Tag Archives: Learning Management System

New Canvas Integration With Google Revealed

Kuala Lumpur,20 January 2017 — Canvas by Instructure today released a deep, seamless integration with Google tools that allows students and teachers to use Google while working inside of Canvas, effectively eliminating the need to constantly switch between separate tabs and log-ins. This integration helps increase productivity for teachers and students who use Canvas and Google Drive by streamlining their workflow, and merges the capabilities of Google Docs and the Canvas LMS platform.

“Most of the teachers we work with use Google in their classrooms, and they want to use Canvas and Google without switching back and forth between two interfaces. Our educator user base is very excited about this integration because it will make their lives easier,” said Melissa Loble, the Vice President of partners and platform at Instructure. “Now teachers, students and administrators alike can use Google’s best tools directly inside of Canvas. This integration allows schools to continue having students work in the software they use now, and will use after they get their diplomas and jobs in the real world.”


The Canvas Integration With Google

The integration includes many points of interoperability, such as:

  • Single sign-on: With a single login, when users are logged into Canvas, they’re also logged into Google.
  • Google Drive embedding and linking: Users can easily embed documents from Google Drive anywhere they use the Canvas rich content editor.
  • Google Docs as assignments: With this new integration, students can submit Google Docs as assignments, and teachers can use a Google Doc to give an assignment and to grade submitted assignments in Speedgrader by editing or annotating the Google Doc submitted by the student.
  • Google Drive collaborations: Students can participate in a Canvas collaboration using Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.
  • Modules: Teachers can include a read-only Google Doc in their modules.

The Canvas Google integration benefits teachers, students and administrators. The integration helps teachers create and add collaborative documents from Google, view their Google Drive files from the Canvas Course Navigation Menu, and save time in finding and sharing files. Because Canvas seamlessly integrates with Google Drive, teachers can create assignments and annotate directly on the Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets as they grade them.

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For students, the new integration promotes collaboration with classmates and teachers and enables them to view teacher feedback on Google Docs and save time submitting documents. The integration also helps administrators leverage standards-based technology and Google’s wealth of educational features with no additional cost. The simplified workflow created by the integration also promotes greater adoption of the technology, which increases productivity.

“Canvas believes that schools should be able to bring the best tools together so that teachers can focus on teaching and not on technology. Traditional LMS/VLE environments force teachers to use the tools they alone provide or created fractured environments where students and teachers needed to log into several systems. Canvas is the first to bring the true power of Google apps for Education (GAFE) into a centralised Learning environment for teachers and students. Teachers can quickly share documents with students, create collaborative documents, slides or sheets and even allow students to submit work for assessment. With only a couple of clicks in Canvas, you have a truly unified environment,” concluded Troy Martin, Vice President, Canvas Asia Pacific.

This integration allows for seamless, simultaneous use of Canvas and Google, with both platforms transforming today’s K–12 and higher education classrooms.


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Technology-Driven Education: Rethinking Employability In 2017

2016 saw a shift from personalized learning to student centered learning. Students demanded always on, anytime learning, coupled with the provision of modern learning tools that were a catalyst for independent, self-directed learning. Universities took notice in 2016 and have already begun the evolution process, spurred by the demands on their well-informed students.

The shift towards a more student centered learning environment allowed teachers to deliver problem solving, and outcome based self-directed learning, which increased student autonomy over time, skills that were imperative as each student prepares for today’s workforce.

Moving into 2017, Canvas foresees an even bigger demand for student centered learning, spurred by four digitally-driven educational disruptions – analytics, open technologies, preparatory education and 24/7 access to course materials. These four trends will force academic institutions to re-evaluate the services they offer with a focus on enhancing the student experience.


Four Major Technology-Driven Education Disruptions

Analytics: Harnessing the Power of Data

A decade ago, it was easy to find education leaders who dismissed student achievement data as having only limited use for improving schools or school systems. Today, we have come full circle with the education industry broadly embracing data-based decision making and research-based practice. In 2017, Canvas predicts the education market will adopt analytics-based modelling, using data to make more accurate predictions about performance. They also expect a shift towards big data, where sharing machine data between schools will allow for insights at the industry level, not just the institution level.

Researchers however, warn that this enthusiastic embrace of data must not move the industry directly from blind resistance to performance measures with an inflexible reliance on metrics that uses data in a passive way to predict success. Rather, success will depend on how schools harness data for good, and turn tests and measures into actionable insights. Being able to alter teaching quickly to address student needs can increase student engagement and motivation, and ultimately, improve results.


Open Technologies: The Year of Open Source

Technology experts are united in the view that schools and colleges can reap the same benefits of virtualisation and cloud services as their counterparts in commercial industries. But despite this assertion, many schools have been reluctant to embrace this new technology. In 2017, we’ll see lingering concerns around privacy and security diminish as institutions build closer relationships with technology providers, working in partnership to build systems that are adaptable, safe and able to evolve within an agile ICT environment. Cloud computing will help unleash the next wave of tech-enabled innovation in schools by enabling educators to change the way that courses are delivered to a new generation of tech savvy, social students.

