View session recordings and resources to help you design organized Canvas courses, ensure content is accessible to all students, develop effective assignments, build community, and more!
Over Prepare and Go with the Flow: Planning for Fall
Presenters: Cindy Albert and Tiffany Lewis
Canvas Course Design
- Consistent course design is used.
- Clear structure and course organization is provided.
- The course is designed in a logical progression using unit modules with weekly course content.
- Additional course resources are clearly identified and easy to access.
- Course offers multiple opportunities for students to gain information (e.g., due dates used, which display on the Syllabus, Course Calendar, and To Do list).
- Terms and labels are consistent throughout the course shell.
- Textbooks/eBooks/online tools work seamlessly with LMS.
- Student workload is reasonable, evenly distributed, and based on the level of the course.
- Course syllabus is learner-centered and sets the tone for learning and engaging the student.
- Course is prepared and available to students by the first day of the term.
Accessibility, ADA Compliance, and Universal Design
- Course Accessibility is addressed (e.g., videos captioned, use of color is ADA appropriate, other visual elements meet ADA standards, important elements identified, alternative text for photos, etc.).
- Course design adheres to universal design standards (e.g., choice, challenge, ease of navigation, low stakes assessments, variety of ways to learn and earn points, and variety of ways to contribute to discussion, etc.).
- Maintaining SSD Accommodations
All mandated accommodations still apply to online classes; however, they will be administered differently. We have requested students remind you of their accommodations. Examples include:
- Testing Accommodations: extended test time will be managed in Canvas by you and no e-form will be required.
- Alternative Format: please provide handouts in an accessible format to ensure accessibility with screen readers.
- Captioning: captioning will continue to be provided through CETL & SSD but may take a longer turn-around time; in that case homework deadlines may need to be adjusted.
Adapted from: Indiana University. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://kb.iu.edu/d/keep
- Course objectives/outcomes, assessments, and activities are aligned and clearly stated in syllabus and in the beginning of modules.
- Course learning objectives/outcomes are clearly defined, measurable, assessed, and related to the appropriate level of learning.
- Course content covers all course objectives/outcomes.
- Online activities, assignments, and interactive group discussions include
a. Explicit instructions for how to participate.
b. When responses or submissions are expected.
c. How the activities are assessed.
- Course offers opportunities for learners to engage in relevant activities, which draw from authentic experiences whenever possible.
- Course activities are appropriately paced for the intended learners and are evenly distributed across modules.
- A course orientation is provided, which familiarizes students with Canvas, course navigation, and student support services.
- Instructor provides information for students regarding computer, hardware, and software requirements, as well as where to receive technical assistance.
- Instructor includes respectful online communication guidelines as an inclusive practice.
- Instructor is aware of and obeys copyright law in using and posting materials.
- Assignments are directly related to the course/lecture learning objectives/outcomes.
- Assignments are meaningful, purposeful, and relevant to learning objectives/outcomes.
- Assignments include criteria or grading rubrics with clear expectations.
- Instructor provides a variety of assignment types for learners to have opportunities to demonstrate skills.
- Instructor structures learning activities to promote student to student interactions.
- Assignments promote critical thinking and problem solving.
- A schedule of assignments including due dates is provided.
Discussion and Engagement
- Discussions are aligned with course learning objectives/outcomes.
- Instructor posts meaningful, critical, and reflective questions for discussions.
- Instructor provides clear explanation of how the class discussion will be used and evaluated.
- Instructor clearly states expectations for participation in discussions and other class communication.
- Instructor promotes students' awareness of other perceptions or perspectives.
- Students are expected to post discussion responses as well as interact with classmates and the instructor.
- Class discussion boards are designed to facilitate student-to-student interactions.
- Instructor demonstrates presence by engaging actively and frequently throughout the course.
- Instructor provides a personalized bio, which welcomes students to the course in text or video format.
- Instructor checks the course minimally five days out of seven.
- Instructor uses Canvas to record and calculate grades.
- Instructor posts grades promptly.
- Instructor provides encouraging feedback.
- Instructor demonstrates concern and provides flexibility for student needs/issues/outcomes.
- Instructor proactively addresses problems as they emerge and is responsive to student concerns/confusion.
- Instructor provides clear information as to expectations of academic integrity and plagiarism.
- Instructor consistently demonstrates enthusiasm for the course subject matter.
- Instructor uses strategies that encourage students to be self-directed and take responsibility for their learning.
- Instructor demonstrates respect for students.
- Instructor finds opportunities for student affirmation.
- Instructor uses tools within Canvas to facilitate the learning experience in an effective manner.
- Instructor recognizes and acknowledges excellence and achievement in student work.
- Instructor provides a space for students to post an introduction and share appropriate parts of their personal life to develop the online learning community.
- Instructor develops an appropriate personal conversation style for the audience.
- Instructor creates a safe climate for collaboration.
- Instructor creates an inclusive, supportive, and engaging climate, with a variety of methods such as using learners' names often.
- Instructor creates a positive, motivating, respectful, and encouraging environment.
- Instructor encourages students to be candid, yet respectful of others.
- Instructor uses inclusive language, such as we, you, and our.
- Instructor provides activities/assignments, which foster student interaction.
- Instructor facilitates positive communication with students.
- Expectations are communicated for participation or engagement with peers.
- Instructor provides ongoing and meaningful communication.
- Instructor models effective and appropriate communication techniques.
- Instructor uses a positive, supportive tone to describe course content and for interpersonal communication.
- Instructor provides prompt, clear, specific, and constructive feedback to students.
- Instructor encourages students to contact instructor when questions arise.
- Instructor specifies days and times when students can expect instructor feedback.
- Instructor promptly returns all phone calls and emails in compliance with the course communication policy.
- Instructor informs students when he/she will be out of contact and provides an alternative for students to receive assistance.
- Instructor sends introductory welcome email message.
- Instructor uses email and announcements effectively and appropriately.
Continuous Course Improvement
- Instructor continuously evaluates the effectiveness and content of their online course.
- Instructor frequently reviews course design.
- Student feedback (for course improvement) is encouraged and requested (e.g., midterm and final feedback).
- An anonymous course survey is available to encourage student feedback.
- Instructor provides opportunities for reflection at the end of course (for course improvement).
Students are informed at registration (or before semester starts in a pandemic) starts if the course is online or hybrid.
- This is the most flexible situation for students and faculty.
- All content, activities, and assessments are provided online.
- One or more elements of the course is offered face-to-face or as a virtual meeting.
- Required or optional face-to- face or virtual meeting sessions even if recordings are available later for students to view/listen.
- Required or optional face-to-face or virtual meetings for any of the following: lectures, mini-lectures, testing, lab, studio work, discussions, speeches, presentations, group work, etc.