This post is being used to document and distribute materials associated with a training I'm giving at the University of Oklahoma, which covers collaborative web annotation as a tool for engaging students.
“Writing in the margins” of books and journal articles (or any other texts) in collaboration with others is one way instructors seek to enhance learning experiences. Using collaborative web annotations, faculty on our campus are seeding their course discussions and engaging students in collaborative scholarship. Here’s an example of course that is using collaborative web annotations:
We’re going to dive deeper into collaborative web annotation as it’s one technology that’s being used across many disciplines. Here are several pieces of literature that are being annotated collaboratively by students:
I’ve started combing through the content I was writing last summer to see if there’s anything that needs to be resurrected. The post I just finished has been hanging over my head for a long time and I’m happy to have it (finally) published. I hope my words can do some good and provide instructors with more tools and valuable use cases for technologies in the classroom.
Really that’s all I wanted to share. It took a while, but in finishing that post I’ve made it over that writing block.
The featured image is provided CC0 by Jake Thacker via Unsplash.
I wanted to walkthrough one of my favorite Canvas integrations. Originally, I discovered this integration and used it in one of the early professional development courses I led for faculty transitioning (from D2L) to Canvas back in May 2016, which you can view here. My discovery of this integration was driven by the desire to replicate what Adam Croom had done with his PRPubs.us course website in D2L.
Anyways, this is the type of website integration into Canvas I’m referencing:
What You Need
1. Website you control – If you have a DIY website through a web hosting company or use website companies like WordPress.com, then you are off to a great start. I use Reclaim Hosting for my website needs as Reclaim specializes in education. (Technically, any website can be used, but the one’s I’ve tried using have been hit or miss. Thus, I believe a website you control is ideal and should work perfectly.)
2. An encryption SSL certificate for your website – Your website will only be displayed within Canvas if the site is encrypted. In other words, your site needs to function using a https:// address (instead of http://). There are many ways to obtain an encryption certificate. I use Let’s Encrypt SSL which is offered for free by several web hosting companies (including Reclaim Hosting). Alternatively, you can use a service like Cloudflare to acquire a SSL certificate for your website.
Please note that many website companies like WordPress.com furnish https:// versions of websites to their users by default. In such case, you don’t need to acquire a SSL certificate for your website as it’s already present. If you’re unsure about whether your site meets this requirement, try visiting your website with https:// at the front of the URL (like so: https://example.com) and see if it loads normally.
4. Redirect Tool – In your Canvas course, under “Settings>Apps” is the Redirect Tool (the best app!)—make sure it is available for your course. Refer to the screenshot below, under Step 1, as a guide.
Step 1 – Navigate to Canvas course settings and find the Redirect Tool in the Apps Tab:
Step 2 – Click “Add App” to add the Redirect Tool:
Step 3 – Configure the Redirect Tool with your Website Name (will appear in Course Navigation), the https:// URL, and check “Show in Course Navigation:”
Zoomed into my configuration settings for the Redirect Tool:
Step 4 – Refresh the course by clicking “Home” to see the fruits of your labor:
Step 5 – Enjoy:
If you’re experiencing any issues, they are typically caused by one of these two problems:
Problem 1 - Redirect Tool Configuration
If your website never loads in Canvas, there might a mistake in the URL submitted when configuring the Redirect Tool. To fix this, you will need to view the edit the App Configuration:
Problem 2 - Don't have https:// URL for the Website
In this case, the website you’re integrating into Canvas will have to be loaded in a new tab when students are viewing the content. If you have an https:// URL version of your website and you don’t see it appear in Canvas, follow the steps outlined in “Problem 1” above to confirm you entered the https:// URL properly.
I recently submitted proposals that included this website integration to the #Domains17 conference. As I shared then, I believe the best examples of this integration involve a course blog or research/course website.
Course Blog – The course blog in Canvas is a fantastic use case of the Redirect tool combined with the FeedWordPress plugin to bring all of the students’ posts from their own websites into Canvas. This setup is inline with the POSSE publishing model and can be utilized to bring students’ course reflections into Canvas for easier access and to promote peer-peer scholarship.
