Bank of America Professor of Business
Professor of Economics
Instructional Designer: Lauren Kelley
A learning assessment to be taken during an online synchronous class session
Blended learning assessment using a Canvas quiz and assignment
Professor Link wanted to transition his face-to-face learning assessments into student-friendly ones for the online synchronous learning environment for his economics students. Professor Link used the welcome bar to brainstorm his typical face-to-face expectations for learning assessments and how these could be emulated in the online synchronous setting. His learning assessment included four sections with a mix of question types: multiple-choice and essay questions. Part I of his exam assessed learning with multiple-choice questions and Parts II, III, and IV assessed students with essay questions that required the written responses.
We brainstormed the options for how students could submit demonstrated work in the form of well-labeled graphs that supported their written narrative for the essay portion of the exam. Initially, we thought the file upload option within Canvas Quizzes as a question type would be ideal because it would keep students in the exam. Unfortunately, once we tested this out, we realized that this would prove confusing for students and perhaps create additional anxiety as a multiple-step within an exam question for a timed assessment. In addition, students could only upload one file per essay question and some of the essay questions required the demonstrated work of more than one graph. We also considered that there was no guarantee that students would include their names on the graphs to ensure that their work could be easily identified. This option was not only challenging for students but also for Professor Link. I remember Professor Link expressing, “students will struggle with this option.” The file upload would force a batch download of all the uploaded files in the exam. This would have proven difficult to manage and time-consuming no matter how organized you are as a faculty member.
These days it is not uncommon to use hybrid learning assessments such as Canvas Quizzes with Canvas Assignments. We brainstormed how this might work better for Professor Link and his students. We played around with this option using a staging site, which would allow us to publish both a copy of his Canvas Quiz and mock Canvas Assignment to access Canvas’ student view. With this plan, once students completed their multiple-choice questions for Part I and their narratives for Parts II, III, and IV in the Quiz, they would access a Canvas assignment to upload their labeled graphs illustrating their work from the essay questions. As we were practicing from the student’s perspective, this led us to really think through availability, specifically for the Canvas Assignment. After all, students would be uploading their work which would include multiple files (the Quiz question type for file upload would not allow us to do this). In addition, each student’s file uploads would appear in Speedgrader under their name regardless of the multiple file uploads. The added bonus with Canvas Assignment was that this would not require any file downloads like that of the file upload feature in Quizzes. Professor Link could simply review all his students’ submissions right there in Speedgrader as well as annotate on the uploaded graphs with submission comments.
This was a learning assessment with many variables to account for such as how students could demonstrate their work, availability dates, a time limit, and students who needed extra time. The Welcome Bar was a great resource for Professor Link to brainstorm and work through a solution that was user-friendly for him as well as his students.
About IT-ATS Instructional Design Services
We transform your teaching by following systematic, research-backed processes to turn your teaching ideas into reality. We bring our teaching experience and instructional design skills to deliver on our commitment to your teaching success. We embrace a team-based approach with Faculty Commons partners along with support professionals from around campus. Most of all, we help you build great Canvas courses.
by Lauren Kelley