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4th Annual Canvas Roundtable

On Friday, August 12, 2016, 55 participants representing 21 different institutions in the northeast gathered at Dartmouth to share experiences, identify best practices, and build community around Canvas as a learning management system and strategy for pedagogical innovation. This was the fourth 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. The agenda was a combination of of pre-planned demonstrations/discussions and unconference-style breakout sessions:

  • Data and Analytics
  • Rubrics
  • User Experience and Course Design
  • Universal Design
  • Accessibility
  • LTI approval and “Hacking”
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Piloting and Evaluation of Canvas
  • Templates and Standardized Course Design

During the event, we also used the Twitter hashtag #CanvasRound16 as a backchannel to capture ideas and generate discussion – which resulted in a lively digital community and conversation.



We asked the staff in Dartmouth EdTech, What are you bringing back to Dartmouth as a result of the event? Here is what they had to say.

Adam Nemeroff: I was really struck by Chris Gaudreau’s idea of integrating considerations for usability, Universal Design for Instruction (UDI), and the ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction) model when developing student activities and materials. I am fairly familiar with usability and UDI, but ARCS was new for me. The central idea with ARCS is that you use student motivation at the center of your design process. I’m planning to check out this book as a follow-up.

Erin DeSilva: It’s great to see how many of us are working to make more data-driven decisions when it comes to course design - something that is often difficult when teaching in a face-to-face environment without standard course design.  We had some great conversations about the questions that can be answered by instructors themselves (as opposed to a data expert) with a Canvas data tool such as the User Access Report.

Scott Millspaugh: At the Roundtable, I was most impressed by the enthusiasm and participation of the Canvas community. Many different types of institutions were represented - from Harvard Business School and the New Hampshire Institute of Art to Middlebury and Penn State - that are at different phases of their adoption of Canvas. Nevertheless, everyone present was committed to the idea that a learning management system has the power to affect student learning outcomes and bring about positive institutional change.

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