IT Resources for Economics Department Faculty
Guide to Campus Technology
The College's IT Department created a self-paced, online orientation program for classroom technology, including using Canvas that is available to you, the Guide to Campus Technology. At that link, you will find an introduction to the technology in the classroom and online, as well as more detail help guides.
Moravian University's Learning Management System (LMS) is Canvas. All faculty are expected to have and maintain a Canvas shell for their class. The minimum use required of Canvas is to take class attendance through Canvas, except in the case of blended format classes (see below).
Some helpful links and information pages for Canvas can be found below:
- Guides to using Canvas
- Moravian IT Help Page
- Canvas Support Hotline: 855.790.8839
- Canvas FAQs and other Canvas Community Resources
Blended Learning Tools
Graduate and some undergraduate courses are offered in a blended, or hybrid, format. In the blended format a portion of the time traditionally spent in the classroom in face-to-face instruction is instead online in a web-based environment. In an eight-week graduate class, students meet three hours per week in the classroom with further contact online. The online portion of a hybrid class does not supplement instruction in the classroom. Rather, the online portion of a hybrid class replaces face-to-face time in the classroom with activities and assignments that can be achieved as well if not better online than in the classroom. The hybrid format increases the flexibility of classes for students by requiring they only attend in person one session a week rather than two as in the past.
Canvas is not a document reservoir for classes. Rather, Canvas is an interactive tool for delivering learning in a web-based online environment.
Assigning work to students for the online portion of a class means that there are assignments students complete online. Examples of these assignments include
- web-based tutorial modules that lead students through a topic in 6 to 10 interactive pages. Then, a debriefing section includes questions that test whether the student has mastered the content. Diagnostic feedback points out why an incorrect response is not appropriate. Students can link directly from a difficult problem to additional tutorials that help them learn the concepts.
- additional lecture notes, video, audio, or written delivered in various formats, that build on the class lecture and provide more detail on solving problems, applying formulas, or using the material in a practical situation. Online discussion threads follow-up with students on these materials and ensure their understanding and learning.
- assigning videos related to the class content for students to watch then discuss in online discussion threads. You can add video content to your Canvas shell in many ways, including course content from Lynda.com. Videos can be very useful additions for students who may be struggling to apply material discussed in the classroom. Adding self-graded quizzes can identify student learning or not and provide information for your intervention to clarify content for students.
In addition to producing the online content in Canvas for your course, you also need to do the following online:
- Actively guide students through the class by issuing reminders, clarifying instructions, and the like, as you would in the classroom.
- Be accessible to your students within the Canvas shell by actively participating in discussion threads you created for them, posting announcements, and holding online conferences in Canvas.
- Use surveys in Canvas to solicit feedback from students about their learning and the course; adapt the content you put online as needs emerge from those observations.
- Ensure that students are actively engaged in the online portion of your class.
Some helpful tips for managing your blended format course.
- In your first face-to-face class meeting with students, provide a comprehensive tour of your Canvas shell, including your expectations of student use of Canvas.
- Answer questions and provide feedback on student assignments submitted in Canvas in a timely manner.
- Give students the opportunity to provide feedback during the delivery of the class not just at the end.
- Ask students to post a substantial self-introduction in their profile within Canvas (click on "Account" in the upper left of the browser window) including adding their photo if it is not already there.
- Create and moderate a "Questions About the Course" discussion topic for students to use to ask questions. Emails are helpful, too, but you are replying to only one student in an email when there are probably other students with the same question but who will not get your answer. Let students know when you will be checking and not checking this discussion thread.
- Inform students that you will be participating in the online discussions and whether you will be responding to each individual student post, a select number of posts, or provide a commentary or summary of all posts over a discussion period.
Learn more about blended formats at these sites
- Blended Learning Toolkit
- Blended and Online Learning, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University
- 9 Things to Get You Started with Your Blended or Hybrid Course, Faculty Commons, University of Delaware
For assistance with equipment or technology issues, contact the IT Help Desk. The IT Help Desk is located on the first floor of Reeves Library, lower level. The office is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm and can be reached by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 610.861.1500.