Revealing Canvas Features That Can Maximize Student Engagement

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session Blended Equity and Inclusion

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, participants will discover the lesser-known features of Canvas that, if utilized effectively, can increase student engagement in online, hybrid, or flipped classes. Attendees can expect to learn the “nuts and bolts” of each feature and its application in real-life examples.


Since 2015, Robyn Brown has led the faculty engagement and E-Campus Collaborative for Online Education (ECCOE) initiatives through her role with Regionals E-Campus at Miami University (Oxford). Although she has spent her entire career as an educator, she has not always worked in higher education. Robyn developed her skills and talents in education and leadership through an unconventional career trajectory: in Air Force officer training, K-12 classrooms, zoos and aquariums, contract work for the state, and traveling to far off places worldwide. Despite where life takes her, Robyn is driven by a deeply rooted sense of purpose: committed to helping others, spreading kindness, and doing her part to make the world a better place. Robyn is a powerful force, using her life experience, positive attitude, and tireless energy to encourage others to advance online learning at Miami and beyond. When not hard at work, Robyn enjoys outdoor adventures, travel, fitness, trying new things, and spending time with family and friends.

Extended Abstract

With the rapid changes to educational delivery required during the global pandemic, educators have struggled to find the balance between increasing technical skills or pursuing pedagogical strategies to increase student engagement and satisfaction. However, with some of the built-in features of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), it’s possible for online instructors to improve student participation, motivation, and progression while saving time and effort. 

In this session, attendees will learn how to encourage student collaboration by allowing student edits in Canvas Pages; use the Mastery Paths feature to differentiate instruction and create individualized learning materials in Canvas; utilize best practices to set up Peer Review for student annotations and feedback; and create collaborative and cooperative learning environments with Group Discussions in Canvas. This session is recommended for all Canvas curriculum designers, from PK-12 teachers to university faculty, interested in exploring real-world applications of student engagement strategies.