Canvas is an online Learning Management System (LMS) and one of the most powerful teaching tools that educational institutions worldwide have adopted thanks to its streamlined functionality, intuitive user interface, and robust features.

This revised second edition of Canvas LMS Course Design will show you how to design, create, and teach engaging classes in online, hybrid, or fusion settings using the Canvas LMS.

The book will guide you through the steps of setting up your Canvas account, creating activities and assignments, designing and customizing the course layout, and teaching your course. Whether you're using Canvas through your institution or using a Free for Teachers instance of Canvas, you'll be able to use Canvas for grading, feedback, and communication with and between students. As you progress, you'll learn how to integrate external apps and services with Canvas. Finally, the book features an exclusive section detailing how you can use Canvas's built-in resources as well as other resources to tackle challenges while working with Canvas. Throughout, this book will give you the technical knowledge you need to create unique learning experiences for students.

By the end of this book, you'll be able to successfully teach online with the help of logical descriptions and step-by-step screenshots that clearly explain how to build a phenomenal course.

Who this book is for

This book is for educators who want to use Canvas to deliver instructions in online, hybrid, or fusion teaching models. Whether you're new to online learning or a seasoned expert, you will learn both the primary functions and the advanced features of Canvas with this book. As a minimum, beginner-level experience with online learning is assumed given the widespread implementation of distance learning due to the pandemic.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Canvas, covers how to access Canvas, create an account, and navigate the home screen. Once you have learned your way around the site, you will learn how to set up your Canvas profile, enter your contact information, adjust your general settings, and configure your notification preferences. Next, you will learn how to create a Canvas course and how to begin participating in a course that has been set up by your institution.

Chapter 2, Building Your Canvas Course, covers the foundations of building your Canvas course. You will start by exploring the Course Status checklist, which will guide you through the process of building your course. Next, you will consider some important ideas in planning your course and how to best use the features of Canvas for teaching. After this, you will learn how to import content from another course on Canvas or from another LMS. Finally, you will learn how to add your own content to the course, and we will explore the types of assignments and activities you can create within Canvas.

Chapter 3, Getting Ready to Launch Your Course, covers how to add students to your course, select which content will be most useful to your students, choose a layout for the sequence of the content, add calendar events, and publish your course. By the end of this chapter, your course will be totally built, organized, designed, and published and you will be ready to begin using Canvas to teach your course.

Chapter 4, Teaching Your Canvas Course, teaches you how to communicate with students using the Inbox, post announcements for students to see, use the Gradebook and Learning Mastery features, grade using the SpeedGrader, and schedule and run synchronous online class meetings. Working through these features will ensure you have the skills required to engage with your students in effective and personalized ways to empower them to master the course's content.

Chapter 5, Exploring Special Features, looks into some of the more advanced special features available through Canvas. You'll begin by learning how to create collaborations between students that allow them to work on documents together online. Then, you will learn how to set up learning outcomes and create rubrics. Finally, you will look into using the powerful analytics and statistics tools within Canvas to monitor your students' progress, gauge and bolster student engagement, and map interactions between users from course to course.

Chapter 6, Utilizing and Integrating Apps, begins by exploring the Canvas mobile app. After becoming familiar with the functionality and power of the Canvas mobile app, you will move on to learning how to integrate outside apps and services into Canvas. These integrations will harness the power of many apps and services that have become prominent in the world of education to engage your students with course content and skills in thoughtful and meaningful ways.

Chapter 7, Where to Go for Help, examines the vast number of built-in resources Canvas has to offer that you can utilize to help solve any questions or problems you may encounter. You will also discuss other resources, whether online or through your institution, that can help you solve problems and answer questions you might encounter. You will learn about the Canvas Guides, reporting a problem to Canvas, how to obtain pricing information for an institutional Canvas account, requesting a new feature for Canvas, and finding help from colleagues.

Chapter 8, Now You're Ready!, teaches you how to export your course to your computer for preservation or later use. Next, you will tie everything you've learned together through a discussion of how Canvas can help you and your students achieve educational goals while acquiring important 21st-century skills. Given the unprecedented events of 2020 that necessitated all educators to adapt their instruction significantly, often to online platforms such as Canvas, this chapter provides an opportunity for reflection and looks to the future relationship between technology and education.

Appendix: References and Resources, provides information on materials and concepts referenced throughout the book, as well as other resources that you might find helpful as you learn and grow as an online educator. Many of these resources reference broader topics relating to teaching and learning in the 21st century, designing online learning environments, and conceptualizing online education. In addition to a description, connections to Canvas are included for each resource that you might find helpful as you explore online education through Canvas.

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