January 10th – Canvas Trainer Returns to Widener

Mark your calendars!

We are excited to announce that the excellent Canvas trainer that came to Widener’s Bridge Week in May will visit us again (virtually this time).

There will be two 50 minute live sessions that faculty can attend virtually via Zoom or in person (more details on location to follow).

January 10, 2019
  • 1:00-1:50 PM – Take Student Engagement to the Next Level in Canvas (while taking advantage of some time-saving features for faculty).
  • 2:00-2:50 PM – Incorporate Rubrics, Outcomes, and ILOs in Canvas. We’ve made it easy!

Any questions, please contact TLToffice@widener.edu


New Faces in ITS: Leyi Zhu

 Leyi Zhu has joined Widener’s TLT team as an Instructional Designer. She looks forward to collaborating with faculty to develop engaging learning experiences for our students, and exploring effective teaching and learning strategies and digital pedagogy practices within the entire Canvas ecosystem.

Leyi earned her master’s degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology from the University of Oklahoma. She also has a master’s degree in Business Management from Zhejiang University in China. Prior to moving to the United States, Leyi worked for over six years as an auditor and financial analyst.

In her spare time, Leyi enjoys reading with her two daughters and encourages them to create stories of their own. If anyone has any ideas about engaging children in storytelling or good books to recommend, please share them with her. Leyi’s office is in the TLT space by the FISHtank (Wolfgram Library, 1st floor).

Canvas Launch: Mission Accomplished.

Faculty, pat yourselves on the back!

With the fall semester in full swing, I am pleased to share some information about the very successful switch to Canvas.

Without a simple migration tool available, our faculty found themselves facing the feat of rebuilding their classes in Canvas. While it was understood that the intuitive Canvas platform makes it easy, the work seemed daunting at first. The TLT team set a plan in motion 1 year ago, providing learning opportunities that included interactive workshops, 1-on-1 sessions, and online self-paced courses and tutorials.

The great news is that so many faculty also used the migration as an opportunity to rethink pedagogical approaches, integrate new student-centered learning activities, and add project-based learning experiences. As of October 1st, instructors  of 95% of all courses that could benefit from using Canvas had done so.

A few additional points of pride (October 1, 2018 data): 

23,094 – the number of student enrollments enjoying learning in Canvas

494 – published quizzes in the online, easily graded Canvas space

908 – published graded discussion forums (contributions are assessed and measured)

8,769 – published assignments (mostly using the Speed Grader easy grading tool)

778 – “class calendar” items (also accessible by students on mobile devices)

2,139 – daily unique student visitors using the Canvas app

2,942 – daily unique student visitors using a mobile browser

Opportunities to keep learning

Sign up for any of the ITS fall training events. There are three different workshops on Canvas and OneDrive you can attend, or reach out to TLToffice@widener.edu for support.

SPRING 2019 courses are loaded in Canvas!

Go ahead, jump in.  We have streamlined the template further and have even added a bonus Faculty Notes page that offers startup tips, like how to import your existing Canvas content into the next semester. You are free to begin customizing your home page and adding content. We are here to help if you need us!

Canvas 24/7 Support Hotline (Faculty): (833)735-0335

Located in the left-hand navigation of your Canvas account, you can access the live chat and phone number to the hotline.

For additional assistance, email TLToffice@widener.edu, or call 610-499-4090.

Cutting Over to Canvas: T-minus 3 months!

Attendance at Bridge Week Tech Tuesday was even greater than expected! Thank you to all that contributed to this full day of faculty development. The Senior Trainer we brought in from Canvas shared how impressed she was with our beautiful campus and your thoughtful questions.

Have you downloaded the Canvas apps yet?

Recent Canvas News

All Fall ’18 courses were loaded into Canvas on May 1st. The template has been polished and streamlined for greater efficiency. A few additional notes:

  • Customize your dashboard – in the Courses tab, select the star next to the courses you want to see on your dashboard 
  • For help with importing materials into your classes, visit Passport to Canvas: Add Course Content- Files  
  • 24/7 Canvas Support is available via live chat or phone (833) 735-0335. They have already provided exceptional assistance to hundreds of callers over the last few months; take advantage of their expertise if you need it!

Important dates coming up

Per our previous Canvas blog post:

  • All instructional materials on CampusCruiser should be downloaded prior to the start of the Fall ’18 semester. There is no direct transfer of materials from CampusCruiser into Canvas, so do allow yourself the time to accomplish this task.  
  • For guidance on bringing course content into OneDrive, visit: Passport to Canvas: O365 & Your Files. This self paced course also contains dozens of guides and short Widener-specific videos to help you navigate the transition.  
  • If you feel you will need assistance from TLT to get your classes up and running, be sure to schedule help via TLToffice@widener.edu before July 31st. August will be a very busy month for TLT and we want to make sure you get the support you need.  

