News

Ally Walkthrough

Ally Walkthrough

Welcome to Ally!

Learn about the new accessibility tool that has been integrated into Canvas and how this will help both students and instructors change the way they engage with online content. The Ally tool comes loaded with alternative formats that allow all users to customize the way they access and view course content. Check out the new Ally walkthrough video here!

In addition the alternative formats can be used on all devices: computers, tablets, and mobile phones!  Furthermore, the tool comes with reporting at the course level to assist instructors in ensuring their content is as accessible as possible. The video walkthrough provides an in-depth look at the tool within our Canvas LMS and upon checking out the features of the tool you can access the same features in any course when you log into Canvas. On the Ally resource under the Instructional Technology page you can access the walkthrough video as well as other tutorials. Click here for tutorials and resources for Ally!

New Instructional Technology Webpage

New Instructional Technology Webpage

Innovation and creativity are hallmarks in education and are no different at Saint Mary’s. The Instructional Technology team has been hard at work to revamp training and access to support the needs of faculty and students. With the move to Canvas, Instructional Technology is working to support the Saint Mary’s community by amping up the skill set of each user to within a handful of technology tools used across the learning environments. In doing so we are proud to announce the new Instructional Technology website and will grow to encompass trainings that not only provide the technical background but are also easily accessible on any device. Check out the new site by clicking here!

The new Instructional Technology webpage (formerly EdTech) is not only advancing what is possible with training and technology tool walkthroughs, but also through how the site can be accessed. The new page is easily accessible on any device, let it be your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. The site will adapt its organization of the content to ensure you can access it whether working form home or on the go. On the new Instructional Technology webpage you can access information and trainings on the common instructional technology tools and solutions used at Saint Mary’s University. Besides trainings, there is also a research article of the month to let visitors stay current with up-and-coming trends, conversations, and tools in the higher-ed community. In addition there are links to recorded trainings, best practices in education, and a link to schedule a personalized one-on-one (or small group) training with a member of the Instructional Technology team!

Finally, the pages within the new Instructional Technology site are also being revamped with upgraded content, so be sure check back for updates. The Ally page showcases new trainings and walkthroughs that will be a consistent theme on all Instructional Technology pages. We invite you to check out the new site, and if you have any comments or feedback on the site and or what else it can offer please let us know!

First Canvas Training Recordings Available

First Canvas Training Recordings Available

Thank you to those who were able to attend the live Canvas trainings last Wednesday and Friday. For the rest of you, we now have the recordings of those events available in Panopto. You can always find them on the recordings section of the CELT site, or you can bookmark this post itself.

Each video is three hours long, but Instructure is going to be sending us professionally edited versions soon. We know that many of you want the recordings, ASAP, though, so they supplied these as well.

Part One: Introduction, Communications, Assignments

  • Session 1, 9-10: Welcome to Canvas
    • Introduction to the Canvas Dashboard: Course Cards, To Do Lists, and Starrint Courses
    • Setting Up Your Account: Notification Preferences and Settings
    • How to Get Help: Contacting Support
    • Customizing your Course Layout: Course Cards, Home Page Options
  • Session 2, 10-11: Communication on Canvas
    • Using the Calendar: Calendar views, Adding Events, Adding Assignments, Using the Scheduler
    • Introduction to Canvas Inbox: Communicating with Students, Sending Messages, and Submission Comments
    • Notification Settings
    • Using Announcements: Communicating with Students, Delaying Posting
  • Session 3, 11-12: Creating Assignments
    • Assignment Groups vs. Assignment Modules
    • Assignment Settings: Google Cloud Assignments, Rubrics
    • Assignment Groups: Changing Due Dates, Weighting Grades, Direct Share/Senting

Part Two: Quizzes/Test Creation, Gradebook and Speedgrader, Modules

  • Session 4, 9-10: Creating Quizzes
    • Quiz Basics: The Quiz Engine, Quiz Types, Quiz Settings (Multiple Attempts, Timing, Restrictions, etc.)
    • Question Building: Auto-graded questions, Teacher Intervention and Essay Questions, Stimulus Questions, Question Feedback
  • Session 5, 10-11: Grading in Canvas
    • Submitting Work: How to use Student View and Submit a “test submission”
    • Introduction to Grading: How to use the Gradebook, How to use Speedgrader, Annotation Options, Comments, and Mobile Grading
  • Session 6, 11-12: Bringing Everything Together
    • Introduction to Modules: Why Modules?, Course Organization, Re-ordering Content, and Courseflow
    • Adding Content to Modules: Using Existing Content, Content Types, Creating Content in Modules
    • Organizing Modules: Text Headers and Symbols, and Indentation
    • Controlling Access to Content: Locking Modules/Content, Pre-requisites, and Requirements
    • Structuring Content Delivery: How to Link to Modules on the Homepage or Syllabus
Canvas Training Details for September 30 and October 2

