Today, we hear from Debbie Faires as part of our Faculty Share series. Faires is a Lecturer and Director of Online Learning for the School of Information at San Jose State University.
Please speak to the importance of the LMS in your teaching.
Our program is all online so the LMS is critical to my work. I use the LMS for communicating with my students, my advisees, our faculty, for organizing course content and resources, and for archiving materials and ideas to be used in the future.
How do you use the LMS? What are the LMS features you use and find crucial?
I use the LMS for:
1) Course sites, I use content pages, embedded external pages, analytics, recorded content, assignment submission, grading tool (Speedgrader in Canvas), and the integration of external tools such as Voicethread and Turnitin. I like being able to prepare content that cannot be seen by students and then setting the timing for release (or keeping it private if desired). I also use the tools for communication such as announcements to the class. Email or text alerts of new activity are useful and I love being able to reply to discussion posts directly from within my regular email account. Also, I rely on the ability to work in multiple tabs at the same time.
2) Administrative sites such as one that we have for all faculty members where we post the information they need each semester as well as professional development materials.
3) Student group site for the group I advise. The group officers can post material and send out communications.
4) Advising. I have a course site for all of my advisees where I can post information and send and receive messages.
5) Collaborative course development. When I needed to develop a new course, it is helpful to be able to have others involved in the project login and review the progress and give feedback.
6) Practice site where I can safely try out all kinds of features in the LMS.
Do you use the LMS to teach all your courses, or a few?
All of them.
Do you access the LMS using a mobile device? If so, for what purposes?
I access discussion posts and answer them because they are forwarded to my email which I access often on my phone. I love that I can reply from email and the post will display on the discussion board.
I have not used the mobile app for Canvas but plan to give it a try soon.
To your knowledge, do your students access your LMS course(s) on a mobile device? Do you have a sense of how that is working for them?
I had one student who was very vocal about using the Canvas app on her phone. She was incredibly responsive to anything posted on the discussion board and she often mentioned she was replying by phone through the app.
Is there a particular use of the LMS you’re personally proud of?
I very much like importing an RSS feed of student blogs (in WordPress) to my Canvas course home page. The linked blog headings are easy to click and lead to the full blog posts. I hope this builds community in the class and increases visibility for their writing.