Hilary: Welcome to the 14 Elements for Canvas Success. I'm here to introduce you to the 14 Elements for Canvas Success so you can better understand how they have been designed to help you as a course coordinator or academic deliver courses in Canvas.
Hilary: What are the 14 Elements to Canvas Success? They are the compulsory foundation from which courses will be built, allowing you the scope as the course coordinator to add the disciplines, specifics and innovations of your course content, shaping the pedagogy of what you deliver in class and online. Without these compulsory elements, RMIT courses will not go live in Canvas as it won't be providing the experience students desire.
Hilary: The 14 elements focus on providing core consistent experience for all students at RMIT. One of the main request students have in regards to RMIT courses is that they want to be able to access course materials and assignments that have a consistent look and feel. They also want to access them from consistent locations.
Hilary: In other words, RMIT students have struggled to reliably access the materials they need when they need them, and in a format they can understand either through the LMS or in face to face classes. Thus, in Canvas, we are heading towards a meaningful look and feel, allowing the LMS champions and you as the course coordinators to confidently create a course that meets RMIT's aspirations. Let's take a look at what each element does and how it can help you and your students.
Hilary: The first element is Course Banner and Welcome Page. The course banner is designed to provide students with a quick visual reference of what course they are in, where they sit within the university such as the school. In addition, the short description on the homepage provides context about the course and how to begin engaging with your teaching and the learning resources provided.
Hilary: Element 2, the Introductory Announcement. Your introductory announcement allows you to connect with your students before the course begins, providing a sense of teacher presence and specific semester delivery details about the course. The announcement also establishes that this will be a method you will use to communicate with your students through the course.
Hilary: The third element is a Course Welcome and Orientation Module. This module is an important addition to your course and provides an orientation to the course environment, contextualising information around how the course is organised and the use of Canvas. Some pages within the orientation module have been created for you including the library and study support page and the policies and guidelines page.
Hilary: The fourth element is the Welcome to the Course Page. This page is where you, the course coordinator can talk about your passion for your course and the key concepts you will be teaching about and how these connect with your students' future life and work. This will be done using a welcome video that can be reused for future cohorts and allow you to cater for students both on campus and online. Here, you will also provide a link to the course guide, part A and B so that students can identify the course learning
outcomes, an important part of planning their studies and understanding the purpose of their assessments.
Hilary: The fifth element is the Teaching Team or Staff Page. The Teaching Team Page or Staff Details Page is where you provide information to students on how best to contact you. This is an opportunity to ensure you are contacted by your preferred method and that students make the most of your available consultation hours, the support you offer, and can see your suggested response time. You might also want to write a short bio or link to your professional site if you have industry connections.
Hilary: Element number six, Canvas in this Course Page. This is a great addition to your course, especially as we transition from Blackboard to Canvas. This is a page where you can advise students on how you expect them to utilise Canvas in the context of your course and explain your intent behind the teaching materials and resources you have populated in your Canvas course to support face to face classes, studios, or workshops. Maybe you want your students to read materials, undertake quizzes and watch videos before each class session. This will allow you to gather feedback ahead of the class around their knowledge and skill level and spend time engaging in more interactive experiences when face to face.
Hilary: The seventh element is Course Queries or a monitored FAQ discussion. A forum or social space in your Canvas course will allow you to develop answers to common questions from your cohort and allow fellow students to support and share knowledge. Thus, reducing administrative work such as answering individual emails. You should monitor this regularly to provide support and can manage larger cohorts by having a course queries for each student section.
Hilary: The eighth element is Core Schedule. The schedule is where you convey the learning and teaching journey for students, allowing them to plan their studies and personal commitments around assessments, due dates or difficult materials. Use a schedule to show how completing certain activities or planning for assessment requirements will help ensure success for your students and allow them to see the big picture in terms of course structure.
Hilary: The ninth element is Active Content Menu Items. You may not wish to have all your course content in Canvas, but we expect that at minimum you will provide a welcome and orientation module and assignment materials and utilise the announcements and grades features. This means the following Canvas course menu items will be active: the home, announcements, assignments, and grades so that students can navigate your course.
Hilary: The tenth element is Content Menu Structure for additional items. As you add more content and utilise Canvas to maximise its features to support your course delivery and compliment your face to face teaching time, you'll need to ensure the navigation menu is consistently organised to allow students to navigate with ease. Simply ensure that if content areas are active, they are in the order displayed.
Hilary: Element number eleven, Content Presentation. This is purely about ensuring your content is displayed correctly and can be accessed by students. Check your links using the link checker function in Canvas and make sure they connect with the right resources. And of course, ensure correct attribution for images or videos used to showcase best practice for students.
Hilary: Element number twelve, Assessment Tasks are Present. It is absolutely vital that you give students a fair and informed chance to succeed in your course, which requires making assessment tasks and details present when your course goes live. Assessments must be populated in the assignments' area of Canvas and be consistent to those described in the course guide and appropriate for assessing the course learning outcomes.
Hilary: The next element is Essential Information is Present for Each Assessment Item. Provide what your students need to know for success by making sure your assessment includes: details that are consistent with the course guide, a weighting score or percentage, a clearly marked assessment criteria such as a rubric or list, a due date, and finally, that they're set up correctly for the assessment type with a suitable submission point. All these details allow students to create a study plan to focus on the right learning materials or additional research needed and to prepare ahead of time for the work required by seeking help early.
Hilary: The fourteenth element is Style and Branding. Utilising a particular visual style for your course in line with RMIT style and branding guidelines ensures that students engage with aesthetically pleasing content. Furthermore, establishing the right use of style will help with accessibility. Don't disengage students with weird colours or fonts or poor audio and video standards when you have an important message to convey.
Hilary: As you can see, the 14 Elements are easy to achieve and are not about changing your voice as an academic expert, but instead support you in achieving a solid foundation of good teaching practice using Canvas.
Hilary: As you attend scheduled transformation workshops, you will be supported and integrating these 14 Elements in your course, allowing you the opportunity to focus on your content and exciting opportunities to innovate.
Hilary: On behalf of all of the team that is helping to bring Canvas to RMIT, thanks for watching this video and we look forward to seeing all of the wonderful things that you create in Canvas.
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