Canvas

The Canvas course site created for each course offering at Harvard is an important tool for teaching—whether in classrooms or online. Many instructors already use these sites to share the syllabus for their courses, and possibly as a place to collect assignments or circulate readings. In a situation in which you need to make changes to your course's instructional practices, Canvas can be an extremely useful means through which to communicate changes, coordinate lecture or sections, promote discussions, collect student work, provide feedback, share materials, etc.

Using Canvas for Course Communications / Logistics

When teaching remotely, the Canvas Calendar can become a valuable tool with which to keep your class organized. Just as you would do, share, and collect things during specific class meetings, you can use the Canvas Calendar to organize course components. In the calendar, you can create an event to share class materials (synchronously or asynchronously), and you can use the interface to create an assignment shell which can then be filled out in the assignment interface. Assignments can be used to collect materials (such as evidence of section work) that will stand-in for course components that might have taken place in person.

Canvas has a variety of tools for communication. The Course Emailer, Conversations, and Announcements are likely the most helpful for coordinating with your students. (There are other tools, discussed elsewhere, that are more helpful for promoting discussion.) If you would like to message your class or a class section but would like your correspondence to be sent through your email (which means that responses would come to your inbox), you will want to use Canvas’ Course Emailer. Although the messaging will take place in your email, you will need to use Canvas for the initial email. Canvas also provides a messaging system within Canvas called Conversations. You and the students can use this system within Canvas for many types of communication. Announcements are meant to be a way to communicate with students about the logistics of your course. They will be shared with students based upon their notification preferences.

Academic Technology for the FAS / HUIT

Your starting place for learning about and accessing many of the technological tools you may need, such as Zoom, Canvas, and related plug-ins.

The Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL)

VPAL convenes university-wide conversations about teaching and pedagogical research, particularly in the online space.

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

OUE oversees, and stewards resources devoted to, the undergraduate curriculum at Harvard College..

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE)

DCE offers a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses, and their staff are experienced in thinking about multiple ways to achieve your goals through different mediums.

SEAS and the Division of Science

Advice on teaching in the sciences.

The Harvard Libraries

Request help modifying/troubleshooting your research-based assignments.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Schedule a consultation with the Bok Center's Senior Staff. (Please note that consultations are available only for Faculty and Teaching Fellows in the FAS.)

Faculty can visit our office hours, every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:30–11:30 AM; or request a class observation.

Daily Office Hours  |  Class observation

Teaching Fellows can attend and explore the asynchronous Canvas resources from Winter Teaching Week; or attend our biweekly TF resource hours.

Winter Teaching Week  |  TF Resource Hours

The media production staff of the Bok Center's Learning Lab can provide consultations for faculty teaching Harvard College courses using Zoom and other modes of media capture. We can provide suggestions for setting up remote video capture environments in your home or office, and on ways to integrate media into your courses.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss your needs with our staff.

Email the Learning Lab  |  Request a Media Tutorial

Game pieces sit atop a syllabus design worksheet using game concepts to help build a syllabus.

Exploring Syllabus Design

April 22, 2021

Is there any document that does more, and receives less recognition, than the humble course syllabus? By comparison with the other documents scholars produce—journal articles, dissertations, even letters of recommendation—our syllabi hardly rate; they’re often regarded as ephemeral, purely functional, designed to be read once or twice and then cast aside at the end of the semester. But in fact, the syllabus is so much more than a reference document. The syllabus can help set the tone for your course, excite students, and invite them to engage more deeply with the content, the...

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Grace Burgin

Science through Story: Podcasts in OEB50

April 7, 2021

When OEB50: Genetics and Genomics wrapped in Fall 2019, Professors Robin Hopkins and Dan Hartl, who co-teach the course, decided to incorporate a creative project that would allow students to engage course material in new ways in the next iteration. Little did they know that the next iteration of the course would be on Zoom!

When it came time to design the creative project, Hopkins and Hartl turned to OEB graduate student Grace Burgin, a Media and Design Fellow at the Bok Center’s Learning Lab. ...

Read more about Science through Story: Podcasts in OEB50
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