Canvas Grants 2015

Meet The Canvas Grants 2015 Winners

Higher Ed Winners

Jared Chapman Utah Valley University

Bring the benefits of gamification to education

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Promote lossless participation and lossless engagement

Technology plays an increasing role in education. This shift has given more students easier access to education. However, limited interaction with teachers and classmates can reduce student motivation. Regardless of content and presentation improvements, online learning does not appear to be able to transmit emotion or engage students in the same way that teachers can. This can often result in lossy learning. The goal of gamification is to modify participant behavior to achieve specific outcomes. Project Delphinium aims to ameliorate the lossy learning challenges described above by bringing benefits of gamification to education. The project intends to eliminate lossless learning problems by providing an open, flexible, and simple-to-use framework for executing educational gamification in Canvas.

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Nelson Baker Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Tracing Learning Interaction Paths As A Guide to Design Lossless Learning

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Promote lossless engagement

Online courses are often structured using a cookie cutter approach and even when it is personalized, it is done based on instructor/instructional designer experience. The aim of this project is to pilot a plugin or software that will trace the path that the student takes during an online course session. The tracked data will be collected and analyzed to investigate student navigation patterns in a course, including how the student peruses the course menu and the content within a module. This will allow the identification of areas within courses that need improvement. The data analysis will be used to make changes in the delivery and design of online courses, particularly making improvements in personalized pathways offered to students at points where engagement is lost.

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Andrew Reynolds Boston College Center for
Teaching Excellence

Optimizing Groups for Active Learning

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Promote lossless engagement and lossless participation

Often, instructors turn to team-based and group work in classrooms to promote active learning. However, groups are often challenged by struggling interpersonal dynamics, ineffective evaluation strategies, and group logistics like finding times outside of class to meet. Team-based and group work often results in “lossy learning” where external factors in classroom organization and management are getting in the way of student learning. The project “Optimizing Groups for Active Learning” proposes to develop a tool to combat lossy learning through the facilitation of creating, organizing, and evaluating group work. This tool would bring together the knowledge that instructors have in the design of activities and assignments and the voice and knowledge of students who can describe for themselves how they might learn best in groups.

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Kenneth Larsen
Travis Thurston Utah State University

Learning paths for differentiated content to meet students’ specific needs

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Promote lossless engagement and lossless participation

The creation of a Learning Paths Tool would allow teachers to define a variety of tracks within their course content. The learning path would provide both a self-directed learning experience and an individualized learning plan that adapts to the preference and performance of the student. Learning Paths could be based on course section, instructor assignment, or even self-directed student learning opportunities. A Learning Path duration could extend through an entire course, or be limited to individual units or modules. Sections of course content could be easily connected to a Learning Path and dynamically displayed to students on that path.

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Oliver Heyer University of California Berkeley

Increase student interaction in courses with an Engagement Index

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Promote lossless engagement

The Data Cultures project is an Engagement Index built to increase student interaction within courses. It is a dashboard of various course activities shared among all the class participants. Points are attached by the instructor to a variety of course activities, automatically updated as a running total for each user, and listed publicly, along with a class rank. The activities that are tracked and tallied include a student’s responses to Canvas discussions, assignment submissions, and the comments and likes/dislikes received and given. The overall effect is a mutual reinforcement between the greater engagement students have with each other’s ideas, and the competition that helps drive it.

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Mary Kayler University of Mary Washington

M.O.L.I.E. Meets Canvas and the Open Web

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Promote lossless engagement

The M.O.L.I.E. Meets Canvas and the Open Web project supports the integration of Canvas via open APIs and the development of EPIC Multimedia Online Learning Immersive Environment courses to shake-up the predictive pedagogy of online learning. Utilizing the page builder plugin and developing custom modules that make use of Canvas APIs, interfaces will be created that allow for easy integration of Canvas material and tools within a self-hosted WordPress site. The project will also include the creation of a faculty development M.O.L.I.E. designed to transform pedagogical practice including quest-based learning, game theory and elements that are the pedagogical drivers.

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K-12 Winners

Mark Woodward Alaska Digital Academy

Earn pilot license through hybrid course with formative feedback

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First Flight Alaska

Some of the best ways to push students to higher levels of learning is by creating courses that offer more than just a grade. In this program, Alaska students will have the opportunity to earn their UAV pilot’s license through both F2F and online learning in a courses offered through Canvas. Taught by an experienced teacher, the key to this delivery system will be formative feedback based on video flight recordings and a live video feed during flight days.

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Kasey Cope Pleasant View Elementary

Project-based learning to teach bike safety

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Bike Your Way to Safety

There’s no better way to learn a lesson than through real life experience. In this project, students learn about bike safety by completing a course in Canvas while simultaneously building a safe bike path to school for all students to use. Students complete lessons and assignments aligned to standards, and receive feedback and authentic assessments. Motivation and engagement are off the charts because students are having so much fun in this project-based learning environment.

