[note: this post has been updated to reflect a terminology change on the Sussex Canvas VLE, to align it to Sussex terminology]
Canvas provides staff and students with many collaboration opportunities and in this Canvas highlights post we will be taking a look at Conferences.
Canvas Conferences use a tool called BigBlueButton to enable staff to create online virtual spaces in order to interact with students on their modules. This tool allows you to broadcast video, audio, presentations or online applications in real-time. In addition to this, students can create their own conferences allowing them to facilitate study groups or prepare for group work at a distance. Conferences are very quick to set up and are easily customisable for different uses.
- Enable recording to view Conferences at a later date
- Upload documents to share with participants
- Customise the layout (options include: chat box, webcam sharing, shared notes)
- Share your screen to demonstrate a particular programme or procedure
- Closed captioning – create captions that will also be available on the recording
Canvas Conferences could be used to aid student learning in a number of different ways. Firstly, Conferences would allow staff to create ‘virtual lectures’, to allow guest lecturers to contribute from a distance or to create virtual office hour spaces. In addition, the screen sharing and annotation features of Conferences could be used to demonstrate particular processes, technologies or applications, or to troubleshoot certain issues.
Arguably, the most powerful way in which this tool can be used is to encourage collaboration between students, for example when planning group projects and presentations and to facilitate reading groups.
Below are a few resources from the Canvas Community to help get you started when using the Conferences tool. Training for Sussex staff will start shortly, if you would like to find out more about Canvas please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.