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Northwestern University

Award-Winning Canvas Course Sites

We know that many instructors at Northwestern put great effort into their Canvas courses, especially in the last two years. To celebrate those instructors who go above and beyond in building a comprehensive, useful Canvas course for their students, the Teaching & Learning Technologies team has created the Northwestern Canvas Hall of Fame.

To gather nominations for this recognition, we asked students at the end of fall and winter quarters to consider nominating one (or more) of their Canvas courses for the Canvas Hall of Fame. Nominations were accepted in three categories:

When launching this project, we expected a few dozen nominations. To our surprise, we received more than 650 nominations recognizing the courses of more than 350 instructors. Undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the university responded with enthusiastic praise for the Canvas course sites instructors created.

The major theme of the nomination comments is that organization is appreciated. Time and again, students talked about how a Canvas course that had a clear structure and a consistent system for each week’s material made a difference in the student experience. Being able to find course items, such as readings, videos, and assignments, and knowing what to expect each week gave students the tools for success in a course. Students also appreciated instructors who spent time at the start of the course explaining the organizational system employed in Canvas to make sure everyone understands the structure that has been carefully built.

Students recognized the amount of effort it takes to create such a structured and organized course and they appreciate that work. Many students commented that a well-built Canvas site is a form of care for students and one way instructors show their investment in student success. While visually engaging sites received praise from students, simple yet thorough sites are also highly effective. The key is consistency.

The appreciation that students have for their instructors in their use of Canvas and other learning technologies sang out loud and clear in their nominations. The time you put into your Canvas course is seen and it matters to students. On behalf of the more than 600 students who submitted nominations for the Northwestern Canvas Hall of Fame, we thank you for the work you do for students in Canvas and beyond.

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