester.

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Three Strategies for Finding Hidden Information on the Internet

Surfing the Web Vs. Diving into its Depths: How do you find information?

Surfing the Web vs. Diving into its Depths: How do you find information?

It’s crunch time! We’ve passed the semester midpoint, and final papers and projects are nearing their due dates. Some of your students may be beginning their final projects. Others have not looked at project requirements since January. Regardless of their progress, they are all susceptible to one fatal flaw: unfamiliarity with how to effectively conduct research on the web.

Even the Millennials, born in the Internet era, can make the mistake of narrowing the depth of their research to “Googling it.” Google, Yahoo and Bing, three commonly known search engines, are still not the greatest knowledge sources that lie at our fingertips. In fact, they barely skim the surface of the Internet. Continue reading