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New Feature: Universal Design Online Content Inspection Tool (UDOIT)

UDOIT allows you to check for and resolve accessibility issues across your course. This tool is used at many institutions and was developed as an open-source tool by the University of Central Florida. Refer to our updated post on Creating Accessible Materials for information on developing accessible course materials. If you have any questions, email edtech@dartmouth.edu.

In this video (above), Adam Nemeroff explains how to check Canvas sites for accessibility issues.

New Feature: Announcements

If you have a multi-section course, you are now able to choose to send announcements to either specific section(s) or an entire class. 

Choose the section(s) you want the announcement to go to.

You may notice a different course home page default in Winter 2018 Canvas course sites.

Check out the new course home page default starting in Winter 2018 Canvas course sites.

Previously, the "Recent Activity" view was the starting place for your course site design, though many instructors would change the Home Page to Modules, a Front Page, or the Syllabus view. Now, the course home page defaults to the Modules view with the module tool ready to use. A new "Add Existing Content" button is provided to take instructors directly to the Copy a Canvas Course feature.

You are not required to use Modules for the home page or for your course site design. You can set the course home page to your usual setting as part of your course copy from a prior term or by clicking Choose Home Page from your sidebar. You might be prompted to choose a home page when publishing your course if you have not already done so.

 

Every three weeks Canvas updates features and applies bug fixes. The next production release is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, 2017. View the full Canvas Production Release Notes, watch the release screencast, or continue below for a "what you need to know" summary of the latest updates for Dartmouth.

...continue reading "Canvas Updates for June 24, 2017"

This week is the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Online Focus Session: New Directions in Instructional Design: Keeping Pace in a Time of Rapid Change. The program is robust, lining up experts to talk about trends and innovations in teaching and learning while focusing on where instructional (learning or educational) designers have impact and directions we might grow in the future. My colleague Melody Buckner (University of Arizona) and I were asked to help design the focus session activity workbook. Our goal was to bring purposeful reflection and meaningful application to participants as they look toward the future of their careers, projects, and roles as potential agents of change at their institutions.

...continue reading "Being Leaderful From Where You Are"

If you're teaching in the summer and would like help setting up your Canvas sites, the Ed Tech team is happy to assist!

Summer 2016 Canvas Office Hours

All office hours will be held in Berry 178. Our offices are located behind the computer walk-in center in Berry Library. Please look for the yellow "Instructional Design" sign and follow the arrow!

Date Time Location
Monday, June 20th  10:00 am - 1:00 pm  Berry 178
Thursday, June 23rd 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Berry 178
Friday, June 24th 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Berry 178
Monday, June 27th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Berry 178

If you're unable to make any of the times listed, please send an email to edtech@dartmouth.edu. An instructional designer will contact you to set up an appointment.

Beginning Saturday, June 11, you’ll notice that Canvas has a new look. These changes are intended to make Canvas easier to use on a wide range of screen sizes.

The Dashboard and Global Navigation have the most changes. Click the image for the visual tutorial.
The Dashboard and Global Navigation have the most changes. Click the image for the visual tutorial.
From within a course you can hide/display the course menu – handy from within Grades! Click the image for the visual tutorial.
From within a course you can hide/display the course menu – handy from within Grades! Click the image for the visual tutorial.

...continue reading "Introducing the New User Interface for Canvas!"

When you choose to hide the final grade from students in Course Settings, assignment group totals are now also hidden from students.

...continue reading "Canvas Feature: Hide Assignment Group Totals"

Student Bridges from the ENGSx course
Student Bridges from the ENGSx course

Professor Vicki May’s “The Engineering of Structures Around Us” DartmouthX MOOC ran from May 5th - June 19th in edX. It’s now in archive mode, but still accessible for anyone to register and go through the material self-paced. We’ve had over 700 new students in self-paced mode since the course ended!

What did it take to produce and deliver a six-week edX MOOC course? Eight months, one instructor, one instructional designer, seven undergraduate teaching assistants, two video producers/editors, one technical expert, one librarian, a handful of helpful Dartmouth colleagues, and over 10,000 students all made “The Engineering of Structures Around Us” not only possible, but very successful. This bears repeating, the MOOC students are what made the course not only successful, but also a rewarding experience for the course team.

How are we measuring success? For us, it’s really about the participation of the online students and witnessing how they are engaging with the content, the activities, and with each other. Some students may have had the goal of watching 15 minutes of video lecture while others wanted to do every activity. Both are successes if the students met their own personal goals and interacted in some way with the course material. We saw participation and engagement through many different activities and at many different levels. The course contained four hours (43 video clips) of video lectures, demonstrations, and guest speakers, eight hands-on building activities, twelve discussion forums, six interactive simulations, pre-concept surveys, multiple knowledge-check and end-of-week quizzes, and an illustrated narrative of Owl’s library treehouse. Professor May worked closely with illustrator Katherine Roy during the course development. This awesome relationship was facilitated by the Center for Cartoon Studies  in White River Junction, VT.

Illustration by Katherine Roy
Illustration by Katherine Roy

Minimally, students watched the short video lectures and demonstrations or popped into the Share Your World discussions to see interesting structures from around the globe. Many were actively participating in those forums by finding, annotating, and posting pictures of buildings and structures from their communities or online sources. Others were getting a virtual world tour of amazing structures.

The primary engagement strategy in the course was to get students exploring structures with hands-on tangible activities that used easy to find materials. They were asked to share images of their work in discussion. Speaking of images and discussion, check out the Visual Discussion Tool that Jared Benedict (Thayer School of Engineering) made for the course to allow better navigation to image posts and a clearer view of all the hands-on activities.

The custom tool by Jared Benedict (Thayer) pulled images from discussion posts into one page. At a glance, one could scroll through the images and click to go directly to the discussion post to comment.
The custom tool by Jared Benedict (Thayer) pulled images from discussion posts into one page. At a glance, one could scroll through the images and click to go directly to the discussion post to comment.

For five hundred US residents chosen at random, we were able to send out Activity Kits that contained all the necessary materials for the hands-on activities. We’ll be examining the course data in the coming months to see if having a kit had any effect on students participation or engagement with the course.

TAs and Thayer staff help put together the Activity Kits, brainchild of Jared Benedict.
TAs and Thayer staff help put together the Activity Kits, brainchild of Jared Benedict.

A highlight of the experience for the course team was when the first students started posting their building projects. I recall someone saying, “They are really doing it!!” For us, that was a sign of success - that a learner is actively engaging and investigating the course concepts by trying the hands-on activities. Then, more and more were posting, it was amazing! We were unsure if students would even try the activities and were very pleased with the results. Enroll in the course to look at more samples of student building projects and try some yourself!

Week 4 of the course dealt with tension and compression working together in a structure. Tensegrity models and truss bridges took over our discussions.
Week 4 of the course dealt with tension and compression working together in a structure. Tensegrity models and truss bridges took over our discussions.

Stay tuned as now the big data from the course is taking over our time and we’ll be doing another blog post in the future on results!

The Engineering of Structures Around Us Header
The Engineering of Structures Around Us on edX May 5th-June16th. (Images source: Alistair Smith/Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The ENGSx team is hard at work getting our edX course, The Engineering of Structures Around Us, ready for an early May start. The course, taught by Professor Vicki May in the Thayer School of Engineering, will help participants explore how structures work, why they were designed the way they were designed, how they support loads, and where forces flow through them. Registration has opened and we’re happy to report 1500 students have already signed on! ...continue reading "Getting Ready for Dartmouth’s Second edX Course! Call for Beta Testers!"