One of the stand-out sessions from this year’s New Faculty Institute was the presentation on the new technology of Canvas by WIlliam S. Durden. Titled “Creating Connectivity with Canvas: Designing Active Learning Environments,” this presentation covered specific Canvas tools that promote Connectivity, Alignment, and “Flipping” the Classroom.
On the Twitter feed he created for the session, Will wrote “Canvas SIMPLIFIES and STRENGTHENS learner interactions” and “Canvas facilitates ALIGNMENT.”
In addition to building a course module specifically for the session, Will used a combination of Think/Write/Discuss to connect participants with their previous experiences and with the other faculty sitting at their tables.
As Murphy would have it, the technology failed this session, and Will was unable to show attendees a short video titled “The Cool Things You Can Do With Canvas.”
He recovered gracefully, however, and fortunately he was able to access the course module he designed for his presentation, as well his presentation slides.
In the evaluations after the conference, when asked to “Select one or two transformative things you have learned about assessment, teaching, and learning over the two days of the Institute,” many participants cited the concepts and discussions from this session.
Rather than a more “nuts and bolts” approach to the LMS, attendees appreciated seeing Canvas in a more theoretical way, not just as a technology, but as a pedagogical tool for innovative practice. They also appreciated the opportunity to learn from their colleagues, as many faculty had experience “flipping” the classroom using emergent technologies.
You can find WIll (and follow him!) on Twitter at @CanvasConnect– or via more traditional methods (like his e-mail at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington).
Thank you again, Will and participants, for a great session!