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Sterling Worrell Hopkinton Public Schools

Leverage the power of social media to teach collaboration

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Smartphone Photography: Leveraging the power of social media and smartphone technology to create and collaborate

Every day, more than 400 million photos are uploaded to Facebook, and an additional 50 million are shared on Instagram. As new research reveals that social media use in the classroom can be an effective teaching and learning strategy, this hybrid high school fine art photography course teaches smartphone camera techniques, the art of seeing and reading imagery for meaning, and using social media to share photography and collaborate, while reinforcing ethical and responsible ways to reach appropriate audiences with photography. This course leverages the power of social media to teach students to collaborate in creative and responsible ways.

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Brian McDowell Mason County Middle School

Use proportional reasoning to design experiment to prove or disprove life on Mars

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Is There Life on Mars

Ever since humans have had telescopes strong enough to see Mars, we have wondered: “Is there life on Mars?” Using their proportional reasoning skills, students will design their own controlled experiment to prove or disprove the existence of life. They will create life-sized models of the Mars site, design and program a Lego robot to simulate how NASA explored Mars, analyze their data and debate their conclusions.

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Nicole DeCrette Steamboat Springs High School

Makerspace for teachers and students to access tools for innovation and hands-on learning

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Steamboat Makerspace

Students are becoming “makers” instead of just consumers of information. However, it’s happening in isolated classrooms and largely with male students. This project seeks to create a common, central space for teachers and students to access tools for innovation and engage in hands-on learning. The Makerspace will help synthesize a high profile, accessible school-wide shift in students as producers instead of consumers.

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Ashley Turrell Indianapolis Academy of
Excellence CFA

Produce and share videos between students as a means of learning

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Virtual Student Collaboration Zone

Students spend countless hours watching video. What if instead of watching experts and teachers teach a topic, they could watch other kids do so – their own classmates even? This project aims to teach students to write, record, edit, archive, and share their own videos, which will be be housed and shared on a school website that can be accessed by classmates, schoolmates, and other students around the world. Video feedback is encouraged, creating an interactive and real-time stream of assessment, feedback, comparison, and collaboration.

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Jim McCusker Ridley School District

Explore higher-order thinking skills in flexible, adaptable space

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Ridley Cease Absences Now Video Advantage; Ridley C-A-N-V-A-S

With a national emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, the Fab Lab will give students an opportunity to analyze, evaluate, and create in a space designed for them to test hypotheses, develop solutions, and answer questions all related to the content standards. This purposeful space will be flexible and adaptable, allowing teachers to extend the classroom experience into any content area and engaging students with structure and choice through inquiry-based, hands-on opportunities to demonstrate their understanding.

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Vanessa Smith Bret Harte Middle School
Hayward USD

Introduction to coding through game design

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Students Learn Stem Through Game Design

This project will introduce students to coding or computer science and computer programming through game design. Students will learn computer science (coding) and programming alongside other core curriculum courses. The target audience is students in grades 6-8 from Title I or low-income schools and districts, who traditionally do not have access to these additional skills inside and outside of the classroom. At the end of each year students who participated in the program will present a graph of STEM content skills mastered as well as a STEM-focused educational game. This program moves students from video game consumers to video game builders using grade level content knowledge.

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Tim Smay University High School

Digital opportunities to extend the science classroom

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Digital Citizenship/Literacy Through the Science Classroom

In science, students are constantly collecting data through labs, but oftentimes, this data has to be analyzed on their own at home, without partners or their lab groups. This program will start out teaching incoming freshman about digital citizenship and the basic digital skills they will need to be successful in high school and beyond. Throughout the rest of the year, teachers can really extend the science classroom through digital opportunities, such as lab simulations (when applicable), video production and projects, and creation of digital portfolios. With this project, we’re able to meet students where they’re at and diversify and extend the traditional science classroom.

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Douglas Ferguson Martin Sortun Elementary
Kent School District

A “Maker Lab” focused on STEM

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Losing Less Learning by Making Knowledge Matter in a Maker Lab

STEM education embodies the inventor’s entrepreneurial spirit: no longer just a question of what can I learn, but what can I create? This immediate impact motivates students to think harder. This project will transform our school’s computer lab into a grant-funded “Maker Lab”, creating a space for all students to create and invent while applying STEM concepts from the common core (CCSS) and next generation science standards (NGSS)—including new elementary engineering standards.

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Have you ever wished you could transform education by empowering teachers and students to learn and do more?

For the second year in a row, we’re granting your most inspired wishes for K-12 and higher education with Canvas Grants totaling $110k. And this year, we’re investing 100 percent of that $110k for your 16 most innovative ideas to help find, understand, and address the causes of lossy learning.

As part of Canvas’ lossless learning initiative, we’re challenging you to find new ways to maximize student learning potential. You find an innovative solution to help teachers and students move toward lossless learning.

We’ll fund it with ten grants of $5k for K-12 and six grants of $10k for higher ed.

$5K for K-12 16 grants $10K for HE

Submit a proposal that scores highest on the following criteria, and it’s sure to be a win-win for you and lossless learning.