The Center for Teaching and Educational Technology (CTET) Year-End Wrap-up

Dear SSU Faculty, As you are aware, the university is preparing to hold instruction mostly online in Fall 2020. To help you with that transition, we are making several important announcements.
May 13, 2020

Canvas Design Summer Institute

This course will challenge participants to evaluate basic course layout, assessment options, course engagement tools, resources for student success, as well as the accessibility of course materials. Participants can expect to engage in helpful discussions with their peers and course facilitators and to develop completed elements of a course for use in the summer and/or fall 2020 semesters. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive feedback from our expert CTET Staff as you thoughtfully and intentionally develop your next Canvas course. 

Duration/Length of Training:
- 12 days
- 10-20 hours/week (20-40 hours total)

The program capacity is 150 participants. CTET Staff will let you know if you are put on a waitlist should the limit be reached.

Sign-up today!

Ally Live in Canvas this Summer

As we prepare to teach online, the accessibility of our course material is more important than ever. After a thorough year-long investigation and software pilot, Sonoma State will be activating a new tool in Canvas called Ally. Ally reviews the accessibility of content in your Canvas courses and provides instructors with data, tools, and guidance to fix those problems.

The tool is being activated now in order to help you become familiar with it as we prepare for remote instruction in Fall. To help make your Summer and Fall courses more universally accessible, on May 23 the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology will turn on Ally for all of our Canvas course websites. 

Want to know more about what accessibility is and why it matters? We’re offering workshops throughout the summer on Ally, accessible course materials, and accessible course design. Keep an eye on our Workshops page for updates!

Fall Canvas Course Shells and Templates

Fall 2020 Course Shells will be live for faculty on Saturday, May 23rd. Additionally, published Canvas courses will be visible to students one week prior to the first day of instruction. If you would like to cross-list course sections into a metacourse, please complete our Course Request Form.

The Center for Teaching and Educational Technology at SSU is always looking for opportunities to assist faculty in the creation of engaging Canvas courses. We have created a Canvas course template that includes sample pages, assignments, support materials, and more. Banners, buttons, icons, and other design elements are also included and can be easily customized and reused. You can import the Canvas Course Template from the Canvas Commons.

New Features Available in Canvas

On May 23rd, we will be enabling new features in Canvas to improve the experience of faculty and students!

Ally: Provides embedded tools to help instructors make documents accessible. For students, it provides accessible alternate versions of documents. 

Ally Instructor Report: For instructors, this provides a dashboard that gives an overview of accessibility issues in their course and helps identify and prioritize documents for remediation.

Assignment Bulk Editing: Allow teachers to change the dates on a set of assignments in one step

Direct Share: This feature allows teachers to easily copy single items from one course to another, and to share a single item of content with other users so they can import those items into their courses as well.

Final Grade Override: Enable the ability to alter the final grade for the entire course without changing scores for assignments.  Instructors can turn this on in Course Settings. 

New Course and User Analytics: Provide interactive charts and data tables for instructors and students to better understand performance and participation in a course.  It also adds communication tools to message students who meet particular criteria. For students, it provides a new way to understand their performance in their course: How do I view my course analytics as a student?

Pronouns for Users: Allows users to pick pronouns that will be displayed after their name when it is shown in the user interface: How do I select personal pronouns in my user account as a student?

Roll Call Attendance: Course attendance tool has been improved for use with multi-section courses and has had issues with grade book reporting resolved 

Rubrics: in course navigation: Includes rubrics in the course sidebar navigation 

Top Hat: Top Hat is a learning platform that combines affordable OER textbooks, simple content editing, a quizzing engine, and a student engagement system (like Clickers). This integration allows grade information to be passed back directly to a Canvas course. Top Hat also pairs instructors with an instructional designer to ensure that course adoption is streamlined and efficient. 

Voicethread: As the one-year extension of our contract is nearing its end, we will be removing the VoiceThread LTI across our instance of Canvas.