As many of you know, the University will be moving to Canvas on the 1 August 2020 and all use of Blackboard will end on the 31st July.
We know colleagues across the University are working incredibly hard at the moment to implement the remote delivery and assessment of the University’s programmes. We have therefore postponed the start of the workshops for colleagues in academic units from this week, until after the Easter break.
The way we are delivering this support is also changing. The face-to-face workshops we had intended to deliver will not now take place. These will be replaced by a programme of shorter webinars, supported by a range of online resources. We have arranged these webinars so that in total, there will be the same number of spaces available on webinars as we had planned to deliver in face-to-face workshops. As with the face-to-face workshops, there is no requirement to attend these webinars if your preference is to get familiar with Canvas via the other online resources we are providing.
We know that the demands on colleagues means that many will not be able to engage with the training opportunities at this time. We will be offering a comprehensive programme of webinars throughout the summer, so that if you wish to participate in a webinar you will be able to do so at a time that fits with all your other commitments.
If you are unable to attend a webinar, you also have access to the Canvas Online Orientation Course available on the dashboard when you log in to Canvas. This has been designed by University colleagues to support you in using the key features and tools in Canvas and there are a number of self-check quizzes for you to check your understanding as you work through each section.
Example H5P Hotspot item – click the + to try it out
Adding engaging and interactive content to your online course materials will get easier very soon. The University has bought an enterprise licence for H5P for use by colleagues for a year. Towards the end of August we’ll be making it available to all Canvas and MLE Teachers giving them the ability to make accessible interactive widgets, like the ones on this post. H5P isn’t just restricted to Canvas and MLE, it can be used on web sites too.
We’re particularly excited about H5P! Once it is turned on there will no longer be a need to be an HTML guru to do things like:
Add single question formative quiz questions
Generate branching scenarios
Create 360 degree virtual tours … and much more
H5P has been successfully used by our friends in other universities– it’s very well documented and each content type has its own tutorial.
We will be using the fully supported (H5P.com) version of H5P and, while we are plumbing this in, if you would like to have a peek at what is in store do check out H5Ps web pages for their documentation. We would recommend holding fire on creating accounts on H5P.org and wait instead until we have our Newcastle H5P site up and running. It won’t be long!
How you can help us?
We have H5P for a one-year pilot initially – so we will need feedback on how you are using it, how your students are finding it, and how you would like our H5P support to develop.
If you would like to get early access to H5P, receive updates, or help our evaluation please JOIN OUR H5P COMMUNITY by filling out this form.
Sample H5P Course Presentation – try moving between the slides and answering the questions
2. Use Canvas modules to set a flow through your course
Use your Canvas modules to direct student’s activity week by week or topic by topic. Every Canvas course has a sample structure that you can adapt to match your teaching pattern. You can hide or lock materials that aren’t yet relevant and even set requirements so that student need to view or complete certain conditions before they can move on.
Without the normal structure of face to face time on campus it’s harder for many students to structure their time.
Add a weekly overview to give students an idea of your expectations for how much time to spend on the activities for a given week. This will help them plan their time, and make sure they give their attention to the things that you signpost as being most important.
From overwhelmed to ordered
It will take a bit of time to consider ordering, signposting, and setting a flow in your modules, but this need not be onerous and it’s one way you can help your students feel less overwhelmed in these strange times.
To help you to check that the Canvas course for your module is ready for your students, we have created a handy checklist which can be found on the Canvas section of the Digital Learning Website. You can also view our downloadable pdf version.
Remember, your Canvas course must be published for your students to be able to access it. This also applies to archive courses from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
If you need help with Canvas you can access the following channels of support:
Canvas 24/7 support for your ‘How do I?’ Canvas questions
In 2014 University Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee agreed a set of principles which stated that all appropriate assessments should be submitted through Turnitin.
Now we have moved to Canvas as the Virtual Learning Environment, this has opened up some new options for online submission. Alongside the Turnitin tool it is now possible to create Canvas assignments, which offer features like double blind marking, group submission and moderated marking, whilst still using the Turnitin similarity checker.
Given the new functionality now available, this is an appropriate time to revisit the principles. The updated Online Assignment Submission Principles were approved by University Education Committee in August 2020.
These principles are guidelines for how to get the most from submissions, advising that the Turnitin Similarity checks are carried out on Canvas and Turnitin assignments. If you allow students to submit multiple drafts they should not be allowed to see the similarity score, unless the assessment is focused on improving the students’ academic writing. Where appropriate the students’ work should be added to the Turnitin repository.
The principles recommend that Schools communicate to their students when their work is going to be put through the Turnitin similarity checker.
This post provides some further information on how the move to Canvas affects Numbas tests.
Will my Numbas tests roll over to Canvas automatically?
Numbas tests are attached to a particular course in a VLE, and therefore will not be moved across when we change from Blackboard to Canvas. Tests will need to be set up again for the new academic year, which is no bad thing as you will need to make some decisions about the set up in Canvas. See the section How do I create a Numbas test in Canvas? below.
Remember that Numbas tests are prepared on the Numbas Editor (the Public Editor is at numbas.mathcentre.ac.uk). This means that you can redeploy your existing test in Canvas.
How can I access scores from Numbas tests deployed in Blackboard?
If you require scores from Numbas tests deployed in Blackboard then you should access these before the close down of Blackboard on July 31st.
However, the Numbas LTI tool will continue to have a record of attempts. A request can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need access to data after the close down of Blackboard.
How do I create a Numbas test in Canvas?
Numbas can be deployed in Canvas in two ways:
as a module item, alongside other learning resources; or
as an assignment.
Numbas module item
Add Numbas content
Record student scores
Hide from calendar, to do list, etc
Restrict by date
Add scores to Gradebook
Use as a pre-requisite
The following videos demonstrate the set up of each. For full step-by-step instructions see the Canvas Orientation Course.
Adding a Numbas test as a module item
In the following video, I add a Numbas test as a module item in Canvas:
Adding a Numbas Assignment
In the following video I set up Numbas as an assignment in Canvas:
You can now book onto one hour webinars which will cover the core functionality and exciting new features of Canvas, providing colleagues with the skills and knowledge to set up their Canvas courses ready for the 2020/21 academic year. All sessions are available to book on Elements.
We know that the demands on colleagues mean that many may not be able to engage with the training opportunities at this time. The team will be offering a comprehensive programme of webinars throughout the summer, so we hope that if you wish to participate in a webinar you will be able to do so at a time that fits with all your other commitments.