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The Study Hall

Increasing Engagement Through Canvas Studio

Obsessed with Innovation

As an educator in video production at the high school level, I spent a massive amount of time searching for tools and platforms that increased engagement through the use of visual communications. I’ve always firmly believed that video production, in any form, can increase engagement across all subjects, PERIOD.  That personal obsession continues today in my current role as a CTE Innovation Coach. My pursuit for the next “holy grail” continues daily as I spend most of my waking hours searching for the next student engagement tool through video.

My search has always included two basic criteria. One, a minimalistic student and teacher-friendly user interface, and two, an intuitive set of features that allow engagement beyond the classroom walls.

Intro to Canvas Studio

When I was first introduced to Studio for Canvas, my jaw dropped. It immediately met both criteria. Simple and minimalistic. Uploading of video content was not only easy to understand, but instructors could take that important engagement piece further by directly adding prompts and questions. I was so excited about Studio for Canvas that I promptly called for a quick meetup with some of my “panda pilots” so we could discuss the platform. These focused educators have been my motivated early adopters as we are just starting our journey with Canvas. I couldn’t wait to see them try it for the first time.

I wasn’t disappointed with the results as they jump at the possibility of adding content into their newly-minted Canvas courses. Canvas Studio’s ability to add video directly from your computer, or even paste in those “go to” Youtube videos was a game changer in their instruction. It was one of those lightbulb moments every coach dreams of when showing their instructors how this tool could impact student learning.

I work with an incredible staff of educators who are always willing to try new and innovative things, but one educator has taken his instructional video content to the next level in career and technical education. Last year, this auto service educator approached me to help him create ‘instructor and student led videos’ that others could use for remediation or to put inside his LMS during days he was incapable of instructing. We immediately hit the ground running as I filmed his instruction from his lab area over the next few days. He instructed like normal to the camera and soon we were able to edit down ten, short step-by-step videos for brake pad instruction and repair. With the addition of Canvas Studio we were able to be uploaded those videos inside the Canvas LMS in seconds. Not only did his instruction now exist outside his classroom walls but he was also able to add in comments, check for understanding quizzes, and see analytics. All baked inside without ever having to leave the platform. An incredible experience for not only the teacher, but also the students moving forward.

Accessibility and Favorite Studio Features

Over the next few weeks I dug deeper into the platform. Not only was it robust, it also didn’t leave important details like accessibility out. This is where I think Canvas Studio checks a ton of boxes for educators. Closed-captions provided directly inside the media uploaded and once queued that text is “automagically” generated for review. With a few simple and quick edits you are done and ready to publish! Publishing videos is easy. The ability for any educator to share these videos through public links or internally to users in your Canvas instance cut down time and confusion.;

What’s my favorite part of Canvas Studio? The ability to directly add short assessment prompts INSIDE the video itself. By selecting the options dots inside the video, instructors will see the ability to create these quizzes. Concerned students won’t consume the entire media? Hide those question markers for students so they aren’t tempted to skip ahead. Selecting the precise moment you’d like to prompt the students to answer key questions by selecting the “plus” button is something I’ve longed for in any video production tool, and Canvas finally mastered it. Currently educators have three options. Multiple choice, True/False, or multiple answers. The possibilities of what instructors could create is endless inside this platform.

Canvas Studio is easy to use and multi-functional. I believe there aren’t many tools that come along that allow for such a low barrier of entry. I honestly think this is the one tool I can show educators and watch their fears about creating video content melt away. And that is something I’ve been searching for in education for a very long time!

Keep learning,

Eddie Small

CTE Innovation Coach

Central Nine Career Center