We created this course design toolkit to provide ideas and solutions for instructors who are engaged in designing interactive, learner-centered experiences. The centerpiece of the toolkit is the Learning Management System, Canvas, which can be used by faculty to connect with their students, keep grades and other information private, structure learning modules and provide a central meeting space for online coursework. More information can be found on the Canvas Help pages.
We also list a number of solutions that can be used in combination with Canvas. Many of these applications allow students to work beyond the bounds of the Learning Management System, which often translates to students feeling their work is more authentic since it is in the “real world” and can be viewed by anyone. The advantage to this more accessible work is that students can reference it at a later date, either in an ePortfolio, a job or graduate school application, or just to share with family and friends. Not surprisingly, students often feel more engaged with the work they produce for a course when they know there is an audience beyond the instructor.
Many of the tools found here are free or nearly free. However, some instructors have expressed an interest in upgrading to premium versions to gain access to additional features. This spreadsheet details additional features and costs of premium versions.
The toolkit is a list of tools we like or have seen used successfully in the classroom but it is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have a tool you’ve been using to engage students in their learning please and let us know through the contact form so that we can include your suggestion in the Toolkit.