Research/Course Website – If you have course contents published on websites outside Canvas, you can use this trick to bring those materials into your courses. I’ve used this to bring my Canvas Camp curriculum into Canvas courses, but you could use it for course wikis, Drupal or Omeka research websites, and beyond.
Today, John and I moved the eXperiencePlay website from xp.keeganslw.com to experienceplay.education. I was worried this process would be cumbersome but I was pleasantly surprise when we succeeded after a few minutes of research and work.
Next we moved all of the folders and files located in the xp.keeganslw.com directory over to the experienceplay.education directory including all of the .php files.
Notably, we didn’t have to alter the WordPress MySQL database. In fact, we never touched the database! 🙂
Step 3 – Disconnect & Reconnect Jetpack (& Other Cleanup)
To finalize our site transfer, we followed Jeremy Herve’s recommendation from this forum, allowing us to transfer our Jetpack site statistics from xp.keeganslw.com to experienceplay.education. Otherwise, the only remaining cleanup required was updating a few URLs to point to experienceplay.education and establish a redirect from the old domain to the new domain.
To upload additional images to your website, you’ll need to change the Media directory under Settings>Media. The field is titled “Store uploads in this folder” and needs to be replaced with file path for your new domain and directory. Here’s what that setting should look like:
This process was much simpler than I anticipated and I’m excited to maintain the eXperience Play website visitor statistics. Originally, we set out on this process to separate my domain from the eXperience Play program in preparation for OLCInnovate and to encourage other individuals to use our curriculum (similar to GOBLIN). Now, I’m trilled to have learned how effortless it is to change a WordPress website domain!
The featured image is provided CC0 by Денис Евстратов via Unsplash.
Edit: Another paragraph and screenshot were added to step 3 to describe changing the media directory before you can upload additional photos to the website. This issue was discovered after this post was originally published.
There are three statistics that stood out to me while reading this chapter:
“Twenty-four percent of our students indicated that in the past month they did not have enough money to buy food, ate less then they felt they should, or cut the size of their meals because there was not enough money.” – Sara Goldrick-Rab (1)
“When asked if they ever wen without eating for an entire day because they lacked enough money for food, 6 percent of students said yes.” Sara Goldrick-Rab (2)
“the survey revealed that one in five students was hungry, and 13 percent were homeless.” – Sara Goldrick-Rab (3)
It is jarring to see how prevalent hunger is among college students. Thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (which Sara brings up), how can we expect our students to engage in critical thinking when their physiological needs are not being met? I was pleased to read that there’s a growing number of food pantries aiming to address this issue, but the fact that some students must forego food and shelter to attend college is ridiculous.
Sara also unpacks the psychological aspect of these realities, describing a positive reinforcement cycle:
“Scarcity imposes psychic costs, reducing mental bandwidth and distorting decision making in ways that make their situations worse, not better.” – Sara Goldrick-Rab (4)
With significant student populations attending class under these conditions, I’ve been considering what the best approaches would be for instructors in the classroom. One idea I heard that seems viable is making fruit available to your students. I know this would have benefited me because I recall having packed class/lab schedules that periodically meant skipping lunch. So, access to fruit would have made a difference for me.
Finally, if you haven’t experienced SPENT yet, you need to attempt the challenge. It fits well with chapter 5 of Paying The Price.
How can we expect our students to engage in critical thinking when their physiological needs are not being met? (Reflective)
How can instructors help students who experience hunger in their courses?
What resources, like Single Stop, food pantries, etc., are available on your campus?
If you played SPENT, what was your experience like? How did it make you feel?
The featured image is provided CC0 by Juan José Valencia Antía via Unsplash.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price, Loc 2619 (Kindle Edition).
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price, Loc 2621 (Kindle Edition).
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price, Loc 2644 (Kindle Edition).
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price, Loc 2794 (Kindle Edition).