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The Study Hall

Improve Student Achievement with Hattie and Canvas

“Never stop improving.” This is a personal motto for many of us—yet it’s easier said than done, and we often find ourselves slacking or getting complacent. For educators, however, “never stop improving” is more than an inspirational quote. It’s simply what they do, every single day. 

Since coming to Canvas, I’ve talked to a lot of teachers, and one thing I’ve discovered is that teachers do everything with one goal in mind—helping students learn and be successful. They’re constantly searching for evidence-based ways to improve student achievement and increasing student engagement. The good news is there are many ways to improve. The better news is we know which teaching activities move the needle faster than others.

According to John Hattie's groundbreaking research, teachers can do more to increase and maximize student learning over a nine-month period by focusing on activities in Hattie’s “zone of desired effects.” Think about it this way: It’ll take you 80 hours to drive from New York City to Los Angeles if your average speed is 40 miles per hour. However, you can reduce driving time by half if you bring your speed up to 80 miles per hour. The same concept applies—when it comes to teaching and learning, we can step on the gas and bridge students from where they are to where they want to be faster by employing teaching activities that are proven to have a more significant effect on learning.

Canvas uniquely supports learning in the zone of desired effects (we support lots of Hattie things), including self-reported grades, response to intervention, providing formative evaluation, reciprocal teaching, acceleration, and mastery learning, among many others. For example, Modules and MasteryPaths allow teachers to quickly and easily create personalized learning paths for students at all levels. 

For teachers who use Canvas, applying Hattie’s evidence-based research to improve student achievement and increase student engagement has never been easier. Bryan Davis, Curriculum Specialist from the Santa Ana (Calif.) Unified School District, shared his experience with student acceleration in a self-paced learning environment with Canvas. Using evidence-based methods to improve student achievement allows us to enrich the learning experience and go further, faster. Canvas loves being a part of this effort; in fact, everything we do has this goal in mind.

Keep Learning,

Dorin Shen
Sr. Product Strategist of K-12 Product Strategy, Instructure