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Tips for making a course room

How do I create a good structure? What should I keep in mind when it comes to accessibility? Here we have collected tips and recommendations on how to work with Canvas.

These recommendations are based on views and experiences from teachers, students and from us who work with E-learning here at KTH.

Hide content

Hide as many left tabs as possible. It is unnecessary to show tabs that you don't use. Will you use "Media Gallery", "Video Recording" and "Attendance"? Hide them if the answer is no. You hide tabs by going to Settings> Navigation. The tabs that you want to be visible should be in the top list and the hidden ones should be in the lower list. You can easily change this by dragging and dropping and don't forget to save.

Use modules for clarity

With modules, the course structure becomes clear. You can not create pages or files in the order you want them in, they automatically end up in alphabetical order. If you choose to use modules, we recommend that you hide the "Pages", "Tasks" and "Files" so that it will not be possible to find the same material in several places. 

Think about the content and purpose with the "homepage"

Think about what content you choose for "homepage", ("Home") so that it will not only be an extra step for the students to get to the material they are looking for (which may be in modules). Suggestion: During the first course week you can have a welcome page with overall information about the course. Then remove that page and choose "Modules" for "homepage" for the course.

When you choose pictures, always think about the purpose and context. We do not recommend to just have a picture for "homepage". It may be nice to have a picture to look at, but it can also be something that can disturb the focus on the content of the course and the information you want to come to. Scrolling past a picture every time can be perceived as disturbing. Select images deliberately.

Ask the students

Don't be afraid to ask the students about their opinion on the course room. Is it easy to find the material? Keep a dialogue with the students about their "virtual classroom" and listen to their suggestions for improvements. You can use a discussion forum in Canvas for this purpose. You can also use the "student view" to see how the course room looks like for the students. Read more about the student view in Canvas (Canvas@KTH, external page) .

Don't forget to "publish" your content

Don't forget to publish the content that you want the students to see, and also remember the headings in modules. It may be easy to forget about this step, but if you don't publish - it will not be visible.

Tip at the start of the course

Do you want to quickly and easily check so that you did not miss anything important when you created your course? Here is a checklist for you as a teacher .

Good to think about when it comes to accessibility

Images should have an alt-text. Don't write "click here" for link text. When working in Canvas, there are some things you can do to create more accessible content for your students, read more: Accessibility - 5 tips to improve your Canvas course (external page, Canvas@KTH) .

Self study course about Canvas for KTH teachers

In the course room "Canvas@KTH - An introductory course" (external page)  you find instructions, videos and other material that help and guide you in how to use Canvas.

Support, news and useful information about Canvas

Canvas Community

Canvas (Instructure) produces its own guides that can be useful if you want to learn more: Canvas guides and videos (external page, Canvas Community)

Video: Canvas, the basics

(Webinar from 200326)

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Belongs to: KTH Intranet
Last changed: Jan 28, 2021