Canvas Training Details for September 30 and October 2

While many courses at Saint Mary’s will not be moving to Canvas until 2021, we want to make sure you have the training you need to teach in Canvas and migrate your courses to the new system. To that end, we have invited Instructure’s professional Canvas trainers to give us six hours worth of hands-on training on how to teach in Canvas. If in-person training isn’t something you need, you can already use the self-paced “Growing with Canvas” course to learn at your own speed.

  • The first training on Canvas Basics, Communication, and Assignments will be Wedensday, September 30 from 9am to 12pm and you can register by RSVP here.
  • The second training on Canvas’s Gradebook, Quizzes, and Modules will be Friday, October 2 from 9am to 12pm and you can register by RSVP here.

Both trainings will allow you to come or go as you like — you don’t have to attend for the whole three hours.

We know that these times will not meet everyone’s schedule. It conflicts with both popular class times at the College and regular work schedules for our course-contracted faculty who teach full-time jobs. There will be many other trainings by CELT and Instructional Technology schedule at other hours if these do not work for you. We will also have recordings of these sessions available on the CELT site as soon as we can afterwards (and you can watch them at your own speed!)

Those trainings will be:

  • Wednesday, September 30, 9am-12pm
    • Session 1, 9-10: Welcome to Canvas
      • Introduction to the Canvas Dashboard: Course Cards, To Do Lists, and Starrint Courses
      • Setting Up Your Account: Notification Preferences and Settings
      • How to Get Help: Contacting Support
      • Customizing your Course Layout: Course Cards, Home Page Options
    • Session 2, 10-11: Communication on Canvas
      • Using the Calendar: Calendar views, Adding Events, Adding Assignments, Using the Scheduler
      • Introduction to Canvas Inbox: Communicating with Students, Sending Messages, and Submission Comments
      • Notification Settings
      • Using Announcements: Communicating with Students, Delaying Posting
    • Session 3, 11-12: Creating Assignments
      • Assignment Groups vs. Assignment Modules
      • Assignment Settings: Google Cloud Assignments, Rubrics
      • Assignment Groups: Changing Due Dates, Weighting Grades, Direct Share/Senting
  • Friday, October 2, 9am-12pm
    • Session 4, 9-10: Creating Quizzes
      • Quiz Basics: The Quiz Engine, Quiz Types, Quiz Settings (Multiple Attempts, Timing, Restrictions, etc.)
      • Question Building: Auto-graded questions, Teacher Intervention and Essay Questions, Stimulus Questions, Question Feedback
    • Session 5, 10-11: Grading in Canvas
      • Submitting Work: How to use Student View and Submit a “test submission”
      • Introduction to Grading: How to use the Gradebook, How to use Speedgrader, Annotation Options, Comments, and Mobile Grading
    • Session 6, 11-12: Bringing Everything Together
      • Introduction to Modules: Why Modules?, Course Organization, Re-ordering Content, and Courseflow
      • Adding Content to Modules: Using Existing Content, Content Types, Creating Content in Modules
      • Organizing Modules: Text Headers and Symbols, and Indentation
      • Controlling Access to Content: Locking Modules/Content, Pre-requisites, and Requirements
      • Structuring Content Delivery: How to Link to Modules on the Homepage or Syllabus

If you have any questions about the training, please email CELT@smumn.edu.

Canvas Access, Migration, and Trainings are here!

Canvas Access, Migration, and Trainings are here!

The LMS Task Force has lots of news to share with you on the progress of the Canvas implementation. While we have been piloting our first canvas courses this fall (in Spanish, no less) we have also added to our team.  We are grateful to have our new Director of Instructional Technology for the Twin Cities, Abram (Abe) Hedtke, join our team. He has even created a short video to summarize the big updates:

Access to Canvas

The biggest news is that you now have access to Canvas! That’s right. You have been hearing about it for a long time, but you can finally try it out by going to https://smumn.instructure.edu. You’ll log in with your Saint Mary’s username and password (just like Blackboard now). If your regular username doesn’t seem to work, try using all CAPS. Once you are logged in, you will see that you have access to a self-paced training course called “Growing with Canvas” as well as a Sandbox course where you can try out anything and everything in the system. Our many thanks to Tianna Johnson and Lincoln Scully along with the IT team have done a lot of work to make this possible.

