Circles of Innovation: CARE Track Acing Assessment in Canvas

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Retrieval Practice

Featured in in the book Make It Stick and supported by quite a bit of research….Retrieval practice is a learning strategy where we focus on getting information out. Through the act of retrieval, or calling information to mind, our memory for that information is strengthened and forgetting is less likely to occur. Retrieval practice is a powerful tool for improving learning without more technology, money, or class time (


H5P makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications (Even if you don’t know what HTML5 is). H5P empowers anyone to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently – all you need is a web browser and a web site. Because Canvas is a web-based platform, every page you make is a webpage. So, if you are interested in making some fun, visual content for your students, or better yet, having your students make fun visual content for your courses, you might want to check out H5P.

Graded Surveys

In Canvas, graded surveys allows instructors to give students points for completing surveys. Graded surveys look like quizzes and have all of the same features; however, with graded surveys points are awarded upon completion. There is no grading for correctness. Teachers can make use of graded surveys in a variety of ways.

First Fives

These are graded activities conducted during the first five minutes of class. They can be used to assess anything you want, but teachers often use them as conversation starters or reviews to get students in their seats and ready go. Some teachers even use these activities for attendance.

Entrance Tickets

Want to make sure students have watched the video you asked them to watch or read the article before class? Use graded surveys to create entrance tickets. Learn more about entrance tickets here. 

Just In Time Teaching (JITT)

This is a strategy that promotes the use of class time for more active learning. Originally developed by Gregor Novak and colleagues, JiTT relies on a feedback loop between online learning materials and the classroom (Novak et al., 1999). Teachers use online assessment tools to ask students to perform Warm-ups, Puzzles, and Goodfors The students answers to the assignments are delivered to the instructor a few hours before class starts. The teacher looks over student responses to see where students are and adapts the lesson accordingly. Teachers can also now use the  responses as scaffolding on which to build learning. Learn more about JITT here.

Exit Tickets

Exit tickets are a formative assessment tool that give teachers a way to assess how well students understand the material they are learning in class. This tool can be used daily or weekly, depending on the unit being taught. A good exit ticket can tell whether students have a superficial or in-depth understanding of the material. Teachers can then use this data for adapting instruction to meet students’ needs the very next day. Learn more about Exit Tickets here. 


Edmund Burke once said, learning without reflection is like eating without digestion. In either case you can feed as much as you want to a person but that person won’t leave nourished; it might be as though they haven’t eaten at all. With reflection, on the other hand, critical faculties become engaged, the learner’s understanding of the learning process deepens, and information becomes meaningful knowledge, connected to other knowledge, the learner’s life, and the larger world. Learn more about Reflections here.

Speedgrader & PDF Annotations

SpeedGrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and even URLs as assignment submissions. Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.

 Pictures vs. PDFs 

JPGs vs. PDFs


Let’s give it a try. I would like you to submit your answer to the Annotating a PDF Assignment


Linoit & Wiki’ly Posts

Linoit is an online tool which can serve as a virtual bulletin board for both students and teachers. This tool offers a variety of canvases (backgrounds) for users to choose from and allows them to post sticky notes, videos, and documents to these canvases.

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Wiki’ly Assignments

Canvas pages can be used to allow students to collaborate asynchronously (at different times) in Canvas. Teachers can choose to allow students to edit pages in their courses. Here is how.

Advantages of using Pages as Wiki:

Students do not have to leave Canvas to complete the assignment.

Students can add, edit, and delete their own work, the work of other students, and your work

All student work is captured on the page, including an instructor viewable page history detailing who made what changes

Easy to use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) text editor

Disadvantage of using Pages as Wiki:

Real-time editing not supported

If two users are editing the page at the same time, the first user to save will erase the second user’s edits.

Google Doc’s + CANVAS for Wiki’ly assignments

If you want to get around the problem of not being able to allow for simultaneous group editing, then why not embed a Google Doc in your Canvas Page. Basically, all you need to do is…

1) Create a Google Doc

2) Change the permissions in the Google Doc so that everyone has  permission to edit it. 

3) Add the URL of your Google Doc to the embed code below. Paste between the “” where it says GOOGLE DOC URL

4) Now highlight and copy the code and use the insert media tool in a canvas page to paste in your Google Doc Wiki Page. 

Too fast for you? No worries! Here are the expanded instructions.


Flipgrid is where your students go to share ideas and learn together. It’s where students amplify and feel amplified. It’s video the way students use video. Short. Authentic. And fun! That’s why it’s the leading video discussion platform used by tens of millions of PreK to PhD educators, students, and families in 150 countries

Video Quizzing & Screencasting

Video Quizzing with Kaltura

Have you ever thought about making a video introduction to your online class? What if you could make the video and turn it into an auto-graded video quiz that would let you know that your students had watched it and learned from it. Or Perhaps you have Youtube Videos that you use in class. Would you like to know if your students are watching them and paying attention to the key points you want them to focus on? Well, if this sounds good to you, you might want to learn about how Kaltura can help you to make this happen. For those of you who like written instructions, click here.  However, I know there are a lot of Circles fans that prefer a quick introduction training video. The video below gives you a short run through of how to get to, download, and use Kaltura to make video quizzes. Enjoy!

Screencasting with Screencastify

Screencasting is a Teacher Trick that should be in every teacher’s toolkit, but it is also something that students should know about. Simply put, screencasting is recording your computer screen while recording your voice to make a video that can be shared with others. You can make instructional videos, feedback videos, showcase videos, interactive videos and more. While there are many tools that teachers can buy for screencasting, there are now some really great ones that are free and play right in the browser. Below, I have put a quick introduction to Screencastify which is a plug in for the Google Chrome browser. This tool lets teachers and students make screencasts and easily share them to their Google Drive accounts or to their Youtube accounts. Enjoy!

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