This has been an exciting week in the development of our online course because we are finally finished. I have to say that I am really excited about they way it developed throughout the semester and I am happy with the product as it stands right now. Our course isn’t a complete course…yet. But I think Nancy and I are going to continue to develop the course in order to use it in our Technology 9 course or Information Processing 10 course at our school. I feel as though the rest of the course will come together nicely because we have laid out our partial course so nicely that it will be easy to complete it by adding the other modules.
I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Canvas when I first started exploring it. I’m not sure what made me a little skeptical about it, but I didn’t think that it was going to be a very user friendly LMS (learning management system). As I started exploring and using it I was happy to find that it was actually really user-friendly. My initial impression was that it was going to be very crowded and unorganized for the students when they accessed the course. However, it is actually really easy to organize the content without making the course seem crowded or overwhelming.
One thing I wish could be changed is the icons that are used to indicate whether something is a content page, file, assignment, quiz, etc. They are all the same colour and the image displayed within the icon is difficult to differentiate if you are looking quickly at something. Another problem I encountered was forgetting to publish the items I created when I finished them. If you don’t publish, the users cannot see it or access them – obviously. There were multiple times I signed in as a student to see how things looked only to realize that I never published my work so I had to log back in as the teacher to publish the items.
Now that I feel comfortable with Canvas I feel as though I’m going to move my flipped classroom content onto Canvas from Edmodo. Edmodo is a great tool for communicating, but as a tool for organizing a course it really isn’t ideal. On Edmodo you have to create folders for your content and it organizes information within those folders based on the name of the files, or perhaps the date you uploaded the files. Anytime you post an announcement on the homepage it bumps previous posts down, so it is easy for posts to get lost. You can pin posts to the top of the page, but if you do that you’ll have a bunch of posts pinned which will continue to bump thing anyways so that defeats the purpose.
I really like how you can organize the different modules on Canvas. I like that you can upload files or links and that you can create quizzes and assignments right on the LMS. When students click on the Assignments tab it gives them a summary of all the assignments that are posted and their due dates. I think this is great for students to stay on top of things and stay organized. Students also have the option to upload files to submit an assignment right on the LMS. You can also create a rubric for each assignment so that the assessment/evaluation is on there attached to the assignment.
I am looking forward to completing the course with the help of Nancy (hopefully) and using Canvas to develop my other courses at school. Did you use Canvas? What did you think?