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Notes from #canvascon Sydney 2019 #edtech

Keynote: a focus on student success is more important than ever before

With 900 attendees this was reported as the largest CanvasCon globally so far, in fact they had to close registrations! Many of those attending represented institutions wanting to know more about Canvas as interest is growing in this easy to use and integrate platform. The presentations gave a lot of useful information to those already using Canvas as well. The conference provided excellent networking opportunities and a good representation of other vendors. It was a pleasure to talk to people interested in the product as my experience has been very positive.

Some priorities for Instructure for 2019 are portfolio functions (portfolium), mastery learning assessment tools, and Microsoft are creating tighter integration with Office 365 and their excellent Immersive Reader. 

Instructure is also investing in a nudge feature to encourage, among other things, better habits relating to self-directed learning. Rather than relying on unintelligent nudges, the system uses machine learning to learn what students respond to and when they are likely to respond to nudges. As universities develop their nudge strategies there may come a time where multiple systems are nudging students, requiring a well coordinated approach across systems and teams to enhance, rather than detract from, the student experience. 

RMIT have developed Emble: a content authoring tool that helps create consistent Canvas sites by enabling the user to add predefined blocks of CSS with multiple elements such as headings etc. The tool benefits users by using a template approach for accessibility and consistency. They are talking about whether to open source the project or commercialise it. 

Site Quality Rubric by Callaghan college: In the session "Data and Tools: Powering up the Pedagogy!", Stacey Lambert talked about a rubric they add to every site that is used for evaluating course site quality. Find it on the commons. Search for "canvas standards course analysis" 

There was a lot more going on at the conference but I had a lot of vendor meetings to attend as well.

No doubt there are a lot more notes and reflections from others under the #canvascon tag.


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