Moving to Canvas
I’ve moved to Canvas. How do I get started?
As you start using Canvas, we encourage you to consider how you might take advantage of the new features and functionalities in Canvas to increase collaboration, communication and engagement in your courses. Here are some tips for making the most of Canvas to develop meaningful student-centered learning experiences.
Make Learning Active
- Provide ample hands-on practice opportunities for each learning objective.
- Use techniques like peer instruction for whole-class participation.
- Scaffold only as much as needed to keep work challenging.
- Have students build habits of retrieving new knowledge, not just reviewing.
Make Activities More Authentic
- Design mock sessions or role-play activities based on real-life situations.
- Use (and encourage students to use) real-world resources from the open web.
- Model assessments after actual life or career responsibilities.
Develop Students’ Metacognition
- Prompt students to self-evaluate what they know and don’t know.
- Teach students to pause for reflection, using journals or shared note-taking.
- Explain how experts approach a problem, including the hidden mental steps.
- Use digital tools that provide easy access for review and self-editing.
Foster Intrinsic Motivation
- Foster growth mindsets by teaching students that mastery is a path, and everyone can succeed.
- Encourage students to create their own learning goals, and recognize their progress toward those goals.
- Introduce cooperative activities and collaborative projects that create a shared purpose.
Increase Students’ Responsibility
- Have students create their own learning tools, like reminders, task lists, and flash cards.
- Move from specific problem-based activities to open-ended, inquiry-based activities.
- Design projects that require student planning, milestones, and self-assessment.
- Shift more decision-making to students’ control on projects, resources, or even class policies.
If you’d like to discuss ideas for redesigning your course or just want to explore options for trying one or more new features in Canvas, please get in touch with us.
Can you provide a Canvas overview for us at our department/faculty meeting?
Absolutely! We’d love to give a Canvas overview at your department meeting. Please contact us with some possible dates, times and locations. We’d be happy to tailor our presentation to your needs if there are any particular Canvas features or functionalities you’d like to learn more about.
Please see our Upcoming Events section for information about our schedule for Canvas orientations, demos, workshops and events.
When can I start using Canvas?
Spring 2019 Canvas courses are available now. Just login to canvas.stanford.edu to get started.