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3rd Annual Canvas Roundtable: As Told in Tweets

By: Ashley Kehoe & Erin DeSilva, Instructional Designers

Canvas User Roundtable 2015

On Friday, August 14, 2015, 52 participants representing 15 different higher education institutions in the northeast gathered to share experiences, identify best practices, and build community around Canvas as a learning management system and strategy for pedagogical innovation. This was the third iteration of the Canvas User Roundtable hosted by the Dartmouth College EdTech team, with the goal of learning from colleagues and creating a local community of practice for institutions at varying stages of Canvas implementation. This year's agenda was collaboratively designed by participants, with breakout sessions scheduled for the following special topic areas:

  • Templates and site design
  • Working with faculty
  • Learning analytics and Canvas API
  • Custom tools - external apps
  • Outreach and partnership
  • New users - piloting and transitioning to Canvas

Each breakout session included assigned facilitators to guide the discussion and a notetaker to capture the conversation, with the notes made publicly available and editable via the link:

During the event, we also used the Twitter hashtag #CanvasRound15 as a backchannel to capture ideas and generate discussion - which resulted in a lively digital community and conversation. Here are some of the highlights:

We also noticed trends in discussion and captured some off-Twitter takeaways in the breakout sessions:

Learning Analytics was a hot topic and generated some big questions, such as: how do we measure student engagement over time?  Can we do A/B comparisons of the same course to isolate variables?  How can we frame big picture questions about authentic student engagement (vs. clicks)?

New Users discussed how to leverage the transition for making connections with faculty.  A new LMS is a great opportunity for instructional designers to do outreach to those faculty who were transitioning - leveraging this transition to create opportunities for faculty engagement - and introduce different kinds of learning activities.

Speaking of Outreach and Partnerships, this group discussed how to best utilize Canvas with non-course entities, such as Academic Advising, Student Life, and Professional Development for students, faculty and staff.

We all have different needs, of course, and the LTI and External Apps group had a LOT of show and tell.  The big picture questions around this topic included the creation and testing of these apps.

However, not everyone needs an external tool to make Canvas work for them.  In the Templates breakout session, there was much discussion about making sites that reflect best practice for student need while also allowing freedom for a faculty member's own style.

Speaking of faculty needs, the Working with Faculty group had a great conversation about leveraging Canvas to best assist faculty with their Instructional Design needs.

We look forward to planning the 4th iteration of the Canvas Roundtable, in collaboration with our colleagues across the Northeast!

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