Leading up to next month’s Canvas Showcase, we are highlighting great uses of Canvas by Penn faculty. First up, Jami Fisher, American Sign Language Program Coordinator, Department of Linguistics. She teaches and coordinates American Sign Language courses with 12-15 students and has been doing great work with Canvas since it was in its pilot stage. Here she talks about video journal assignments that students submit through Canvas.
Can you tell us about video journals in your Canvas site?
All of the classes require video journals in some capacity. It’s because we are looking to gauge their expressive ability in American Sign Language. It’s an opportunity for them to do it in a practiced way. What we’re looking for is their production skills and the video journals allow students to hone these skills to the best of their ability and allow for instructors to assess them in American Sign Language.
How did you go about setting this up?
What we’ve done is we provide written expectations of what students are expected to create. in the very first course, we give them simple sentences and then give them a simple dialogue or narrative to produce. The sentences, we the instructors give them, and we expect a certain output. With the narratives it’s more student creation. We give them a prompt and the students are expected to follow and include certain criteria. We give them a prompt and they produce it either using their own laptop video recording system or the Canvas video recording system. We create it as an Assignment; they record themselves within the assignment.
How difficult was it to use this tool in Canvas?
As long as you know the video recording capability is there, integrated with the assignment function, it’s not difficult at all. We just alert students how they can record within the assignment itself.
How has Canvas enhanced your teaching?
It’s made it far easier for all of us to incorporate visually based communication throughout the information management system. We can respond to students using video, students can respond to other students using video, so it’s really maximized learning for students in and outside of class.
Everything is contained within the system. We have a calendar system, we can save our files, we can send students email, and things like that.
Any final thoughts?
Canvas is has been really helpful for us to keep everything in one place and streamline things and make us more efficient.