Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Up Close & Canvas: SpeedGrader

PBS TeacherLine uses the Canvas Learning Management System for its full array of online undergrad and graduate courses.


One of the best features of Canvas is SpeedGrader. Canvas wizard Dave Pelino offers these insights regarding Canvas in general and the SpeedGrader feature in particular:


“Canvas is very user friendly, especially with SpeedGrader. When you are in a discussion forum, if you click on the “Settings cog” in the upper right hand corner of the forum directions (to the right of the “edit” button) the drop down menu will give you a SpeedGrader option there as well. Once you open that you can see all the posts for each of your individual learners. You can also grade from there and enter your feedback.

Another way to get there is to click on a grade for any student under a discussion forum column in the grade book, when the box opens there is a SpeedGrader option in it. 

A third option will allow you to see everything a learner has submitted fairly quickly – open the grade book and click on the learner’s name. A list of all assignments will appear and as you click on any of them you will see either the submission (if it was an assignment) or all their posts at once (if it was a forum).  You can also grade and leave comments from here.

Using the back button quickly brings you right back to that list. If you click “Show All Details” on the grade page it will even show all feedback you provided and any comments the learner left for you.

Thanks, Dave, for sharing these efficient tips for SpeedGrader!

For more information, view this Speedgrader post from the Canvas forums.


Up Close & Canvas: Assigning Peer Reviewers in Canvas LMS Online Courses

Doing Peer Reviews and want to assign learners a partner (or two) to review?

The Canvas LMS has a shortcut! In the Canvas LMS, create the peer review dynamics in an automated fashion in the assignment’s settings to quickly automate peer review partners. See the photo below*



*This photo and my thanks to our great PBS TeacherLine Canvas guru Reed for showing us the path! Reed is also the Assistant Director, Digital Education Services for PBS Education.


Up Close & Canvas: Canvas LMS Tutorials

The great group of professors at the university asked for some tutorial ideas- kinda “been there but don’t remember that-

Well, Canvas has some of the best documentation and video guides I have seen such as this link: https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/canvas-guideLinks to an external site..

And for some mind-blowing tips & tricks checkout https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/8388


Up Close & Canvas: Customize your Canvas LMS course experience using Notifications

In your Canvas LMS courses, look for the notification options to customize your course experience.  They can be found by clicking “Account” along the left hand side of any Canvas page.

Notifications In Canvas

Source: Teague Canvas Course Files

These notifications are explained in many places available by searching, in the Canvas community, and in this Canvas Notifications PDF *

Source: Teague PBS Course Screenshot



Source: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10624


Source: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10624



*This tip provided by Reed, PBS Assistant Learning Director at PBS Learning Media




Canvas Shout-outs are short, monthly spotlight acknowledgements of the best practices of theenhanced Community of Inquiry framework in action.

 Canvas Notification Mini-vid for Students: Shoutout to Dr. Lindsay Edwards!



What: May’s Canvas Shout-out
Who: May’s Canvas Shoutout goes to Dr. Lindsay Edwards, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Health and Recreation
College of Human Sciences & Educational Studies
411: Dr. Edwards anticipated that her summer term students might need additional supports to stay connected and on-task during the dry, West Texas summer months. She created a short video mini-tutorial on setting up notifications for Canvas messages. Click on the photo to play the video (please ignore the slight echo)

00:00 – 02:09

Dr. Edwards’ gave permission to display the link for the video so you can share with your students too!


Post by Helen Teague reposted at https://hsutxonlineed.edublogs.org/2018/05/16/canvas-shoutout/

Canvas Megaphone image created by Sarah H.


Success Markers for Summer Term Online Courses with Canvas LMS

Here are five success markers to give a great start to your summer term with Canvas LMS:

  1. Check that the Start/End dates are accurate for your course
    Link: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12907-415257088
  2. Publish your Syllabus for students to read, print, and retain
    Link: http://hsutxonlineed.edublogs.org/2018/02/08/uploading-your-syllabus-to-your-canvas-course/
  3. Post a Welcome message (text or video or audio)
  4. Check that any links in your course are working
  5. Set your notification preferences (optional but frequently asked)–Link: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13111-4152719738
  6. Be sure that your course is “Published”–Link: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13030-415257126

Here are 5 essential elements to include in any online course using Canvas LMS*:

  1. Welcome message
  2. Modules of Content
  3. Working hyperlinks within your Course
  4. Syllabus, including outcomes and objectives
  5. Professor contact information



*also a good idea for other online course LMS too!

This post written by Helen Teague and reposted at this link:

Dept of Online Education Reminders for May Term faculty


Online Summer Faculty Meeting Recap

Thank you for attending our Online Summer Faculty Meeting

Here are the session materials we distributed:

Summer Faculty Meeting Presentation

Final Summer Faculty HSU Canvas FAQ Sheet

QM Standards with Point Values – Fifth Edition

Here are the takeaways we noted from Michelle’s presentation, (thank you again, Michelle!)

