Need a Better Hook
Need a Better Hook avatar

Hello Canvas Mates, 

I am so happy to be back in this class.  Since I finished the first segment, I have been teaching online at Grossmont and City, but I need to be more engaging and organize my canvas in a more inviting way.   My traditional class is very active and “butts out of the seat,” but I have been unable to translate my online class to reflect how excited I am to teach or how much I respect and admire my students.  I know i have too many points of entry, and it must surely frustrate my students.  I have attached a clip of my current/traditional English 202 class, and I will be gratefull for any and all comments 

Accessibility and User Friendly Design
Accessibility and User Friendly Design avatar


Where to begin?   It is as if this chapter was written just for me and the struggles I had (have) with my online and Hybrid classes.

First of all, thank you for the great links and resources (I have bookmarked them and plan to refer to them often.

There are several sections of this week’s reading that I feel failry confident I present in a user friendly ( for all of our students) such as: Flexible Methods and Materials, Timely Progress Monitoring, and proactive planning.   I feel like these elements, with trial and error, have settled into an effective format.

However, I find great comfort knowing that the elements of online learning that I still struggle with and constantly stress over, are common in our community. I am a huge fan of Zoom, but it does not allow subtitles, and I am forced to upload to Youtube, which is less than ideal.  I plan to investigate some of the other options until I find a system that works better.

Some changes that I plan to make now:

No folders inside of folders – this makes so much sense; I do not know why I did not identityfy this potential struggle/frustration for our students

Chunk Videos – I will limit my videos (both white board and screen shots) to 20 minutes each with short specific/clear instructions (rather than one long video).  I will indicate more clearly to watch the lesson all the way through and then give detailed/organized request both before and after the video.

Also, Canvas has taught me to break down units by week and present and imbed all necessary items (handouts/videos) within this week, rather than placing all documents in a folder of their own.

Honestly, this week’s material was a bit overwhelming, and I plan to revisit the sections in more detail.  There is so much important stuff here, I feel like I need to breakdown the readings and re abosorb them


Collaborative Magazine
Collaborative Magazine avatar

One current collaborative assignment presented to my students is a Zine.   Each group (assigned at the beginning of the semester work together all semester) choose a thesis (based on their social justice essays) to present a visual rhetorical argument.

The basics for the assignment is as follows: The group chooses a thesis (such as global warming is caused by man)

Everyone is asked to choose a topic to support the thesis. Each student is responsible for 4 pages (and evaluated on their four pages) to support their topic.

There is a collaborative magazine cover, index, and work cited page

Evidence is chosen to visually support their topic (such as: murals, videos, poems, charts, political cartoons, headlines, et.)

Finally, they present the magazine (visual rhetoric) and what they say about their evidence represents their analysis.

It has become a pretty popular assignment with my students.  They really get into it and work well with each other.   The presentation portion is in person with my hybrid classes, and via Zoom form my fully online students.   I plan to migrate this to my canvas classes for online, traditional, and hybrid. The online version does change the assignment only in that there is not the excitement and party atmosphere that we feel in the traditional classes.

Where is the Love?
Where is the Love? avatar

Wow, where to begin.  This is my first semester teaching fully online (City College); the transition from traditional to hybrid was fairly painless, however, the jump to fully online has been a challenge.   I often miss the relationship with my students, and I have become hyper aware of how I may come across with only   text and video and how my comments if presented in a conference or in a casual remark on a paper paired with a “you’ve got this!” can seem more like I am cheering for success, rather than judging.

Traditionally, I use rubrics more for a guide than to evaluate.   I attach the rubric to each prompt, and we use it as we scaffold the assignment both in groups, on discussion boards, and face to face.  I created an outline template that identifies where the elements of the rubric might appear. (Kind of like the game Operation) 😊 This visual with color seems to connect well.  I make minimal marks in the margins and on the text, and then write (hopefully legibly) a personal comment reflecting struggles, but also success since the last version.

Another element I use to prior to comments is the color coding.  I ask students, during the first draft to final draft process, to highlight certain elements of the paper using colors.  For instance, highlight all topic sentences blue, textual evidence green, analysis/discussion yellow and so on.  The colors connect to a rubric, and this allows me to use colors if a portion of the paper needs more attention.

Google Docs have served me well for both online and traditional paper conferences.   We can both log in (or groups can share for peer discussions) and we can look at the paper in real time.   I make suggestions and ask my student to re work a sentence or offer more clarity with an assertion.

For some reason, I feel like online is so much more formal, and my traditional classes are less formal’ they are more of a safe space for ideas, challenges, and even celebrations.  The perceived formality of the online class seems to amplify the Teacher/Student line. I am experimenting with ways to change my feedback or feedback philosophies in order to comment, connect, and celebrate my online students in more of a learning community.  I want them to feel we are in this together

Finally, Zoom seems to be a path I will continue down.   I love the options of desk top, or white board. Also, I hold my office hours using meetings.  I am playing with changing the way I comment by using more of these types of response, and I loved the section titled, Audiovisual Response. This might be what I am looking for to create a less formal, personal way to respond.  My goal is to make my online classroom more inviting and collaborative, and providing personal, not canned responses seems the only way.  But. . .  it is so time consuming.