Over the last two months, Canvas has been bringing in instructors from all over to talk about how they use Canvas. These streaming videos do last about an hour, but they are WORTH IT. If I share a video from this series, it’s because I have watched it, found it useful, and think it is applicable for those in higher education. Under the video I provide some of the highlights, but they do not replace the details and context from the video.

It can be challenging to maintain connection with students when they aren’t face-to-face. You can use the tools in Canvas to connect with your students. The ideas talked about in this video:

1.  Add a welcome module;
2. Provide a confidential student survey the first week;
3. Share and organize resources for each week/module;
4. Allow a feedback exchange each week for a point or two and ask for feedback:
  • How helpful are resources?
  • How helpful are assignments?
  • What do you need to be successful?
  • Great way to encourage students to reach out!
  • Students really react positively to this weekly opportunity in the end of term course evaluations;
5. Use the notes column in the gradebook;
6. Chunk info for your students;
7.  Use the “Message students who” function in the gradebook;
8. Use analytics to see who is engaging with your course and who isn’t
9. Use audio or audio/video comments in the gradebook;
Anywhere you can add your sense of presence to a course. Anywhere you can add comments, feedback, reminders. . . students appreciate it. Anything you can do to connect to your students it will make it a more amazing experience for you in an online environment. — Kona Jones is the Director of Online Learning and coordinates Faculty Academy at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She serves as a technology resource as well as an adjunct instructor of statistics.

See all the Live with Canvas series videos.