Sandra Baker | Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition

Headshot of Sandra Baker smiling

I just adopted Canvas and I keep asking myself, “Why did I wait so long?” I love it!

I decided to jump in and give Canvas a try. I met with Shari Galgano in Faculty Commons for a one-to-one meeting and in just an hour, she showed me how to design my content into modules and set up assignments, quizzes, and discussions. I found using Canvas to be very intuitive and I was able to construct the class relatively quickly.

I had heard that I could write comments on students’ papers in Canvas and found that I could give students feedback in a very timely manner using Speedgrader. A colleague shared her rubric and I was able to easily adapt it and use the rubric feature to help students see my expectations and this also made it easier to be consistent in grading.

There were a few good surprises with Canvas. For example, I learned that the sidebar letting students know of assignment due dates (and letting me know when assignments had been turned in) was very helpful. I also like the fact that I can set assignment parameters differently for individual students. For example, I could easily extend a due date for a student who added the class late and adjust the timing for a quiz at one and a half time for a student with an accommodation permitting increased time for quizzes.

This fall, I’m teaching five classes (11 credits) and have converted all my classes from Sakai to Canvas. I met with Shari for another hour meeting and she showed me how to use the migration tool to convert my Sakai courses into Canvas files. The migration tool worked like a breeze for four of my classes. Of course, it has taken time to revise all my assignments to say “Submit in Canvas” instead of Sakai or as a paper copy, but overall, I have found Canvas itself to be very user-friendly.

For one of my classes, I’m using the “Groups” feature to coordinate collaborative work among students. I ran into a snag, but emailed Shari and she quickly responded with a suggestion that solved the issue. I’m thankful for our IT support!

One tip I have is to always check “Student View” after setting up a class. I also suggest using the discussion feature as it is a good way to have students interact outside of class.

I’m looking forward to trying additional Canvas features in the months ahead!


Screen captures of Sandra Baker’s Canvas pages are available below:


Canvas Homepage: Set to Modules with the most recent announcement displayed

Canvas Dashboard: Customized with images and colors

Canvas Modules: Showing organization of modules

Canvas Discussion: Building online community through student introductions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email