In order to train our faculty on how to use the Canvas Learning Management system I created hundreds of short video tutorials covering all aspects of the software. These were all recorded using a simple setup: My iMac computer, Camtasia software, a Blue Yeti microphone, and a giant piece of green foam board. This makes it possible for me to record videos quickly and get them posted to our website in a timely fashion in order to meet the needs of our faculty.
All my videos adhere to the following principles:
- Videos must be short and to-the-point so faculty can get what they need right when they need it
- I show myself in all the videos. This creates a sense of connection with viewers and helps them know that a real person is helping them.
- Key elements of the screen capture are highlighted by zooming and panning.
- My workflow must be simple and efficient so videos can be created and uploaded to our website within days, not weeks.
This process is unlike any other LMS training I have ever seen, and our results speak for themselves. These videos have been viewed tens of thousands of times by our faculty, and have become an invaluable resource for professors across the entire campus. What follows is a selection of some of the videos along with explanations of how I created them and why these particular videos have been particularly useful.
This is one of the first videos that many of our faculty watch, and it helps them get oriented with Canvas and learn a few basic elements to jumpstart their usage of the system. Even though Canvas is designed to be easy to use, the number of features it has can be overwhelming for new faculty members. The idea with this video was to hold their hand through a few basics so they could gain some confidence as they start exploring the system.
Virtually all courses involve some type of graded work, which Canvas calls Assignments. I designed this video to help faculty understand the basics of creating Assignments and understand some of the options they have at their disposal.
With video becoming such an important component to so many elements of instruction, it was necessary to have a short overview of the Studio tool in Canvas which gives faculty powerful options to create and share video content. This is a bit of a nontraditional video compared to my others in that it’s not a walkthrough as much as it is a brief presentation to help people understand more about the Studio tool before diving into it.
Modules are the foundation of how most users organize and manage their content, but learning to use them can be a little tricky. By showing faculty how to add items such as Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, and more to their modules I can help them understand the way Canvas works and how to use the system to create streamlined, engaging courses.
As more faculty seek to create immersive, engaging discussions Canvas is able to provide rich multimedia tools which allow discussions to go well beyond simple text. This video shows faculty members how to use the Studio tool to embed videos into discussion board posts, and also gives viewers a peek behind the scenes at the process I use to create my Canvas tutorials as well.
Dear Simon,Kate M.
I am setting up my classroom so that I’m ready for the first day (I have to do it in the classroom to get my head set on straight, LOL)…and I wanted to let you know how TERRIFIC your videos are. THANK YOU!!
I know that every time I see your name attached to something that it is going to be user-friendly and helpful. Thank you so much for the quality work that you do time and time again.
I wanted to thank you for the videos you made on how to use the new classroom camera systems. I tried to plow ahead overconfidently and use the technology on my own, got stuck trying to figure out how to share the document camera, and got it to work immediately after watching the video. I’ve been asking all of our instructors to have the videos ready when they’re experimenting in their rooms this week. Thanks so much for the time you put into that!Chris F.
Just a quick but enormous “Thank You” for all your ITLE videos on learning Canvas. All four of my courses will be synchronous online this semester, so everything is new to me (I have been on unpaid sabbatical since January). I have been watching and re-watching your videos. They are all very helpful, easy to follow, and your manner of presentation (relaxed, reassuring, “don’t really need to worry about such and such, just use such and such”) has made the learning process all the more encouraging, accessible, and manageable. What was overwhelming at first is now very doable.Priscilla S.
I am back in the classroom this semester after several years away. We weren’t on Canvas the last time I taught at OSU and honestly, it’s been long enough that I’d be relearning it all anyway. I used your video how-to series for Canvas, and it was such an amazing help. Really, I don’t think I could have gotten my sections up and running without it.
The videos were clear, easy to follow, and logically broken up. I was able to find answers to all my questions (so far, at least!) and even answers to some questions I didn’t know I should be asking. I feel pretty good about what I built for my students.Bonnie C.