Why Canvas?

Five reasons why you should be excited about Canvas!
By Jason Bunting, Education Officer QUBSU

Hi folks, as a Students’ Union, we’re very excited to be supporting the roll-out of Canvas across campus this academic year and we wanted to take this chance to let you all know why:

1. Your education, your way!

Canvas makes your educational experience more personal and tailored! With the option of setting your profile information, adding a profile picture and inserting a biography, you have the opportunity for an online educational experience which is more user-friendly, engaging and tailored to you. Moreover, by giving you the option to set your notification preferences and personalise your dashboard, you can set your own agenda and make your Canvas experience personal.

2. Communication is key!

We’re very excited about all the ways in which Canvas makes communication easier for you! For example, the announcements feature means that you can be kept up to speed on important developments and news relating to your classes. You’ll also be able to take part in discussion boards, meaning that your education won’t stop when you leave the lecture hall; you’ll be able to share ideas and discuss topics online on Canvas with your peers.

You can also send and receive messages on Canvas, adding an extra channel for you to communicate about the issues which are important for your course. Your QUB student e-mail will rightly remain the way we communicate all essential information, but these ways in which Canvas helps us communicate will hopefully make your experience even better.

3. Making your assessment & feedback work for you!

We know that your assessment and feedback is one of the most important aspects of your University experience, and we’re excited to see all the opportunities which Canvas offers you. For example, on Canvas you can view all your assignments and access your feedback in one place. You also no longer have to separately go to Turnitin to submit your assessments. As Turnitin is integrated into Canvas, you can submit all your assignments in one place!

Feedback is also more tailored on Canvas. From student responses, we know that you want your feedback to be personal, specific and detailed. We also know that staff need to give a LOT of feedback to students so bridging that gap can sometimes pose a challenge. Canvas makes this easier, by providing an opportunity for staff to annotate your assignments online, so you receive feedback which is more specific to you.

4. No-one likes the last minute panic!

One of the great aspects of your Canvas experience is the Calendar feature, which will help you get organised and keep track of your deadlines. Make sure to populate your calendar as soon as possible in the semester to get a good idea of your assessments so you can stay organised and avoid those late nights in the McClay!

5. Help on hand when you need it!

QUB and QUBSU are making sure that you always have the help on hand when you need it on Canvas! You can get this help in a variety of ways, such as taking part in a live chat with a member from the Canvas support team, making a phone call or submitting a support ticket. In short, you can choose the method which best suits you! These features are available 24×7, 365 days a year so whether it’s a question about your or a last-minute query, you’ll be able to get the support you need. No question is too big or too small so definitely get in touch when you need it!

To get to grips with Canvas before you start, you also have an online Canvas Orientation Course which will give you all you need to know about Canvas. You can also dip in and out of this course as and when you need to, so you can easily refer back to it!

Moreover, this blog offers you some advice and tips as well for how to make the most out of Canvas. If you’d like to contribute to this blog, just get in touch! Don’t forget as well that your student reps are on hand to answer any questions, as well as myself in the Students’ Union at su.education@qub.ac.uk or 028 9097 3724.

In the meantime, make sure to go through your online Student Canvas Orientation Course as soon as possible so that you’re fully equipped with the knowledge of how to make the most of all the opportunities Canvas offers you as a student!

Good luck and enjoy!