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Published: 17 October 2019 at 11:14

The Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) is an essential feature of our student learning experience and featured highly in this year’s Digifest programme. The presentations and workshops showcased its new functionalities and the diverse ways it is being used across ARU to enhance learning and teaching. These and other recordings and presentations from the four days of keynotes and sessions are available to view on the Anglia Learning & Teaching website.

During the Workshop days, Kate Outhwaite introduced New Quizzes (formerly called Quizzes.Next). Although still in its pilot phase at ARU as it undergoes further refinement, this new addition can be switched on to run in parallel with the current Quizzes tool in Canvas, to give additional quizzing functionality. 

Isobel Gowers also shared her work on Transforming Canvas into an active digital learning environment. With active learning being at the heart of education at ARU, she shared a number of online activities that colleagues can use in their Canvas sites to enhance student learning.

During the Conference days, Isobel also presented with Julian Priddle on Course Level (Community) sites in Canvas. In accordance with the importance ARU places on taking a course level approach to learning and teaching, they looked back at research conducted across our institution, the evolution of community sites from our old SharePoint VLE, and a range of sites that make best use of this approach.

Canvas is also being used by faculties to support students before they arrive at ARU. Faculty-led workshops focusing on the use of Canvas to enhance student learning showed how pre-arrival sites are being used to facilitate students’ transition to Higher Education. One colleague demonstrated how one course’s pre-arrival Canvas site, developed as part of a cross faculty pilot, was used to deliver bespoke course information prior to induction and positively impact on student retention. 

A round of lightning strikes further shared the practical use and support for Canvas to improve teaching, learning and delivery. 

In her seven-minute lightning strike, Kate Outhwaite introduced Canvas Quick Wins; this is designed to help meet the LMS Minimum Requirements for 2019/20 and transform students’ engagement with learning activities in Canvas. She discussed how it can be used as a ‘go-to’ resource when needed or as an online course to earn CPD recognition. 

In lightning time, Ros Francis and Neil Dixon (Library Services) discussed Integrating library LibGuide content into Canvas.  They explained how it is possible to use the LibGuide LTI to integrate Library Subject Guides, databases and other content directly into your module's Canvas course and showed how to do it. 

Anglia Learning & Teaching provide staff development and online resources relating to the use of Canvas on their website and in Canvas; from how to get started and copyright in HE, to more specialist functionalities such as Canvas Assessment and Canvas Media.