Sunday, April 13, 2014

Canvas - Learning Management System (LMS)

I have had the opportunity to build a course within Canvas, a learning management system created by a company named Instructure. This LMS is an opensource platform that individuals may use to develop and host online courses.

Although I had signed up and dabbled with it before, this was my first experience working within the application to build a fully online module.

The purpose of the activity was to design and develop a learning module to be included within a course.  I had selected the third semester Research Methods course that I teach at Algonquin College in order to assist learners with the concepts of references and citations. Feel free to take the tour below!

Some of the upsides of Canvas by Instructure:

  1. Very clean interface for students and instructors
  2. Tracking features for progress of students
  3. Quiz Feature for students to see if they have missed any questions
  4. Ability to navigate "through" the material by clicking on next.
  5. Easy to embed videos and widgets for learning.
Some of the downsides of Canvas:
  1. The Quiz building interface is cumbersome and clunky.
  2. Buttons are not able to be renamed in the Cloud based option.
  3. Unable to view student progress as a grid, only grades can be shown with all learners.
While there are some fabulous advantages to the tool, for retention and monitoring, there are still some things that would make this tool that much stronger. Perhaps in an enterprise version of the application these tools are available, however they are absent within the free version I currently have.

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