Migration Process

Second, as announced in a previous Cardinal Update, the course migration process is underway. Many SGPP Blackboard courses are being migrated right now to be ready for offering in Spring 1 and Spring 2 using the K-16 migration solution. LMS Task Force members Greta Poser and Abram Hedtke are working with the program leaders of the first programs identified for spring migration. The rest of the SGPP and College courses will be migrated during the spring so that everyone has plenty of time to tweak their course shells before their courses are offered in the Summer and Fall. This timeline will allow instructors to experiment with Canvas during the whole spring term(s) to learn the new LMS and get your courses just how you want them. For our SGPP online programs currently offered in the Engage platform, the timeline is a bit different but is also underway. With our Wiley partner leading this migration effort, the migration will include moving the courses into Canvas as well as a post migration professional clean up to ensure they are ready to teach. Our LMS Task Force members are working with respective program leaders on this migration effort as well.

Canvas Training

Finally, Canvas training is happening now. Once you log in to Canvas, you’ll see our first option for training: a self-paced course in Canvas called “Growing with Canvas”. For some of you, this is all that you will need to figure out the new LMS. But we are also going to give you many more opportunities, starting with official Canvas trainers later this month. Here is the schedule, which you can also find on CELT’s Calendar or the new Canvas Updates page:

  • September 30, 2-5pm: Canvas Basics Part 1: Canvas Orientation, Communicating with Canvas, and Assignments
  • October 2, 11-2: Canvas Basics Part 2: Quizzes and Tests, Grading, and Modules
  • October 15, 10-5pm: Free Canvas Conference: CanvasCon, for those who want to dive deep into all that Canvas can do

The first two workshops will be recorded for any who cannot attend and the recordings will be posted on the CELT site. After these initial sessions, we will hold internal training on these and similar topics, including sessions on polishing up your migrated courses and special sessions to learn how to do various Blackboard tasks in Canvas.

We thank you all for your partnership throughout the transition and look forward to exploring Canvas together with you. For more detailed updates between Cardinal Updates, and training schedules, you can visit https://celt.smumn.edu/canvas. You can also email lms@smumn.edu with any questions.

Why was I Invited to Growing With Canvas?

Why was I Invited to Growing With Canvas?

Did you receive a mysterious email saying you were invited to the “Growing with Canvas” Teacher Training course? Or did you go to https://smumn.instructure.com, enter your username and password and see this “course card” on your dashboard?

dashboard icon for growing with canvas

Don’t fret — it is not spam or phishing. In fact, for many of you this will be your first opportunity to interact with Canvas, Saint Mary’s new Learning Management System. If you follow the link and log into Canvas (you may need to use all CAPS for your username), you should see that you are enrolled in Growing with Canvas — a self-paced course that will allow you to learn to use Canvas as an instructor on your own time.

modules in Growing with Canvas

Growing with Canvas guides you through all of the standard Canvas functions via its course modules. And you will be able to practice what you learn in your Canvas sandbox course (also available in your courses) without the fear that anyone will be using your course while you experiment.

Growing with Canvas is just the first training opportunity we will offer with Canvas. Check out the Calendar on the main Canvas page to see when we will offer live sessions with Canvas trainers and trainings run by Saint Mary’s staff as well.

UDL Spotlight on Google Read & Write and Zoom

UDL Spotlight on Google Read & Write and Zoom

CELT often partners with Access Services to promote some tips and technologies for increasing access to all students in our courses. All of these suggestions come from the idea of Universal Design for Learning (UDL): designing or improving our courses so they can reach as many learners as possible. (And if you would like to be part of that movement, the UDL PLC meets virtually each Friday at 9am.)

This month, we want to promote Google Read and Write, which can make your documents more accessible by:

  • allowing text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversions for students
  • turning copied pages into editable and screen-reader friendly text
  • translation between languages
  • and many other features that help students take notes, study, and do research on digital resources

We have a university-wide license for it, and an excellent tutorial video here. Please share it with your students and fellow faculty!

Also, the following resources will help make Zoom classes more accessible:

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