I am hooked! I have been using Canvas for about 4 days now and in that time I have probably spent close to 20 hours playing around (thank goodness for toddler nap times / early bed times and newborns who don’t know that they are being forced to learn and new LMS with mommy). My husband has also said that it seems like I am borderline addicted. I have said that it is not an addiction, it is a process where things just seem to get into a rhythm and flow and it is hard to stop. I have now almost completed my grade 8 course that I will be rolling out in September to my students and I have started on my grade 9 course.
One of the features that I love about Canvas is the fact that I can take everything from my grade 8 course and copy it all into my grade 9 course. Although there are a lot of things that are not applicable, it is also nice that a simple click of a garbage can deletes everything that is not needed. This is also nice because I know that my grade 9 course will be easier and faster to set up than my grade 8 one was (although with knowing how I did
everything in the grade 8 course would also help make everything easier). I also like the fact that Canvas is free to use and it is online so you do not need access granted to you by someone else, you just sign up and get started. Even though this is a free LMS, I think that even if I had to pay for it, it is worth it. Apparently the participant limit is 200 people but as I max out at 40 students, that should be more than enough room for
I am very excited to use this platform for many reasons but peer feedback / communication is at the top of my list. As I was inserting assignments I realized that one of my options was ‘require peer reviews’ and I am very excited for my students to try this out. For next year I wanted my students to have a peer collaboration mark embedded in their learning and now I have the ability to easily incorporate it. I am also looking forward to my students using the discussion boards and tools to connect with one another because I know that they are not going to be living within a close proximity to each other so hopefully with discussion boards and office hours via Blackboard Collaborate, they will have the greatest amount of peer communication that I can think of possibly giving them.
My students complete work in booklets called PACEs (Program for Accelerated Christian Education) for parts of certain courses and these booklets come with paper based tests that they have to mail to me at the end of each quarter. So far I have been able to take the tests from the Social Studies PACEs and put them online so my students can complete the electronic version and save one more thing that has to be mailed. My hope is that I will be able to get a lot more of my tests and quizzes loaded into Canvas but with that being said, I know that math will always have to be paper based as I want students to be able to show their work and get part marks for their work, even if they do not get the final answer correct. English is the other subject that I am
struggling with to decide if it should be put online or kept as a paper based version so for now it is staying paper based but I might be changing that in the future. For now I am trying to figure out how to load pictures into tests so that I don’t have to eliminate any questions so once I have figured that out, I will be a very happy
There you have it, I am a huge supporter of Canvas and I could talk your ear off about how great it is if you let me (just ask my sister and husband - and newborn daughter for that matter alt). There are so many great things about it and I just want to meet the person who created it and give him or her a great big hug and tell them how great their LMS is! If you would like to know more, at the risk of me talking your ear off even more than I already have in this post, just contact me and I will fill you in on the awesomeness that is Canvas.