In the first three weeks that Canvas has been open for Widener faculty, over 150 of you have already logged into http://canvas.widener.edu/. Today we’re happy to report that Spring 2018 courses are loaded.
You’re going to start hearing more frequent news and updates from our team. For today’s installment, here’s our recommended action plan of four easy steps to get familiar with Canvas:
1) Log in to Canvas with your regular Widener username and password.
2) Edit your Canvas profile with a picture, bio, title, and contact information. Hint: the Edit Profile button’s on the right of your screen.
3) Try the Welcome to Canvas introductory training offerings. For beginners, we recommend “First Look” and “Course Basics.” (These links will take you to recorded webinars on Adobe Connect.) Later, advanced topics are under the “Building Block Series” heading.
4) Check out one of your empty 2017-18 courses to review the course template that our project team and Widener faculty co-designed.
Stay tuned for upcoming news about live training options, the future of course evaluations in Canvas, and other hot topics.
Things are progressing well on the Canvas implementation project. We know that many faculty members are eager to begin learning the new system and building courses, so we wanted to report on our progress so far:
- Loaded faculty, staff, and students into Canvas and connected their logins with our single sign-on process
- Created an easy-to-remember address: http://canvas.widener.edu
- Collaborated with our Canvas project team and group of faculty volunteers to build a default course template
- Activated the 24/7 Canvas help desk, which offers both Chat and Phone assistance to the entire Widener community
- Enabled an interactive Course Setup Checklist for all courses.
We are currently finalizing your training options. You will have flexible and unlimited access to training on features and best practices. Options include:
- Live Canvas-led interactive training webinars (WU-paid subscription)
- Recorded Canvas-led webinars
- Lynda.com Canvas courses.
- TLT workshops in the FISHtank
- Librarian-led content assistance via training, guides, and workshops
- Small group and 1-on-1 assistance
We will load Fall 2017 template courses before the end of October. Your students will not be in the classes, but you will have the opportunity to build your courses.
We will load Spring 2018 template courses into Canvas no later than the middle of November.
Just as a reminder, the CampusCruiser portal will continue to include your classes through the end of summer 2018. Here is a link to the ITS blog with the full Canvas implementation timeline.
Coming Soon: Training options and details!
Where is my PowerPoint? Why can’t my students see what I see?
You may find the computer screen “extending” rather than “duplicating” to the projection screen. This likely occurred when a previous PPT file “hijacked” the display. We’re providing a quick fix instructions here, but feel encouraged to call Teaching & Learning Technology (TLT) x4090 for assistance.
The quick fix
- With the PC and projector both turned-on, keypress the windows and “P” buttons at the same time.
- While still holding-down the windows button, press the “P” button until ‘Duplicate’ is highlighted.
- Once ‘Duplicate’ is selected, release all keys and screens should mirror. Please allow up to 10 to 20 seconds for digital connection to update.
Is there a permanent fix?
This issue is one of those bugs for which the MS Office community-at-large is working hard to find a solution. We will update this post as soon as this is resolved.
ITS is committed to excellence in support of teaching and learning. Read about digital upgrades to 34 spaces that TLT upgraded this summer.
ITS updated the AV systems in 28 formal learning spaces, including classrooms and teaching labs in Kapelski, Kirkbride, Bruce, Hanna, Old Main Annex, and Alumni. These upgrades will immediately improve the quality and reliability of the classroom experience. They will also allow us to keep rooms more easily up to date with future upgrades in educational technology.
Additionally, we outfitted six of the informal learning/meeting spaces in University Center with new large monitors, built-in AV systems and computers. No more having to call TLT Classroom Support to request deliveries of laptops in the Webb Room or meeting rooms A, C, D, F, or G.
Complimenting this effort, you will discover refined “how-to” documentation for AV posted in learning spaces.
Take a moment to view some of the before and after in this short video documenting some of the space transformations. If you need any assistance with these spaces or just want to give kudos to the fantastic team of Rick, Casey, and Jeremy, just contact them at x4090 or TLToffice@widener.edu.
How we pick rooms to upgrade
This spring, TLT staff spent months planning with deans’ offices, faculty, operations staff and technology vendors. We prioritized rooms based on capacity, degree of use, frequency of calls for tech-related issues, age/health of current equipment. We also took into account places where we simply needed to correct awkward AV configurations that got in the way of teaching and learning.
The University is making strong investments in teaching and learning technologies (in both physical and virtual learning spaces). We plan to make additional upgrades later this year. Even so, completing our digital learning space transformations will take at least two more years. Please let us know if you have thoughts to share about how our learning space infrastructure can be improved.
It’s time to start planning your move.
It seems like a daunting task, but take another look at the transition timeline – you have enough time to pack up and move to your new course home. The key is to plan and be smart about what you pack and how you stay organized!
The infographic below highlights 6 important things to consider and start working on (and Tip 7 is get a librarian involved to help you find accessible course assets if your scanned copies are at all illegible or incompatible with screen readers).
So let’s get started. Take a good look at these 6 tips and plan your move. Want to see more of Canvas? It’s not quite ready or decorated for company yet, but go ahead and peek into the live environment at https://widener.instructure.com/
Any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Wheeler is the new classroom support technologist with Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT).
Working alongside Rick Orme and Casey Croson, Jeremy is on the team that keeps the AV and other multimedia technologies in Widener’s formal and informal learning spaces in working order. He just moved to the Delaware County area from Syracuse, NY, where he was employed as a technician in the field of AV integration.
Jeremy is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where he majored in Music Recording Technology and Music Theory/Composition. His passions include writing and listening to music, building new PCs, and reading bad fantasy/sci-fi novels. Jeremy says that he “already enjoys the friendly environment from all at Widener and hopes to stay for quite a while.” We agree with that and are thrilled to have him on our team!
Links to recorded demos, active trial sandboxes, and surveys for your feedback.
DEMO RECORDINGS AND SURVEYS
It has been an exciting few weeks here in Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT)! We have already had the live demos from two vendors with state-of-the-art LMS for Widener to consider. If you did not have a chance to attend the demos on the dates offered, you still have time to view the recordings and weigh in with your feedback.
Recording and survey links have been emailed to all faculty. Please let me know if you have not received that email.
Pick and choose any date. Please review BOTH choices and then complete the short survey for each one. We want to provide the absolute best option for teaching and learning, with the most comprehensive and efficient, yet elegant and easy-to-use platform as possible. We expect a final decision to be made in the next few weeks.
SANDBOXES & TEST KITCHENS
In addition to the recordings, we have arranged for you to have sandboxes in each LMS that allow you to login and really see what it is like to design and teach a class. Please do log in and test them out. I also encourage you to check out the additional learning and design resources available for both CANVAS and D2L at lynda.widener.edu.
Test Kitchen Dates
We are holding an open Test Kitchen on May 2nd and 3rd, 3:00-4:00 pm in ACN – HAL Lab (first floor). Bring your device or use a lab laptop to play in the sandbox together – we will be there to collect feedback and work with you in this discovery stage.
Click “Need a Canvas Account” on the login page to create their account. Then, click “Start a New Course” on the dashboard to start playing in Canvas.
D2L/Brightspace Sandbox Link: ‘Get Trial’
Fill in the information and submit for a 30 day trial and start playing in D2L/Brightspace.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x1345) or email me email@example.com.