Education can be one of the world’s greatest connectors because we continuously learn from each other. As we begin a new year, we reflect on great things that took place in 2019 from the people who matter most. The focus of Canvas will always be on its customers. Teachers, students, and administrators are the lifeblood of our business and true partners in our quest to change learning for the better.

We love to see edtech in action and hear how customers are doing more, engaging differently, and teaching in ways they could not do before using Canvas. Seeing that success drives us to make our learning management platform the best, most user-friendly, and most open edtech in the world.

This past year has brought to light some impactful stories of success, both inside and outside the classroom. These stories show the power of innovation, and we are honored to be a small part of it.

A Tutoring Initiative That Motivates Students and Removes Barriers 

Wayne State University has the fastest improving six-year graduation rate for public universities in the United States. The university tooks measures to take on the discrepancies in completion rates, including hiring more advisors, starting new study requirements, and hosting a summer program to help students. In addition, the university’s technology team created an integration that automatically maps students to their tutoring options based on their schedule.

“To me, if you have to hire more tutors, that's a really good problem because that means that students are coming to tutoring and they're getting help. It's been really successful. We actually have a good motivation for people to become part of that system so that then they can have this displayed for the students right in Canvas.” — Nathan Chavez, Associate Director of Academic Applications

Humanizing the Online Learning Experience

Online teaching is not usually known for its human element. At Glendale Community College, a special professor connects with her class through technology. Her diverse classes, many of them with first-generation college students, gain confidence through her teaching methods and discover opportunities to grow together.

“I can teach them theory, I can teach them concepts, but it's not until they connect with me that the learning happens. That's why humanizing helps in online education.” — Fabiola Torres, Professor

Preparing Future Scholars, Innovators, and World Citizens

Del Lago Academy believes that technology can serve as a platform to level the playing field in education. Students are part of a new digital program called Competency X, which gives them the training and access to science internships and workforce opportunities. Both Canvas and Portfolium help students track their progress, competencies, and other skills. 

“Our pursuit in education, especially here at Del Lago Academy, is equity. We want to make sure that we give scholars everything that they need in order to be successful and achieve at high levels, and fall in love with learning, and fall in love with innovation.” — Carissa Duran, Teacher, Del Lago Academy - Campus of Applied Science

Solving Plastics in the Pacific 

Students at De La Salle Lipa in the Philippines and peers from Callaghan College in Australia took part in a cross-border project to rehabilitate an ocean that they both share.

“Education gives me hope because although this world is full of challenges that we face, education could be the light that would help everyone take part and work together in solving these problems.”  — Kim Ditan, Student 

Helping to Ensure Gender Equality 

Some of the most powerful examples of edtech in action are those which succeed in bringing disparate groups together and encouraging collaboration.

Karlstad University in Sweden, through its Rethink:Kau project, explored the issue of how to provide the same level of quality of education for gender minorities. For example, the university found that women in engineering courses often felt expected to excel at the theoretical work, but defer to their male counterparts for the more practical elements of the course when taking part in group work.

The university harnessed the power of Canvas to encourage more proportionate group work. They used Canvas Groups to define and create a way of working that would ultimately benefit classes across the institution. Students said technology can be an important leveler, encouraging free collaboration, formalizing the sharing of ideas and ensuring equitable teamwork. 

You can read more about the project and lessons learned in this blog post.

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We look forward the success that will come in 2020 (and beyond). You’ll continue to see these special stories throughout the year on the Canvas blog sites and our social media channels. It’s all because of our main motivators - our customers.

 

Keep learning,

The Canvas Team