We asked – students answered. ADTL Julie Robert invited FASS students to give feedback on their Canvas experience in Autumn session and to tell us what academics can do to help them to successfully transition into the next semester.
Here are the students’ pain points with some quick and easy wins to improve their experience.
1. I’m struggling to get my head around Canvas
Some students still struggle to get the hang of Canvas or never really took the time to explore its features.
Let students know that help is available via the Help button in Canvas, remind them to check their notification settings, and have these quick links handy, as that should answer most of students’ questions about Canvas functions and some extra tips:
- General Canvas functions students might not know about
- A complete list of all Canvas ‘How to’ – features (also interesting for tutors)
- A list of the most important Canvas tasks and activities
2. I have a question but I don’t know when to ask it or I’m too shy to ask it
Students often want to ask questions right after the class but might not find the time or courage to ask. Try leaving the last five minutes for questions so that everyone can benefit from the answers and to reduce email load. Alternatively, encourage students to discuss their questions in breakout rooms first, or to type their questions in the Zoom chat, save the chat before you end the meeting and then create a Q&A page in the relevant Canvas module to respond to them after class.
3. I want to check that I have understood the material
Students find information retention in the online space more difficult and don’t know if they sufficiently engaged with and understood the content. Building in quick and automated feedback activities gives student extra security that they are on the right track.
Why not try to build in a H5P enabled activity (e.g. Flashcard or a Memory Game) for each module? You could also build some questions into your next Kaltura lecture recording with the Kaltura editor. Alternatively, create a Zoom poll (like a multiple-choice quiz) for your next Zoom class to see where your class is at and to address specific knowledge gaps right during your Zoom class (under ‘Personal Room’ – ‘Poll’).
4. What do I need to do, when do I do it and for how long?
- Label the pages on Canvas clearly (e.g. Before class/After class)
- Communicate clearly how much time they should spend on particular activities
- Click the ‘add to student to-do’ tick box at the bottom of the Canvas page (in edit mode) and select a specific date and time helps students to know what is required and by when
5. I don’t know how to upload my assignment to Turnitin
Students are having trouble with uploading their Turnitin submissions as the layout of Turnitin looks a bit different in Canvas. This is because all assignments look the same in Canvas and the word ‘Turnitin’ might not appear anywhere during the submission process.
UTS HELPS provide a quick guide for students on using Turnitin, including how to submit an assignment and how to read a similarity report. An additional comprehensive step-by-step guide to submitting Turnitin assignments can be found here.
If you have set up a Turnitin External tool assignment, students submit their assignment through an obvious Turnitin inbox on their Assignment page.
If you have set up a Canvas assignment with Plagiarism Review setting enabled, the steps for students to submit their assignment would be similar to any other Canvas assignment and they may not be aware that their assignment is being submitted through Turnitin. You will need to let students know that, once submitted, their assignments will automatically be checked for similarity against other sources within the Turnitin database.
6. I can’t find the digital receipt for my Turnitin assignment
Students don’t know if they have actually submitted in Turnitin and can’t see their Turnitin receipt.
7. I can’t find the Similarity report for my Turnitin assignment
To view their similarity report, students need to click on the coloured ‘similarity percentage’ tag next to their work in either the Turnitin inbox (Turnitin External tool assignment) or under Submission Details (Canvas assignment with Plagiarism Review enabled). This will open their similarity report in Turnitin Feedback Studio.
If you have set up a Turnitin External tool assignment and students can’t see your report, this is most likely due to the settings of the assignment in Canvas. Check your Turnitin settings by clicking on the ‘gear wheel’ icon in the top right corner of the Turnitin window on your Canvas assignment page. Under ‘Optional Settings’ choose the ‘Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date)’ option and click the tick box below.
8. I don’t know where to find the feedback for my assessment
Students don’t know where to view their assessment feedback. UTS has various options for academics to provide feedback. Try to be consistent and communicate clearly how students can access feedback:
- in REVIEW
- in Canvas, from the assignment submission page, under Submission Details (when using Canvas assignment with Plagiarism Review enabled)
- in Canvas, from the assignment submission page, under the Turnitin inbox (when using Turnitin External tool assignment).
Good luck for the end of the session!