Tag Archives: Teacher Feedback

Using Canvas to deliver effective feeback

15 Oct

One of the difficulties with using an iPad in education is trying to figure out how to collect student work, provide meaningful feedback and return it to the student in an easy and time effective manner.  If you read any of my other posts you know that I have certainly tried different ways to distribute files, collect student work and deliver effective and timely feedback.  As I have been researching different ways to accomplish this I have developed a few criteria for evaluating this process.

  1. It must work every time
  2. Students must be able to submit different types of work
    1. PDF files
    2. Pages/Keynote/Numbers Documents
    3. Images
    4. Movies
  3. Turning in files must be relatively quick and easy allowing students and teachers to accomplish this on their own.
  4. Teachers must have a way to not only assign a specific grade to an assignment but be able to provide meaningful feedback that will help the student grow as a learner.

During the last two school years I have been trying different ways to accomplish this and until now I had not found a way that fulfilled most much less all of these requirements. Canvas is a Learning Management System similar to Blackboard that our High School is piloting this year.  Canvas allows me to do the following.

  1. I can post assignments with directions, attachments, rubrics and due dates.  Within my assignment page I can upload virtually any file type I need including: movies, keynote/powerpoint slides, word/pages documents or excel/numbers files that they may need to complete the assignment.
  2. I can set a due date and time for each assignment.  Assignments that are submitted after the due date a marked late and highlighted as such in your grade book for quick reference.

Once students have submitted their work the Speedgrader Appplication allows me to view, assess and provide feedback to my students.

  1. The Canvas Speedgrader allows for quick and seamless teacher feedback.  There are two ways to use the Speedgrader program: 1) The iOS App  2) A browser version on your PC or Mac.
    • The iOS App, although more limited, is truly a speed grader.  From within this app you can view the student submitted assignments, add generalized comments, assess using a number of different rubric styles, or just input a grade for the assignment.  Files upload quickly and are easy to view, read and asses.  Flipping from one student to the next is easy; all you have to do is swipe left or right.
    • The browser version of the speedgrader is new and improved in October 2012.  The new version allows teachers to write directly on the assignments in several different ways.
      • If you have a Tablet PC you can use the drawing tool to annotate comments
      • You can also use the text typing tool to add comments anywhere on the page.
      • You can also highlight or strike out text.
    • With both apps you can easily use the rubric feature to grade via custom rubrics you design.

I will admit it doesn’t work perfectly every time however the fixes are easy and painless.  Logging off and logging back in or restarting the app usually fixes all the issues.

The best part of collecting and assessing work with Canvas is that students are completing their work at a high rate this year then ever before.  I am not sure why I am seeing this but maybe it is the instantaneous feedback?  Maybe it’s the immediate effect of a zero in their grade book that they can see in real time?  Whatever the reason so far it seems to be working.

Watch the video below to learn how to upload a Pages document to Canvas.

Watch the video below to learn how to upload a picture or video to Canvas.