Additional Due Dates in Canvas


Family emergency? Student needs to take an exam early? Did you know you can add separate due dates to existing assignments and quizzes for individual students?

It’s a common problem – life and technical glitches happen, and we often get requests to open up an exam or an assignment for a single student, but how do we do this without effecting the rest of the class?  Luckily Canvas includes a feature to add additional due dates, as well as individual lock and unlock dates, for individual students, groups of students, and course sections. Best of all, none of the other students in the class will be aware of these additional due dates – they will only see the ones that apply to them!

This quick video shows step-by-step how to add an additional due date to a Canvas assignment or quiz.



For more information on using Canvas contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services!

Nicole Stowell Receives Second Quality Matters Certification

nstowell Please join us in congratulating Professor Nicole Stowell! On Friday July 22, 2016, Professor Stowell received Quality Matters Certification for her online MBA course, Regulation and Reporting Environments (BUL 6652).

This is the second course for which Professor Stowell has received QM Certification. Her undergraduate course, Law and Business I (BUL 3320), was recognized in August of 2013.

This is the eighth course certified from the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Additionally, this is the first course in KTCOB’s Online MBA Program to receive QM Certification.

Professor Stowell’s course is now listed on the QM directory of certified courses from colleges and universities across the nation. The QM Seal of Recognition, and information regarding the course quality certification, will now be displayed on the home page of her course.

Contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services for more information about Quality Matters.

Padagogy Wheel: The Next Generation

Known as the Padagogy Wheel, this resource combines Bloom’s Taxonomy with Depth of Knowledge levels, SAMR, and iPad apps to help with implementation. It also has active links and QR codes to more resources…in short, it’s a one-stop-shop for increasing rigor and complexity into our classrooms. You can find more information regarding the poster as well as a link to download it as a PDF here:



940x434-OCS2016-lpimage-TLHAccording to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, overall higher education enrollments dropped by 1.7 percent for the fall of 2015. Eduventures, however, reports that 3.5 million students enrolled in online degree programs in 2016. In a world of declining enrollments, understanding the unique student population who is studying online will be critical for those institutions who want sustainable, long-term success.

Now, get the answers about who is studying online and what they are looking for in their education in the fifth annual Online College Students report, developed by The Learning House, Inc., and Aslanian Market Research. “Online College Students 2016: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” shares the results of a survey of 1,500 prospective, current and recently graduated fully online students.

More at:

Leveraging Pokemon Go in Higher Ed

Student Playing Pokemon Go

Student Playing Pokemon Go

There is an undeniable force that has been all over social media and even right in front of our faces in the “real” world. The app Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm as the most popular app in history. At this point you are probably saying to yourself, “wait a minute… is this guy really talking about Pokemon Go on a Higher Ed blog???”. Yes I am.

It can hardly be considered out of context to talk about gaming and education. A simple Google search of Pokemon and education will give you enough results to… well… write a Higher Ed blog post.

The lighter side of the Pokemon Go craze is that it offers ways for Universities and its employees to interact with students. If you walk into the USF St. Petersburg library you’ll see a way for students to vote for their favorite Pokemon. While this may seem silly, it offers students a way to engage and feel a part of USFSP. This sense of community can only be a positive factor when it comes to student retention and satisfaction. Read this Ed Tech Magazine article to see how other Universities are using Pokemon Go to interact with, and even recruit, students.

There is also a deeper possibility for Higher Ed and Pokemon Go. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a faculty fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, explains in this article that “Perhaps, this new fad is teaching us something that goes well beyond the capture of anime. It might just bear the seeds of a potential learning revolution.”  There is no doubt that educational technology companies will be studying Pokemon Go in hopes of creating something that can bring this type of excitement and engagement to learning.

But how can professors use Pokemon Go to help them right now? In this article from Ed Tech Magazine, you can see how some already are. It is, of course, very possible that Pokemon Go will be a short lived phenomenon but the lessons for educators will remain. Find ways to engage students where they are, help them see the future possibilities of today’s fads, and find creative ways to incorporate things students love into your classroom.

What is Active Learning?

Active learning 2Active learning is a term that has been tossed around quite a bit in the last few years. While active learning has gotten its share of positive press, it raises a host of questions. What is active learning? Is it an education fad? Should I use it? Can I do active learning in an online course? Let’s take a look under the hood and see what makes active learning tick.

