Sunday, September 25, 2016

Canvas Roll-Out

It has been a few weeks since the beginning of the semester in our A&P courses. I rolled-out an introduction to Canvas LMS which included the following:

  • how to access Canvas from a desktop or laptop
  • how to access Canvas using the mobile app for phones and tablets
  • where to find my contact info, daily summary of everything we did in class as well as the suggested homework, and modules
  • how to navigate between modules
  • how to progress through modules in a linear fashion

We used a laptop cart with one laptop per student. The roll-out was fairly smooth, with hitches mostly like the typical user name or password issues. Our course did not appear on the dashboards of several students either on the web version or the app. It was simply because the course was not favorited. Once starred, the course appeared. Homework that night was to get into Canvas, play around and start to get familiar with the module set-up.

Some students were already familiar with Canvas, as there are a handful of teachers in our building who started using it last year. I encouraged my students to get familiar with it, as our teacher websites (hosted by SchoolWires) were going to fall pretty much by the wayside. In addition, most colleges and universities use some sort of LMS like Canvas or Blackboard. About two weeks ago, I received this tweet from a former student:

All-in-all it was a fairly easy roll-out and students were quite receptive.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Asynchronous Learning

Setting-up asynchronous flipped mastery is coming along nicely. I have organized our first unit (Introduction to A&P) activities around several core concepts. I decided to go with the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 numbering system for each concept, with the integer portion correlating to the "reference book chapter" and the fractional portion referring to the sequential order throughout the unit.

For each given concept students have a several assignments to choose from:

  • a book assignment w/ accompanied guiding questions
  • a Visible Body assignment w/ accompanied guiding questions
  • a video assignment
  • a fourth "other" activity
Once those assignments have been completed, students will take a practice quiz on Canvas. Anatomy lends itself nicely to these automated quizzes as it is generally low-level recognition and memorization. After an 85% proficient has been earned on the practice quiz, students will then be eligible to take the corresponding paper quiz in class.

The time-consuming portion of setting-up these assignments and formative assessments has been aligning all three/four assignments with each concept in such a manner that students can easily find resources on Canvas. So, for example, concept 1.5g is blood pressure. Book reading assignment 1.5g is parallel to video assignment 1.5g, practice quiz 1.5g and real quiz 1.5g.

Now that alignment is complete, I need to import last semester's classes Canvas modules into this semester, tweak the assignment/activity titles to match concept alignment. Should be good to go then. Stay tuned...