Canvas Course Design Process
ELMS-Canvas Course Design Process for Faculty
DIT Learning Technology Design
The Learning Technology Design team often partners with university faculty on the (re)design of ELMS course spaces in order to enhance student engagement and innovate student learning. The process includes multiple steps related to planning a design, building, teaching and reflecting on and reusing the course space from semester to semester. The design process steps are provided below as a guide for instructors who wish to work more independently. ELMS course design is an iterative process. Each term is an opportunity to explore another step in this suggested process. At any time, the Learning Technology Design team is available to assist you.
Step 1: Building blocks for course design
- Determine desired outcomes and learning strategies.
- Envision course with the end in mind.
- Plan a backward design road map
- Establish milestones and deadlines
- Organize content into modules or units.
- See (Re)Design Your Elms Course: Content Development and Delivery--Developing Pages and Modules
- Identify interaction strategies.
- See Online Instructor Toolkit: Three types of interaction in an online course
Step 2: Collect and organize your course resources
- Identify digital resources (PDFs, videos, podcasts, sites, e-books, case studies, games, articles, etc.).
- Select visuals (images, graphs, diagrams, charts, and photos) to enhance and support explanatory content.
- Store your electronic files in a Google Drive or Box folder system that is organized by modules or content type (e.g., videos, readings, assignments, etc.) to share these resources easily with co-designers and collaborators.
Step 1: Configure your course space
- Select and/or customize an ELMS-Canvas course template.
- Manage course sections if needed with one of the ELMS management tools.
- Fine tune course details and settings.
- Manage course navigation menu (make interacting with your course space intuitive and easy to use).
- Confirm your notification preferences.
Step 2: Add resources
- Upload course files (or/and reuse course content from previous terms).
- Plan activities and assessments in keeping with course learning outcomes.
- Create instructions for projects, assignments, labs, quizzes, games, discussions, etc.
- Create or import assessment rubrics.
- Manage and test links to course files and external resources.
- Set up grading schema to manage grades.
- Integrate external learning technologies and tools (Clickers, Panopto, Turnitin, etc.).
- Integrate UMD Library Course Reserves or Media Reserves.
- Define availability and publish rules to control access to course content.
Step 3: Manage enrollment
- Create student groups.
- Add non-SIS participants and define their roles in your course (e.g., designer, ADA observer, instructional colleague)
- See How to Manage Enrollments Using the ELMS Management Tool
- See Associate Accounts (to create non-SIS identity for non-UMD course “guests”)
Step 4: Run a final check
- Verify course summary (syllabus) and calendar.
- Review ELMS-Canvas space against the accessibility and course design quality assurance checklists.
- Navigate course in "Student View"
Step 1: Welcome students to your course
- Publish your course to make it visible to students.
- Introduce yourself and the course space (video, podcast, homepage message).
- Identify the things your students can do to use ELMS tools to be successful in your course.
Step 2: Communicate with students
- Use ELMS-Canvas Conversations tool to manage communication with students.
- Schedule and send announcements and reminders as text and audio or video prompts.
- Hold virtual office hours through WebEx, Canvas Conferences, or chat.
Step 3: Stay engaged with students
- Use course analytics to see how learners are engaging with your content.
- Provide timely feedback and grading on assignments.
- Use online polling tools to take the class “pulse”. Survey students for feedback about their experience in your course space after the first module.
Step 4: Collaborate, share, and create
- Facilitate asynchronous discussions through the Discussion Board.
- Facilitate synchronous (online) lectures or discussions.
- Create and share images, videos, and web stories through Adobe Spark or VoiceThread.
- Facilitate student creativity, information sharing, and publication through blogs and wikis.
- See “The Importance of Collaboration", (Re)Design Your ELMS Course: Collaboration
- See How to Create and Manage Campus Pack Blogs, Wikis and Journals
- See Quick Start to WordPress Blog
- Integrate student peer reviews into assignments.
Step 5: Evaluate student work
- Use Speedgrader rubrics and DocViewer commenting tools.
- Address academic integrity compliance through the Turnitin Feedback Studio.
- Transfer and submit grades to UMEG at the end of the semester.
Reflect & Reuse
Review and recycle your course space
- Export Gradebook as a .CVS file.
- Provide an end-of-semester survey to query your students about the impact your ELMS-Canvas course space had on the effectiveness of their learning.
- Review your university course evaluations.
- Address student feedback in redesigning course structure, activities, and assessments.
- Import content into next semester’s course space. Tweak and update content and check links.
- Update deadlines (due dates).