Whether or not your program is hybrid, lock-step, open entry/open exit, chances are you’re using Canvas to deliver student experience and content, and to help keep track of grades. To maintain a level of quality, we have a course evaluation that can help you to improve your course. The dimensions in this evaluation include six main points, explained below.
Learner Support and Preparation
Not every student will automatically understand how to use Canvas or how to succeed in your course. Have you made it very clear where to find the syllabus? How to get help if they need it? Is there a tutorial or quiz about how to use Canvas? This information should be easy to access within Canvas, not just in your classroom written on a whiteboard.
Research into blended and online learning has shown that course organization can help students focus on what matters most in your course: LEARNING! Is your course organized in such a way that students can easily access what they need? Are pages and content streamlined and visually clear?
Program Objectives and Outcomes
Your program objectives should not only be outlined in the syllabus but also be connected to assignments, quizzes and tests. If an assignment does not correlate with a program outcome or objective, it may be time to revise the assignment or more clearly state the expected learning outcomes of your program
Is your Canvas course a good access point for course materials? Have you made it easy for students to understand? Do your links to outside resources work? Instructional materials in Canvas are helpful because students can access them 24/7 from a mobile device. Make sure that students can trust and easily navigate through it.
How do you assess student learning? Chances are, you do a little bit of traditional testing, but mostly competency-based assessments that are in-person. Perhaps you have some group projects that mimic real-life workforce situations? Make sure you have a variety of assessment tools and measures that will really prepare your students for what they’ll encounter in the workforce. They need to gain the knowledge, and then be tested on proper application of that knowledge in a variety of contexts. Be clear about how you assess students by using rubrics.
Learner Interaction & Engagement
It’s good to shake things up. If your students are using Canvas regularly to do assignments, design occasional assignments that allow them to interact with peers. It can be in an online discussion, a peer-review assignment, anything that helps them engage with more than just you as the instructor.
While we cannot anticipate every learner’s needs ahead of time, we can design our use of Canvas to make it user friendly for students who are using mobile devices at home, for those who need screen readers, and to enhance text by including instructive images. Closed captioning on video files is another good practice for educational videos, should you choose to create them.