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October Course Design Tips

Photo by Alex Kozlov on

Yuba College DE training and support is provided by Cynthia Sargent and Maris Wagener.
Reach out to us any time through email!

Here are two tips we shared with faculty in October. 

Course Design Tip #1: Anonymous Student Surveys in Canvas

Many faculty appreciate the information gathered from anonymous student surveys. Within the surveys, students can freely share what is working and what is not working for them in your online course.  

Placed strategically within the semester, you can gauge student’s understanding of course design, content, and navigation. Consider providing a survey,

  • early on when students are likely to begin falling behind.  
  • around mid-semester for a check in. 
  • at the completion of the course when students have the whole semester behind them.

Survey results are easy to access. You decide what you will do with the results. Changes are often made in the next iteration of the course and can lead to continuous course improvement and increased student success. How to view survey results

You can find sample surveys with Canvas Commons. You can search or filter by institution (Yuba College) and type of item (in this case “quiz”) to see examples from other instructors. Once you find or develop the surveys that work for you, you can do simple updates each semester.  How to create a survey in your online course

Giving learners an opportunity to give anonymous feedback to the instructor regarding course design and/or content is an element of quality online courses (criterion A11 of the OEI Course Design Rubric).

Course Design Tip #2: Make some of your videos interactive

Good news! You can now use your Canvas Studio videos directly in PlayPosit to create interactive learning activities for students. (Previously you were limited to only YouTube, 3C Media, or Vimeo.) Whether your course includes instructor-made videos or videos created by others, you can enhance student learning by adding in reflection questions, short self-check quizzes, extra resources, or even discussions to a video. 

PlayPosit videos embed directly into Canvas pages, or you can add them as an assignment. You get access to analytics (you’ll know who is actually watching and if they watch the whole video) as well as insight into student thinking and progress toward objectives. It’s up to you whether it’s a graded activity.

Here are a couple of resources to help get you started with PlayPosit.

If you’d like help or have questions about producing instructional videos or using the PlayPosit app in your courses, schedule a time to meet one-on-one with Cynthia and you’ll be up and running with it in no time.

Use of multimedia, such as videos, is an element of quality online courses (criterion A8 of the OEI Course Design Rubric).

OEI Course Design Rubric Connections

The OEI rubric is a great tool in designing your online courses. If you aren’t familiar with it, take a look. Aligning with the OEI rubric will help both you and your students.


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