In 2017, we will also see other tech-providers following Canvas’ lead as they embrace open technology and move away from a proprietary model. As the industry asks, “which is better: a product created by a handful of developers, or one built by a community of thousands?” the role of collaboration in technology development will become more pressing and prominent. A move to open source will lead to bold innovation and will empower schools to shape the products they buy to meet their own challenges.

24/7 Student Experience: Always Learning

With students calling for always-on access to course materials, institutions will demand improved availability from their technology partners.

Cloud computing or managed services will again prove appealing as institutions realise the value of consumption versus ownership. But maintaining uptime and data integrity requires trust, which many technology vendors will have to build with the schools and colleges they serve. When selecting a partner in 2017, institutions must navigate those issues, considering uptime, reliability and a partner’s credentials to ensure that they have robust disaster recovery procedures.

Preparatory Education: Teaching for Life

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Global research by Canvas showed that just 10 percent of students believe that their education adequately prepares them for the workplace. Pressure from students, combined with an increasing need for institutions to demonstrate the return on investment from education will put renewed focus on employability in 2017. Higher education institutions particularly must adapt or die, demonstrating their value by fuelling the economy with graduates primed to succeed at work.

Whether it’s changing curricula to allow for lengthier work placements or updating course materials to ensure relevancy, there are many ways universities can adapt to focus on employability. But the key is to ensure students are primed for lifelong learning. Instead of teaching students to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers, teachers are too often asking them to memorise facts and regurgitate rote materials. In 2017, institutions at all levels must redress the balance, helping to create a learning environment that teaches the skills needed for employment and citizenship—instead of focusing on classroom tests and measures.

An Opportunity Not to be Missed

Our 2017 outlook covers a diverse range of issues but all our predictions are shaped in some form by digital disruption, the global force that continues to drive nearly every industry. But while many sectors have embraced this tech-driven opportunity to re-invent themselves, the structure and processes of education institutions have remained largely unaltered.

The year 2017 presents an opportunity for educators to catch up. For us, the year ahead is ‘do or die’ for educators who have a clear opportunity to dramatically enhance teaching and learning, and to deliver more value to students through the proactive and strategic use of technology.


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Only 25% Of Malaysian Undergraduates Prepared For Work

15 November 2016 – Canvas by Instructure, the open online learning management system (LMS) that makes teaching and learning easier, has revealed the results of a recent study, highlighting the importance of student centered learning amongst Malaysian undergraduates.


Only 25% Of Malaysian Undergraduates Feel Prepared For Work

The research, which surveyed 500 Malaysian undergraduates from both public and private universities, found that 52% of Malaysian university students believe that their universities are providing them with modern technology and teaching that delivers a personalized learning experience. A further 77% of undergraduates say that the teaching methods experienced at university are more in tune with their learning styles than those experienced at school.

The research also reveals the importance of university education in preparing for employment, with 65% of students indicating that their university courses play a vital role in increasing their chances of employment, putting the onus on Malaysian universities to empower students with the necessary skills and tools they need to adapt to today’s workforce upon graduation.

Troy Martin, Director of APAC for Canvas, remarked, “Our research suggests that whilst Malaysian Universities have a good understanding of the importance of delivering personalised learning, only 25% of students say they are prepared for employment. Universities still have some opportunities in terms of delivering education experiences that prepare students for the world of work.

With only 25% of students saying that university courses are teaching them the skills for employment, there is pressure from undergraduates to ensure their chances of employability are maximized upon graduation. It matters so much that 33% would pay extra to be certain their course was relevant to employers.

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It’s fortunate that their demands have not gone unnoticed, with Malaysian Universities evolving toward student centered learning through the provision of modern learning tools. Already, 42% of students say that they have fast broadband access to support video interaction with tutors, and 41% say that they have access to virtual learning environments (VLE), which enables collaborative problem solving and self-directed learning, all crucial in establishing a student centered learning environment. A further 58% of students say that their universities enable them to collaborate with potential employers.

Martin explains, “The increase in focus on employment as a measurement of education success, is driving student centered learning in education across the globe. Because learning at school can be highly-structured and heavily teacher-directed, there is a dichotomy of experience when students enter the workforce. The world outside of school requires students to be able to self-direct their work in low-structured environments that seasoned experts thrive in.

“We are encouraged that fundamentally, personalized learning is at the core for most university students in Malaysia, but as Malaysia moves toward its goal of being a developed nation by 2020, providing basic technology and internet access will no longer be sufficient to enable student centered learning. At Canvas, we aim to enable student centered learning, allowing teachers to deliver problem solving, and outcome based self-directed learning, which increases student autonomy over time, skills that are imperative as each student prepares for today’s workforce,” concluded Martin.


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