Canvas Webinars

From PowerPoint tips to engaging today’s digitally distracted learners, Instructure sponsors webinars on a variety of teaching and learning topics presented by leading experts to offer free professional development to those using Canvas.

Other popular topics include sessions on flipping the classroom, supporting at-risk students, integrating third party tools such as MyLab and McGraw Hill Connect, and using Canvas analytics.

To browse the archive of recorded webinars, or view upcoming topics, visit the Canvas Webinars webpage.

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Streaming Feature Films in Your Online Course with Swank Digital Campus

Have you ever wanted to use a full-length feature film as instructional material for your online course, but didn’t go for it because of copyright worries?

Well, worry no more! The USF System has a subscription to Swank Digital Campus. This is a streaming film service that integrates with Canvas and allows us to rent feature films for students to view in our online courses.

The selection is vast! From classics, to foreign films, to movies just released on DVD; you name it and they’ve probably got it!

Screen shot of swank website

So this means you can stream all eight Harry Potter movies for fun, right?

harry potter saying you wish

I do wish! But understandably, no.

Here are the criteria for use of the films:

  • Priority is given to online courses
  • Student enrollment should be over 50
  • There is a maximum of 5 titles per course
  • The film(s) must be used as instructional materials for a course activity

There is some flexibility with these guidelines, so talk with your Instructional Designer about  your specific goals.

To view a list of currently available titles, visit the USF Libraries Swank Rental Listing. If the title you are looking for is not listed in the current rentals, you can search the Swank Digital Campus Catalog to see if your desired film is available for rent.

Once the tool is integrated into the course, students will be able to visit the “Course Reserves” link on the left menu of your course throughout the semester. The films you have rented will be linked there and can be viewed upon signing in with a USF NetID and Password.

Also, all of the films through this service have Closed Captioning to improve accessibility (Karla approved!).

To learn more, or to integrate this tool into your course, contact your Instructional Designer at Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services.

 

Atomic Learning: Online Technology Tutorials for Students & Faculty

As we get further into the semester, students may find themselves in need of training on certain software programs to be able to complete major course activities and assignments such as creating presentations with Prezi or analyzing data using SPSS. When it comes to facilitating that participation and grading assignments, faculty may want a refresher on those programs or how to use certain feedback features in Canvas.

Through the USF system subscription to Atomic Learning, all members of the USF St. Petersburg community have unlimited access to online tutorials for commonly used web and software applications. These online training resources teach you “how do I do that” through a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand tutorial movies.  Topics include Microsoft programs, Adobe programs, Apple programs, Canvas, mobile apps, and much more.

To access this resource, log into Atomic Learning using your USF NetID and password.

Once logged into the Atomic Learning site, you will be able to browse or search for specific programs.

searching atomic learning

After finding the program you wish to learn more about, click on the Series Title to view the available tutorials.

al_prezipage

Then click on the title of the tutorial to load the video and learn more about the topic.

al_editor

For more help with getting started, view this text getting started guide (PDF) or video orientation.

If you have trouble with accessing this resource, contact the USF System Help Desk at 813-974-1222 or help@usf.edu.

If you have any questions about how to best use this resource for you or integrate it within a course, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services at 727-873-4409.

 

 

Higher Retention and Better Student Success? Yes Please.

In Higher Ed we are constantly trying to find ways to help students be successful while also trying to increase enrollment and retention. With budget and time constraints it can be difficult for universities and professors to achieve these goals. Universities are trying to tackle these problems with what may seem like unconventional approaches.

Successful Students

Successful and Happy Students

An article from Inside Higher Ed chronicles the efforts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to break the “Iron Triangle”.  The triangle they are referring to is the balance of quality, cost, and access. It often seems that one of the three parts of the triangle has to be sacrificed. UNC Greensboro is challenging that assertion with a project they have been running the past two years called CRAFT.

 

CRAFT is short for create and curate Content, Replace lectures with Active, and Flipped, Team-based learning. Specifically the project focused on general education courses and courses with high rates of students withdrawing or receiving low marks. They have had positive results and found that this format allows for more students to be enrolled in the class as well.

 

This type of strategy certainly seems like it could help bring quality, cost, and access together without the need for one of them to sacrificed. This is Higher Ed, however, and nothing is quite as simple as it sounds. Developing these courses takes a lot of time and support. It would be asking a lot of a professor to use the CRAFT method on their own.

 

The bigger message of this article, however, is that you can serve more students, retain more students, and help lower achieving students be more successful with a focus on active learning. When students are actively involved in the learning process they are more likely to be successful. There is research to back this up as a report from the National Academy of Science shows. They examined 225 studies and found that 3500 more students would have passed if active learning was used in those courses. That is certainly compelling data.

 

It can seem daunting when considering how to start or increase active learning in your courses. The good news is that here at USFSP, OLITS is here to help. We offer trainings on active learning and can help you add active learning to your courses. Check the OLITS Professional Development website to see when upcoming trainings are available or schedule an on-demand training with us. If you want to learn more about active learning, check out this blog post by our very own Otis Wilder.

 

ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS 2016

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: http://www.learninghouse.com/ocs2016/?utm_source=Internal&utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=OCS2016

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 Brookings.edu 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.

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.