Faculty listen to presenter at last year's event

Frank Sorokach, instructor in Business Administration at Penn State Worthington Scranton, presented on Community Scenarios for Teaching Project Management at last year’s Faculty Development Day.

Are you ready to learn more about Canvas through hands-on training sessions, as well as other useful pedagogy and technology tips?

On Jan. 5, 2017, the third annual Penn State Northeast Regional Faculty Development Day will be held at Worthington Scranton. The free event will heavily focus on the Canvas learning management system (LMS) and it is being held to encourage faculty who are not already using Canvas to transition to the new LMS, according to Griff Lewis, instructional designer at Penn State Worthington Scranton. It will also teach faculty how to convert their existing course material from ANGEL to Canvas.

“Not only is ANGEL going away, but Canvas is truly a more effective system for delivering content to our students,” Lewis said.

During the event, faculty who are not currently using Canvas will find the motivation to do so from current users of the LMS through the introductory “Faculty Chat” common session. The following hands-on breakout sessions, “Creating and Delivering Effective Content” and “Transferring Content to Canvas,” will teach faculty how to start using Canvas.

“We chose to feature hands-on Canvas training as part of our event this year because the timing will allow us to reach more faculty,” Lewis said. “We offer regular Canvas training sessions on campus during the semester, but as they are during the common period we are not always able to reach adjunct faculty or those who are involved with other activities at that time.”

Since some faculty are already using Canvas, the event will also focus on innovative uses of technology for teaching.

Two instructional designers from Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) will be presenting during the day, along with Penn State Worthington Scranton information sciences and technology (IST) faculty member Fred Aebli, who will be presenting on gamification techniques in the classroom. Lewis said that Aebli made a similar presentation at the 2016 TLT Symposium, but he has since been updated it and applied it to Canvas.

All of the hands-on Canvas training sessions will be held in the Dawson Building computer lab, room 115. The introductory faculty chat and pedagogy sessions will be held in Hawk Lecture Hall, Business Building 201.

The scheduled agenda is as follows:

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Faculty Chat: Using Canvas to Enhance your Teaching

During this discussion-oriented seminar, participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of Canvas at Penn State and the best uses of the tool for teaching and learning will be examined.

11 a.m. – noon

Canvas: Creating and Delivering Effective Content – Part 1

This is a hands-on workshop that will guide participants through the various options for delivering course content through Canvas. Participants will learn how they can create and manage Canvas modules and pages through hands-on practice and a facilitated exploration of related features and options within Canvas.

Selecting Technology to Improve Student Learning

In this session, participants will learn about the pedagogical benefits of technology tools that are being utilized in shared courses. They will also learn how to start exploring these tools for their own courses. This session will focus on a round robin of technologies/practices, which include Clickers/Reef, Doceri, Lynda.com, Sites at Penn State, VoiceThread, Yammer, and group project technologies, such as the Beam robot, Yammer, Stoodle, Canvas Groups, and Box.

Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch (provided)

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Canvas: Creating and Delivering Effective Content – Part 2 

Flipping the Classroom 

This session will explore the concept of “flipping the classroom,” where there are in-class sessions with more hands-on application and activities, while the out-of-class work for students includes lecture-style material and readings. The session will also identify approaches and techniques for faculty members to plan their own flipped classrooms.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Canvas: Transferring Content to Canvas

This is a hands-on workshop that will teach participants how to move content from ANGEL and Microsoft Word to Canvas. Participants will practice moving text and exporting and importing graphics. They will also learn the steps for bulk extracting files and transferring quizzes to Canvas.

Gamification Techniques in Canvas

This presentation will focus on the application of a gamification technique in an IST course that produced a high level of student engagement. The presenter will explain how faculty can use team-based assessments, such as a scoring mechanism, and he will introduce the technique of “leveling up,” which is similar to what is done in gaming environments. The presenter will also introduce role play as part of a course project where students were assigned to project teams known as “FBI Fly Teams,” which would act as a counterterrorism unit.  These project teams had to analyze a large volume of threat intelligence artifacts that indicated a possible terror plot and determine the “plot.”  During the presentation, attendees will attempt to find the “hidden Lion” on the slides, and at the end, a prize will be awarded.

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Question and Answer sessions

Interested attendees can register here. Keep in mind that space is limited, and registration will close on Dec. 21. Any questions about the event can be directed to Griff Lewis at gr113@psu.edu.


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