Acing Assessment

Noun Project Graphic by Anna Bearne



Noun Project image by Aneeque Ahmed

The content above was created in H5P, a free tool for creating and sharing online content. If you are looking for a fun free tool to enhance presentations delivered in Canvas or Online, you might want to check it out.

Pedagogical Considerations

What is Retrieval Practice?

Noun Project image by Zahraa AlFeatured 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 (

What is JiTT?

Noun Project image by Zahraa AlJust-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) 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 studentsare and adapts the lesson accordingly. Teachers can also now use the  responses as scaffolding on which to build learning.

A Word or Two about Iconic Design

Noun Project image by Aneeque AhmedYou may have noticed that as part of today’s presentation, we used icons to identify/mark content. If you scroll back through the page, you will see that our starter activity or spark is marked by a graphic. Our Bricks and Clicks too are marked by the use of icon graphics. As teachers designing in Canvas, you may want to consider some of the benefits of using Icons as part of your design. And if you are looking for a place to get started, you might want to check out the Noun Project.

According to Icons…

  • Are Quick to recognize and process. Icons embody a quality that cognitive theorists call computational efficiency, meaning they minimize the processing required for an accurate interpretation. Thus, iconic forms are quickly recognized and processed, and their meanings are memorable (Malamed, 2011).
  • Build context. The efficiency of the icon form gives learners a head start. Before they even read the text, they have a sense of what it will be about. It puts the information in context, which may save time and improve comprehension.
  • Improve memory. Images can improve memory of a fact or concept when used as a mnemonic device. The principle of the Picture Superiority Effect states that people have a better memory for pictures than for words, particularly when referring to concrete objects. When images and words are used together, learners are likely to remember the image and associate it with the key point.
  • Enhance aesthetics. When designed with intention, adding relevant graphics to instructional materials can improve  a learner’s aesthetic experience. Aesthetically pleasing materials are preferred by users and can increase their motivation. Well-designed materials also improve the credibility of the content.

Assessment In Canvas

In Canvas there are a variety of ways you can assess your students: Assignments, Quizzes, Graded Surveys, Discussions, etc. There are also creative ways to extend these tools and apply them using different pedagogical approaches. For example,  if you are interested in trying JiTT in your classroom, you might like to know about is the Graded Survey. Or perhaps you want to set up a respawn-enabled quiz for students to have some low stakes retrieval practice throughout the week. If so, you might want to know about question groups and question banks in Canvas. Perhaps you want to have your students write a weekly learning journal.


Video-On-Demand for Assessment


514 - Assignments Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

515 - Assignment Creation from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

516a - Discussions Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

516b - Discussion Creation from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.


517a - Quiz Creation: Settings from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

517b - Quiz Creation: Questions from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

538 - Rubrics Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

537 - Outcomes Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.


524 - SpeedGrader™ Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

543 - Canvas Teacher for iOS from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

544 - Canvas Teacher for Android from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

542 - Mastery Paths from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

530 - Course Analytics from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.