May 2 HSU Summer Faculty Mtg
May 2 HSU Summer Faculty Mtg
  1. Find the balance between what is convenient vs. what is effective
  2. Students prefer 2nd chances for assignments
  3. Qualitatively feedback preferred over the quantitative numeric score
  4. Prefer written feedback rather than video and audio (video takes awhile to load)
  5. Discussion variety preferred (voice thread, discussions, video, audio, avatar )




Also, Our Twitter Tweeter, Sarah was live-tweeting during our meeting. See the tweets at this link: Live Tweets
(Thanks, Sarah!!)

Post written by Helen Teague and reposted at this link:



Dr. Ed. Sim and student Michelle Chahyadi, Senior Marketing Major from Bandung, Indonesia, offered peer-to-peer engagement strategies for active engagement in online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses during the April Canvas Cowboy Innovator roundtable discussion on April 24, 2018. In this post, the HSU Department of Online Education’s features Dr. Sim and Michelle Chahyadi’s reflection on research-based practices supporting effective learning activities for online classes.

Dr. Sim’s explains, in the video below, that effective engagement is reinforced by learning science, such as Nelson and Narens’ framework Nelson_And_Narens_1990 (Figure 1).

Video Player

Figure 1: Designing Effective Learning Activities for Online Classes with Learning Science Principles, (Nelson & Narens, 1990)











Student engagement is evidenced through active learning and is one of the Schreiner, et al, 2009, tenets of  Academic Thriving (Figure 2)   Academic_Thriving_SchreinerMcIntoshNelsonPothoven2009.

In this video clip, Dr. Sim explains that are one remedy for poor mental models passive concept retrieval, a deterrent to academic thriving.

Video Player



Figure 2: Academic Thriving Concept, (Schreiner, McIntosh, Nelson, Pothoven, 2009)


In this video, HSU student Michelle Chahyadi explains the retrieval and spacing effect. One way that Dr .Sim achieves student engagement through retrieval and spacing effect is through weekly page updates and personalized email.

Video Player

00:00 – 00:35


This post written by Helen Teague and reposted at this link:



Engaged learning is a vital piece of the pie when moving students from surviving to Thriving (Schreiner, McIntosh, Nelson, Pothoven, 2009). Our Canvas Cowboy Innovator*, Dr. Ed. Sim knows this because he averages over 57,000 Page Views each semester! He will share his tips and we will share cookies and take notes!! 

What: Join Dr. Ed Sim today as he demonstrates ways to use  as a platform for engaged student learning

When: Today 3-3:30pm

Where: RL 133




Poster created by Helen Teague using Smore


Post written by Helen Teague and reposted at this link:

*Canvas Cowboy Innovator term and program created by Helen Teague





The HSU Office of Online Education continues our spotlight feature where you are the star! There is so much innovative Canvas-ing occurring on the HSU campus! We want you to be in the know about what your fellow faculty members are accomplishing with Canvas. On the first Monday of every month, we will spotlight the innovative talents of our faculty and staff for the “Canvas Cowboy Innovator of the Month.” Each Cowboy will present his/her/their innovation to HSU faculty and staff during a peer-to-peer share event.


Although computers and the internet invade every area of our life, humans do not perceive information the same way that a computer does. Computers perceive information “by manipulating abstract symbols” (Lyons, Ansari & Beilock, 2015). The dedicated online educator realizes this and uses many engagement strategies to compensate and alter the embodied thinking structure of students’ conceptual understanding.

Dr. Edward Sim, prompts his students to realign their thinking toward content delivered in online format of the Canvas learning management system. His engagement strategies yield over 56,000 page views across all his courses, from January -March 5, 2018. He is a Canvas “Power User” and our Canvas Cowboy Innovator for April, 2018.

Here is why page visits are important: if students are engaging with content then they are more likely to internalize, learn, and apply this content. Also, the question “How do I engage with my students” remains one of the top concerns from faculty. Dr. Sim will share his best ideas for engaging students in a peer-to-peer engagement event on April 24, 2018 from 3:00 pm-3:30 pm in the HSU Office of Online Education.

Dr. Sim celebrates ten years with Hardin-Simmons University this year. Dr. Sim is a graduate of George Washington University where he earned a master’s degree in information management and the University of Maryland where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in information systems. Prior to serving at HSU, Sim worked in the United States intelligence community. He has also been an assistant professor of information system and decision systems at Loyola College.

Dr. Sim has done research in the fields of software engineering, software metrics, analytical decision making, and creativity.. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Towson State University, a Master of Science in Management Information Systems, from George Washington University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems and Decision Sciences, from the University of Maryland (Baltimore).

Please join us as we enjoy some cookies, fellowship, Q&A, and receive Dr. Sim’s ideas for engaging students to log-in and tune-in to your Canvas course(s)!

April 24, 2018 3:00pm – 3:30pm



























The Cookies and Computers Poster created by Helen Teague using Smore
Canvas Cowboy Innovator image created by Helen Teague using PicMonkey


Lyons, I. M., Ansari, D., & Beilock, S. L. (2015). Qualitatively different coding of symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers in the human brain. Human Brain Mapping36(2), 475-488.

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