Canvas @ Yale Lightning Talks: Creating Modules


My name’s Donna Cropley. I’ll give you a little
bit of background, I’m a senior admin assistant
over at Yale School of Public Health. And I work in the Environmental
Health Sciences department. And my chair this year
is going to teach, or has taught, public health
toxicology, which is EHS 503. And I was given the task
to create everything for the students in Canvas. So I had Jenn come
over to EPH with us and sit down with the
chair because he is new to the school, new to teaching,
and this is new to Canvas. So I had to have a meeting to
have everybody there to see what does he want to use Canvas
for and how can we get there. So we did have a couple of
meetings, actually, with Jenn. And we had some snafus
in the beginning. But thanks to Canvas,
we worked it out. So I have further
copies of the syllabus up here, if you’d like to see
it, because as you can see, it only goes to, I
believe, April 7th. And then the final is this week. So when I first
took a look at this, and then knew what Canvas
has, my thought was to– he’s having lectures on
Monday, discussions on Friday, so I thought, well, why
don’t we create modules? That was my thinking. So as soon as the syllabus
was done and finalized, I went into Canvas, and
I created everything you see here in the modules. So I did lecture first,
with the date, title. And on the syllabus,
he didn’t put in there lecture one,
discussion two, like that. So for the students,
I went in and I did lecture one, the title, and
who the speaker is going to be. It’s himself, and he has
guest speakers come in. So that’s the way I
created it in Canvas. And the only way
that you can see that is if I show it to you. [LAUGHTER] So Let me just get out of here. Is it ending? Nope. There we go. [INAUDIBLE] OK, and here’s the modules. And as you can see– because
when there was a presentation, I would be the one uploading
it to the students, hopefully, a few days
before the lecture. That’s what he prefers. Sometimes it’s the morning of. So I went in and, as you
can see, everything here, I created, lecture one, and
then the discussion after it. And they would know that
lecture one is the first one. And what I chose to do– he kind of left it up to me– but what I chose to
do is not publish until something was in there. That’s what I chose to do. And a couple of pointers,
if anyone in here is going to do that. We found out uploading
PowerPoint wasn’t so great. So you have to
take the PowerPoint and convert it to PDF. And the students were
able to get that better. So we found that out
on the beginning. [CHUCKLES] So we did
that, so everything’s PDF. And the other thing,
I would publish, but I also, on top of that,
have to send announcements to the students. I guess they don’t always
see, oh, something’s there. So now, every time I publish,
I go into Announcement and I just send an announcement. We learned this throughout. And as you can see, these are
all my announcements to them. Every time I
published something, I would let them
know, hey, it’s here. So they know when
it’s available, whether it’s two days
before, maybe the morning of. So that’s what I
utilized Canvas for. And that’s the way, when
I first looked at it, that I saw how to do it, in my
mind, was to put it in modules. Obviously, before I
uploaded the syllabus to syllabus, which
you can see in here– I don’t know how many
people have utilized any of these this
disks– but of course, the syllabus is
there, as you can see. Really, that’s about it. But those are my two pointers. And then, we go down. Here, there’s an option in
there to have the discussions indented a little bit. So sometimes, the presenters
would have their presentation and also papers, maybe. So I just make it in a
way where you look at it, you understand it, kind of
like looking at the syllabus was, in my mind, how
I was looking at it. So that’s what I utilized
Canvas for, so I don’t know. [LAUGHS] Just to give you
an idea what it looks like. And we’ll be doing
this next spring, too. Yes? Is it true that, when
you send an announcement, it doesn’t go to
the regular email? I heard that. Correct. My understanding is
it is through Canvas. So you have to go into
Canvas to [INAUDIBLE]? I believe so,
because I know when– although, when I
send an announcement, I do get an email that I did it. Yes. So I’ll just speak to that. It does get sent out to
your Yale email account, but every person can
control what notifications they receive. So if they feel like
somebody’s posting way too many announcements,
they can turn off Announcements so that they won’t
keep getting those. But the default setting is
that they would receive emails whenever an
announcement is posted. And I think that was the problem
is it’s left up to the students to have that Announcement
piece on or off. So some would say to the
faculty member, I never got it. And I’m like, my god, I sent it. And then, we were finding out
who has it on, who has it off. You don’t know. So the best thing is to
just do an announcement. And they’re supposed
to all get it. So I hope they do. And it worked, after we
worked that out a little bit. So I don’t know if there’s any– You mentioned that
you were having a problem with the PowerPoints. Is that because the PowerPoints
were a lower file size? Or did you have special
transitions in PowerPoint that just didn’t carry over? Probably both. I’m thinking the files
were probably pretty big. The lecture’s an
hour and a half. And I’ve seen 75 slides. You might have figures
in there and everything, so think that was the problem. I really never found out,
but the easy, quick fix is just to do PDF. And they were able to
download it that way. It was much better. So that’s– sure. Did you get any feedback
from the students about being able to
navigate this way, rather than ways you might
have done it in the past? In Classes*v2, it was
a different instructor. And he didn’t utilize it the
way that this professor does. He just would put
slides up there. And he didn’t have
guest lecturers. You know, this is
very detailed, which is the way he was running it. Classes*v2 was very easy–
a few slides here and there, so it was more easier. With Canvas– I did hear
we have a TA for the class. And they would like
everything through Canvas. They like Canvas. They like the Assignment piece,
or the Paper piece, everything to be through Canvas. So we decided to go that
way, rather than email. Don’t email me the final,
or wherever they’re using, the TA is taking
care of that piece. And they said that to her, and
then she came back and told us. And this is PDFs of what
the PowerPoint would be, not what the resources are? Or do people use the modules
for resources as well? And you wouldn’t put
them in the other place, you’d put them in this place? Resources? You mean papers? PDFs that you’d file– files. Yeah. I Use it in modules, because
they would give papers, which were PDFs, as part of the– like, say it’s a discussion,
and it’s two papers they’re going to discuss. So it’s a PDF. So I put it in that
piece that’s Discussion– you can see it in there– and
I would upload the two papers and explain the two
files attached are part of the discussion today, which
is really a lot of information, so specifically, they
know what’s going on. And like I said, they
seemed to like that piece. There was a question there. I think that the benefit to the
students in putting everything they need for that
session, the readings, the links to the discussions, if
they’re submitting assignments, PowerPoints, in Classes*v2, they
would need to go to one place to find the files, another
place to find the discussion. This way, all they need
to do is go to modules, and then we’re not
going to miss anything. Right. And my thought was, this one
week, this week is a module. He had a lecture on Monday,
what’s attached to that? Underneath, because it’s
Friday, is a discussion. What’s attached there? So they can look at it. And I think, pretty much,
I put dates on all of them. For me, I had to
have the dates– you know, what’s going on April
3rd, what’s going on April 10th, basically, what this is. So that’s the way
I looked at it. I think it works. So I’m going to do the same next
year, unless I hear different. [LAUGHTER] If you’re teaching courses
where maybe there’s some overlap of
content, would you be able to just copy the
entire module from this course and move it over
to another course? I don’t know. Absolutely. Yeah. You can definitely copy
content from any course. You can copy as much or as
little from another course. So you could do a
full course copy, or you could be very
targeted and say, I just want this
specific module, or this specific file
from the files there. Great. I think I’m done, right? [APPLAUSE] Oh, thank you.

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