Bonwell and Eison (1991) described active learning in which students, “do something and then reflect on the meaning of what they do.” While this simple description does get at the heart of active learning, it still really doesn’t describe how to recognize it when you see it, much less how to create active learning. Another way to describe active learning is that it is a technique of teaching in which students become active participants in the learning process, rather than passive consumers of knowledge. But, if we dig a little deeper, I think active learning can be best described by the criteria that makes students active in the learning process.

The first criterion is autonomy. Students become more participative when they have choices. Autonomy means the students feel a sense of agency in their own learning journey. Good examples are allowing students to create test questions, or allowing choices in their learning artifact for an assignment (presentation, paper, video, etc.). Autonomy supports intrinsic motivation, which in turn supports active student engagement.

The second criterion is relevance. This is where faculty really get to share their expertise and their passion for their field of research. This is your chance to show it off! Show students why what they are learning is important. Be creative at helping them connect their personal and professional goals to the content in your course. One great example comes from Nikki Stowell. She teaches a business law class and has her students post a picture they actually take to their Canvas course of what the law means to them. Relevance means students stay engaged and they tend to see content as important to them, rather than just busy work.

Our third criterion is exploration. Exploration encourages students by activating their curiosity. Curiosity can often trigger situational interest, which in turn can develop into long-term interest. One of the best ways to do this is to use problem based learning. Talk to your students about the big problems in your field and let them explore the ways in which researchers have grappled with those problems. Allowing students to explore your chosen field, with you there to guide them along the way, can be a fantastic learning experience.

The fourth, and last, criterion for active learning is reflection. We now come full circle back to our original definition. Reflection is the glue that makes learning stick. The practice of reflection is one that allows students to process their experiences in a new way by recalling the experience and sharing it with others. Reflection is most powerful when it is shared and makes for excellent discussions. Reflection allows students a freedom of expression which reactivates their experiences and creates lasting meaning.

To learn more about active learning we encourage you to attend our workshops on active learning here with OLITS and the CITL.
Bonwell, C., and J. Eison. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. AEHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No.1. Washington, US: Jossey-Bass.

Online Course Design Evaluation

Feedback pictureSeeking feedback from students is a key component to assist in determining necessary refinements to a course; however, you may find that the Student Assessment of Instruction that the USF System distributes to all students at the end of the semester is not designed to seek feedback in regards to the design of an online course.

OLITS Instructional Designers have developed a brief Online Course Design Evaluation with questions that seek meaningful feedback from students regarding common elements of an online course. The results can then be used by the Faculty member (and in consultation with an Instructional Designer if desired) to identify and implement refinements to improve the student learning experience within that course.

The questions on this evaluation include:

  1. How would you rank the structure, flow, and navigation of the course?
    1. Exemplary (perfect as is, change nothing)
    2. Commendable (overall above average and very strong)
    3. Adequate (does the job, but could be improved)
    4. Needs Improvement (requires a complete overhaul)
  2. Please share any comments regarding the previous question.
  3. How would you rank the written course materials? This includes the textbook, articles or any other forms of instructional content within the course.
    1. Exemplary (perfect as is, change nothing)
    2. Commendable (overall above average and very strong)
    3. Adequate (does the job, but could be improved)
    4. Needs Improvement (requires a complete overhaul)
  4. Please share any comments regarding the previous question.
  5. How would you rank the online course presentations? This includes the lecture presentations, examples, and any guest speakers.
    1. Exemplary (perfect as is, change nothing)
    2. Commendable (overall above average and very strong)
    3. Adequate (does the job, but could be improved)
    4. Needs Improvement (requires a complete overhaul)
  6. Please share any comments regarding the previous question.
  7. How would you rank the engagement of the course activities? This includes discussions, quizzes, and assignments.
    1. Exemplary (perfect as is, change nothing)
    2. Commendable (overall above average and very strong)
    3. Adequate (does the job, but could be improved)
    4. Needs Improvement (requires a complete overhaul)
  8. Please share any comments regarding the previous question.
  9. How would you rank the instructor’s presence throughout the course? This includes announcements, email communication, grading and feedback and any other instructor engagement.
    1. Exemplary (perfect as is, change nothing)
    2. Commendable (overall above average and very strong)
    3. Adequate (does the job, but could be improved)
    4. Needs Improvement (requires a complete overhaul)
  10. Please share any comments regarding the previous question.
  11. What in the course has been the most beneficial to you as a student?
  12. What could be done to this course to improve it?
  13. How many online courses have you taken?

Feel free to download the ZIP File to import the evaluation directly into your course in Canvas and use it as an anonymous survey. Or, contact your Instructional Designer today to learn more about how to customize these questions or implement the evaluation in an alternate format.