Even though most institutions of learning recently introduced digital learning, mainly due to the COVID 19 pandemic, digital learning has been around for quite a while.
With a lot of learning management systems being designed to make the process an easy one for both the students and the tutors, finding the perfect program for you shouldn’t be a problem.
For those with an art studio, one of the best learning management systems to adopt is Canvas.
What is Canvas?
Canvas is a web-based learning management system that allows educators and institutions to manage and utilize digital learning effectively. It offers a space where teachers can present course materials, engage students and receive feedback about skill development. This LMS is highly favored amongst art studios and online art institutions due to its outstanding features.
If you are an art instructor or an online art institution like Winged Canvas Art School, this article will show you how to use Canvas effectively in art studio classes.
How Do I Use Canvas?
Canvas can be used to create a customized learning experience. It has a variety of course management tools and allows content to be shared using modules, pages, assignments, and quizzes. It can also support groups, conferences, and collaborations. As an art instructor looking to get effective results from using Canvas, below are some helpful tips.
One of the amazing features of Canvas is modules. Its major purpose is to track student progress, organize course contents and create prerequisite activities to be completed by the students before going forward in the course. Therefore, you as an art instructor can organize course materials, resources, projects, and many more by units. It also allows you to keep track and control the contents being shared on the platform. Modules can also help you as an instructor to create a one-directional linear flow of everything that will be taught in the course. This is achieved by arranging course contents in weeks, units, or other kinds of structure.
You can utilize as many modules as you want. Each module can contain learning materials, quizzes, assignments, or discussions. You can also add course contents to multiple modules or iterate them severally throughout an individual module. Modules pages can be navigated via keyboard shortcuts, and the elements within them can be recognized by dragging and dropping.
To make grading easy, you can utilize SpeedGrader. This allows you to annotate on top of the images when students upload PDF files and submit them on the platform. With this, you not only get to mark, but also drop pinned comments on finished projects. This type of comment is more precise than the normally written comments. The amazing thing about using SpeedGrader is that the submitted work, comment, and scoring rubric can be seen by students, teachers, and even observers. It also serves as a visual reminder on which project was submitted to which assignment because remembering the exact piece created by each student can be difficult.
Start Engaging Discussions
One way to utilize Canvas more effectively is to start up engaging conversations. Discussions about historical or contemporary artists are a great way to engage introverted students in conversations. Although nothing seems to beat talking about art face to face, however, this situation provides students the luxury of “think time” to give more meaningful responses.
Use Threaded Discussion
When it comes to critiquing works, discussions and peer reviews can be very helpful. However, threaded discussions are more effective because it allows students to ‘like’ a post. They are made up of infinite layers of response that allow commenters to respond continually on a single nested thread. It can be used to post questions and answer multiple questions that are related or unrelated. Peer review allows students to assess each other, critique, and subsequently improve their skills. However, to get more honest and effective results from peer review, the students can go anonymous.
Collect Student-Curated Resources
Another way to keep your art studio class going is by collecting art resources that were curated by the students. You can use Canvas for this purpose or use an external tool and then use Canvas as a launchpad. This way, it becomes easier to navigate the course and students will appreciate the organization.
Lastly, using student journals can also be amazing when trying to keep up with your classes. You can create journals by placing students in specific discussion groups and then, take an ongoing narrative of their process. You can note down your questions or ideas from the resources being used. The link to these resources can be inserted into the group as well.