With the migration to Canvas comes many new features and methods for facilitating your course. The Canvas Guides provide a lot of information, but you may be wondering, where do I even start? Here at Ecampus, we’ve put together a few guides to help you become familiar with some of the tools in Canvas.
First, if you’re wondering, “I did this in Blackboard, but I can’t find it in Canvas; how do I…?”, we’ve created a few design options for that. These design options explore how to adapt features that you’ve used in Blackboard to the new Canvas environment.
We’ve also created some more in depth quick references that help explain how to use some of the most popular Canvas features.
The Quick Reference guides and other helpful Canvas-specific information can be found on our Canvas Faculty Resources page. We also have a list of resources for teaching an online course on our Teaching Resources page where you can find our favorite presentation, web-conferencing, and other tools.
Are there other features you’ve discovered or some you’d like to know more about? Leave your feedback in the comments!
Are you looking for a new way to engage your online students without leaving your Blackboard course site? Consider using a wiki, blog, or journal! Wikis allow your students to collaborate on a single document within Blackboard and you are able to track their participation. This is a great tool for brainstorming, collecting research, or producing a student-created FAQ or glossary.
A blog is meant to be a place where students can post their opinions or climb on a ‘virtual soapbox’ and deliver a message. There are opportunities for others to comment, but the focus is on the initial posts and what the student had to say.
A journal is usually intended to be used as a private space for reflection. It is a space that can only be ‘written’ on by the student and the instructor, although you can control whether the rest of the class can read each others’ journals or not.
Sometimes using a different tool for a week or two gives the students a break from the traditional discussion board routine – -and that in itself can improve student engagement in a class. Instructions for setting up a wiki, blog, or journal are found here.
Looking for a different type of learning activity for your course? Did you know that in this version of Blackboard you can create a ‘wiki’ for your class? A wiki is a collaborative space that allows anyone to add or edit content. It is a place in which knowledge can be pooled and improved on by the class. As people contribute to the wiki, a unique resource is created by and for the group. And – by having students build their ‘wiki’ within Blackboard, you have the ability to track each student’s contribution and grade them from within the tool itself.
Here are some ideas for using a wiki in your course:
- Create a glossary of technical terms
- Create a newsletter for reporting on a breaking event
- Create a community of practice virtual space
- Create a student-constructed FAQ list
- Post research project results for group analysis
- Create an online guide, reference lists or outlines
- Research items of local interest that can be updated and shared.
View this short video to learn exactly how to set up a wiki in your course.
Blackboard will be upgraded to version 9.1 in time for Fall term 2011.
Although there will be some minor cosmetic changes, basic functioning in the most frequently used areas of Blackboard (i.e. discussion board, grade center) will remain the same.
New features to look for include:
- Grading in blogs and journals
- New content creation menus
- Accessibility improvements for multimedia
- Mashups – ability to embed Flickr, Slideshare, YouTube content
- Ability to move assignments and tests within a course site
If you want to see these new features in more detail, view this 7 minute tutorial.
Blackboard 9.1 Overview