Your Textbooks and Canvas 

Publisher content for the following textbooks have been integrated: 

  • Cengage MindTap 
  • McGraw-Hill Connect 
  • Pearson MyLab and Mastering  

To use this content in your course, you will need to enable the link in your course navigation. For help with adding a textbook to your course, visit: Passport to Canvas: Linking Online Textbooks. 

BIG NEWS! Weekly, Interactive Canvas Workshops throughout Summer

Light fare provided. Please join TLT for a series of two live, interactive Canvas workshops! Each session will focus on various features and functionalities necessary to get your classes running smoothly. These interactive workshops will run for 90 minutes in the FISHtank- Wolfgram Library. All sessions will be capped at 12 participants, so sign up soon! 

WORKSHOP #1: Using Your Syllabus to Drive Your Canvas Course: Mastering Files, Settings, and Modules

In this work session, you will use your syllabus to design the organizational structure of your Canvas course. You will export your files from CampusCruiser, understand accessibility and file sharing permissions, and design your course layout.  

WORKSHOP #2: Meeting Your Learning Objectives Through Assignments, Assessments, and Discussions

Join this session to dive deeper into Canvas by designing assignments, assessments, and discussions in your Canvas course. We will discuss various settings and uses of each tool and start building your content! 

T-Minus 4 Months

Summer Term Courses are loaded into Canvas! 

When you log into Canvas, you will see that summer’18 terms and courses have been added to the dashboard. If you do not see them on your dashboard, check the Courses tab.  Courses can be built right in the template or imported from a previous semester.  Fall ’18 courses will be loaded into Canvas on May 1st.

Passport to Canvas Training (Self-Paced Course) 

Do you prefer self-paced learning? If so, join the newly published Passport to Canvas Training course and get ready to travel the world of Canvas with TLT.  Your voyage through the continents explores everything necessary to get your files off CampusCruiser and shows you how easy it is to create an engaging course within Canvas. Once you have joined the course, keep an eye on the Passport announcements on your Canvas dashboard, as we’ll keep you informed of any additional helpful material we add. 

Important Deadlines 

ALL of your teaching materials need to be downloaded from CampusCruiser before the start of the fall’18 semester. If you are not sure how, join the Passport to Canvas Training course and watch a short video in North America titled: “Getting Your Files Form CampusCruiser to Canvas”. Additionally, if you feel that you will need assistance from TLT to get your Canvas courses up and running, please contact us to schedule assistance (TLToffice@widener.edubefore July 31st.  We would love to work with you one-on-one or in small groups before the start of August. In August, TLT will be very busy supporting new faculty, updating classrooms, and preparing for kick off events, and our time will be quite pressed. Schedule time with us today! 

Dozen More Learning Spaces Get Digital Upgrades

We’re happy to report that over fall and winter breaks, we refreshed a dozen more classrooms with new all-digital AV equipment. Here are the rooms that were upgraded:

Kapelski 136b & 225a

Kirkbride 203, 213, 237, 229, 232, 236, 313, 336, 411

Wolfgram Library 106

These upgrades are on top of the 34 classrooms and meeting spaces the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) upgraded in Summer 2017.

Widener continues to make aggressive investments in teaching and learning technologies (in both physical and virtual learning spaces). We plan to make several more upgrades before the end of the year.

Please contact the Teaching & Learning Technologies team at TLToffice@widener.edu to share your thoughts and ideas about how our learning space infrastructure can continue to be improved.

What are my options for help with Canvas?

Canvas Support hotlines are separate and specific for students and faculty (course design and admin). Access the entire Help menu (? icon) in the Global Navigation Menu (purple menu, far left-hand side). Included are: The Canvas Guides (answers to common Canvas questions), and live (phone or text) Chat, or by submitting a ticket with Canvas Support. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1524.

Canvas is ready! Now it’s your turn.

Canvas_vertical_colorIn 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.

What is the difference between a Survey and a Course Evaluation Project?

A Survey is a series of questions that get presented to a student term after term.

A Course Evaluation Project is the term specific wrapper that holds all the pieces that go into an evaluation period (users, courses, survey(s), communications, and then reports).  Each project will contain a main survey (the series of questions you have created). All courses within a project must use the same main survey.  If some courses need a different main survey, they would have to be in a different project.

#CanvasFAQ_Evalkit  #Canvas #Evaluation #Kit
#EvaluationKit, Online Course Evaluation & Survey System

Canvas Update

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

Logo for Canvas by Instructure

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!