Submit your One Cool Thing for Canvas Day 2019

Submit your One Cool Thing for Canvas Day 2019

Which Canvas tool or feature did you discover that helps create a better experience for your students? Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology is giving you the opportunity to share your best practices with your colleagues at Canvas Day on Friday, March 15, 2019, at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. 

At Canvas Day, enjoy a scoop of Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream at the One Cool Thing mini-session and vote for the “coolest” presentation. The presenter with the most votes will win an iPad. Stay until the end of the session and one lucky attendee will be randomly selected to also win an iPad.

Submit your One Cool Thing by Wednesday, February 6 and the 2019 Canvas Day planning committee will select the best ideas to showcase. 

Canvas Day will feature presentations by Ryan Seilhamer of University of Central Florida and representatives of Instructure (the creators of Canvas), breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Open to Penn State faculty and staff only, registration is required for Canvas Day. Registration is free to attendees and includes breakfast and lunch.  

In preparation for Canvas Day, there will be several pre-conference training sessions on Canvas. These sessions will help bring audiences new to Canvas up to speed before attending Canvas Day. 

All training sessions listed below will be offered online via Zoom, enabling faculty and staff to participate from anywhere. If a session is full, you may still request it. You will be contacted if space becomes available. Additional sessions may be added based upon waitlist demand. 

Canvas Day pre-conference sessions 

Canvas: An Introduction 
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT
Thursday, Feb. 7, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT 

Canvas: Creating and Delivering Effective Content 
Monday, Feb. 11, 9:00-11:30 a.m. EDT
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 9:00-11:30 a.m. EDT 

Canvas: Creating Assignments and Quizzes 
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 1:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
Thursday, Feb. 21, 9:00-11:30 a.m. EDT 

Canvas: Using the Gradebook
Monday, Feb. 25, 1:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 9:00-11:30 a.m. EDT 

For more information about One Cool Thing or general questions related to Canvas Day, contact 

Canvas Day 2019 call for proposals is open

Canvas Day 2019 call for proposals is open

For the fourth year, Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology is hosting Canvas Day on Friday, March 15. The call for proposals is now open through Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

The 2019 Canvas Day Planning Committee invites Penn State faculty and staff to submit proposals for session presentations. Topics related to valuable and innovative uses of Canvas to support teaching and learning are encouraged.

For more information about the call for proposals or general questions related to Canvas Day, please contact

Submit session ideas for Canvas Day 2019

Submit session ideas for Canvas Day 2019

Save the date for Canvas Day 2019 on Friday, March 15, 2019, at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. We are interested in your ideas as we build our schedule of events.

What kind of teaching experiences do you want to hear about from your colleagues at the Canvas Day conference? Let us know your ideas by taking our brief survey.

If you are interested in presenting, we will make a call for session proposals in October. We will also open registration next month. See you in March!

Canvas Success Stories: Bryan Wang

Biology professor uses lab guides in Canvas to increase collaboration and learning

head shot of Bryan Wnag

Bryan Wang

Note: This is the fourth in a series we are doing called Canvas Success Stories, which look at some of the more engaging ways Penn State faculty are using Canvas to teach.

While aiming to increase accessibility and sustainability, a Penn State Berks biology instructor has discovered the potential in Canvas for increased student engagement and learning.

Since the fall of 2016, Bryan Wang, an assistant teaching professor at Penn State Berks, has been creating modified versions of lab guides and incorporating them into his Canvas classes. Funding for the project is possible through the Berks Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant.

The lab guides include instructions, a space for data, and focus questions for Wang’s course, BIOL 230 W (GN) Biology: Molecules and Cells. Lab partners copy and paste the lab guide into a Content Page in their Canvas Groups space. The students are able to collaborate with each other by adding notes, data, responses, and photographs to the Page.

From a sustainability standpoint, Wang’s goal is to eliminate the need for students to print out all the course content, which was in the form of PDFs. He also wanted to update the instruction manuals in an accessible, searchable format. “It ended up becoming an enhanced classroom experience,” he said.

Wang was able to observe student collaboration increasing with the lab guides in Canvas. One lab partner will read the prompts from the lab guide while the other student completes the instructions.

Students realize their lab time has become more efficient. Wang noticed students comprehending the lab instructions better than they had in previous semesters.

“I was giving the same lectures, I was telling the same jokes, and they got it better. They were more prepared with the pre-lab content in Canvas.”

While using this group space in Canvas, students could automatically share their lab work and access it for the entire semester. Throughout the semester, students used both their mobile devices and computers to complete their coursework.