University of Auckland logo

Stay informed

Receive updates on teaching and learning initiatives and events.

  1. Home
  2.  — 
  3. Resources for teaching
  4.  — 
  5. Canvas Baseline Practices
  6.  — Canvas Baseline Plus

Canvas Baseline Plus

Building on the Canvas baseline practices, which provides for a more consistent, easy to use, and inclusive online learning experience, Canvas baseline+ are optional suggestions designed to encourage more engaging learning experiences. When deciding on tools to use to improve online learning experiences, please consider programme/course consistency.

The suggestions and examples below are organised by the Signature Pedagogical Practices. These pedagogical practices often overlap with one another. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) encourages a more engaging and motivating online experience and supports more Relational learning and Assessment for learning practices online.

Programme Consistency
Baseline Plus Practices (how) Benefits (why)
Major, Specialisation, Programme, or Faculty-wide consensus and coordinated structure and navigation for all courses in the programme. A major component of student feedback about ‘inconsistency in Canvas’ is linked to uncoordinated looks, designs and structures of courses in their degrees. A consensus approach will co-ordinated approach will approach within their degree.
Take a consensus approach to the choice of TEL tools used throughout courses in a programme/ major/ discipline/ specialisation where practical and possible.

Consistency in approach reduces the cognitive load, time and effort required by students to figure out how each course works. Students are more engaged when they don’t face hurdles to get to their learning.

If multiple tools are available that perform the same function, coming to a consensus on which tools are used throughout the programme where possible and pedagogically appropriate can help reduce the cognitive load on students on having to learn a new tool.

Technology Enhanced Learning
Baseline Plus Practices (how) Benefits (why) Tools to support practice (Canvas tools in bold)
Consider using requirements & pre-requisites in a module to support students, guide and scaffold learning to ensure success. This function can help keep students on track with the course work.  The module completion settings (requirements and pre-requisites) can be used to guide students through the course content.
Consider using the Canvas calendar for course events (with disclaimer) if SSO timetable does not meet the course needs (e.g. not flexible enough). Using the Canvas calendar ensures all important events are available in one location and students can choose whether they are notified/reminded.
Relational Learning & Technology Enhanced Learning
Baseline Plus Practices (how) Benefits (why) Tools to support practice (Canvas tools in bold)
Consider using the two weeks before semester starts to begin connecting with students and orienting them to the course. Allowing students to spend the first few weeks familiarising themselves with the teacher expectations and the online environment supports engagement and preparation.
Consider sending a weekly course update. Helps students with the pacing of the course and keeps them on track with weekly content, expectations, and any assessments.

Also: Mail merge, OnTask

Consider providing opportunities for students to introduce themselves and interact with each other. This can help encourage students to connect and get to know each other to start developing peer relationships and trust to build a community of learning.  Connecting is a first step in supporting effective collaboration activities.

Also: Piazza; Padlet

Consider providing opportunities for students to reflect upon and share how what they are learning connects with their own lives, communities, and places/environments. Reflection is an important part of learning. Providing opportunities to share these reflections supports peer learning. It also helps students gain a sense of belonging in the online space by creating a welcoming environment that acknowledges and respects students’ personal identities.

Also: Padlet; Miro; Perusall

If using an online discussion activity, consider a collaborative activity to gather a Class-negotiated etiquette and behaviour guidelines. Helps in creating a safe online space. Creating expectations with students, allowing them to participate in developing classroom rules or behaviour guidelines helps build community and culture.

Also: Padlet; Miro; Perusall

Relational Learning & Assessment for Learning & Technology Enhanced Learning
Baseline Plus Practices (how) Benefits (why) Tools to support practice (Canvas tools in bold)
Consider adding peer to peer activities in and around the course content, project work and assessments. Well-designed group work and peer activities can create a collaborative learning environment, where students can not only learn from each other but also develop important work-related skills such as effective communication and teamwork.

Also: Perusall; Piazza; Padlet

Consider providing opportunities for students to collaborate or share with one another to facilitate a community of learning. eg project work, shared note taking. Well administered and supported group work can allow students to connect, collaborate, share diverse perspective and pool knowledge and skills.

Also: MS Teams

Consider providing opportunities for peer feedback and opportunities to practice giving and receiving/using feedback. Students will benefit in the <workplace/anywhere> from being taught how to give and receive quality feedback.  How to analyse and evaluate and then create or recreate from the feedback received.

Also: Perusall; Piazza; Padlet

Consider how you might make your feedback more personalised to support students in their learning. Using audio or video to give feedback is a great way to personalise your comments as it can convey tone better than written feedback.  It can also help increase student engagement and relationality.
Relational Learning & Assessment for Learning & Technology Enhanced Learning
Baseline Plus Practices (how) Benefits (why) Tools to support practice (Canvas tools in bold)
Consider where you can use general feedback to the class to support students in their learning. Giving feedback to the whole class (written, audio, video) acknowledging success, alongside common errors or misunderstandings and things to keep in mind can help students gauge their progress without a huge increase in marking workload.

Also: Piazza

Before students submit their next assignment, consider sending a reminder to refer to feedback from relevant past assessments. Effective, consistent and timely feedback assists the learner to reflect on their learning and their learning strategies so they can make adjustments to make better progress in their learning.

Also: Mail merge

Consider where you can automate feedback to support students in their learning. When used appropriately, automated/semi-automated feedback can be a good way to provide feedback to students quickly without increasing staff marking workload.

Also: H5P; Turnitin

Page updated 09/04/2024 (minor edit)

Send us your feedback

What do you think about this page? Is there something missing? For enquiries unrelated to this content, please visit the Staff Service Centre

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.