You spent hours building and organizing your Canvas course site to provide and manage coursework for your students. But did you take a few minutes to explain to students how to best navigate the course site or to ask students for feedback about their use of the course site? Students want to easily download documents, view announcements and grades, and understand the organization of your course. If students struggle with your course site, they may spend less time on using your content to support their learning and more time figuring out where to find and how to use content.
Instructors have plenty of freedom when building a course site, and many plan and build a site that makes sense to them. But the implementation may not be the best for all students. Students may work in five or more sites each term, and a lack of uniformity can cause confusion. Some Canvas sites use many tools and some are just used as a place to store files. Does that mean you need to change your site? Maybe not, but you spent a lot of time building the site and might like to know if your time spent is helping students.
Asking your students to provide mid-term evaluations or periodic feedback can help you learn a great deal about how your students use your Canvas course site and what adjustments might make your course better for the rest of the semester, or for the next time you use the course content. Students may be using a different browser or the mobile student app which may present your course with slight differences—and making a few changes can improve its presentation. Some students may not be familiar with Canvas or have used a different LMS. Although it is not necessarily an instructor’s responsibility to support student technology, a simple course overview can get them started. You can describe what changes you will (or will not) implement, but being flexible and receptive to feedback boosts student engagement in the course content.
IT-ATS provides a template for an anonymous feedback survey (using Canvas Classic Quizzes) in the Canvas Commons designed to give you valuable feedback from students. To use the template, click the Commons link in the Canvas blue global navigation bar, look for featured items at the top of the page, and import into your course. The survey is not meant to replace the traditional course evaluations but instead focuses on the presentation and ease of use of your Canvas course site—not the academic content of your course. Use of the survey is optional for those who never collected this type of feedback before or are not really sure where to start. With more information about how your students interact with your course site, you gain the ability to extend your course site far beyond the classroom.
If you find this template useful or would prefer a small variety of options, please let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.