Tag: LMS

Upcoming Workshops from Instructional Technology

Greetings from Instructional Technology!

As we prepare for the Fall term we would like to make you aware of some of the upcoming workshops available to you.

Here is a list of the sessions. Links to RSVP will be below.

  • Monday, August 22, 1-2:30 pm, Main Hall 108 – Canvas Overview
  • Tuesday, August 23, 1-2:30 pm, Zoom – Canvas Overview
  • Tuesday, August 30, 1:15-3:15, Memorial 002 – Create a More Inclusive Syllabus
  • Tuesday September 6, 9:30-11am, Main Hall 108 – Canvas Overview
  • Tuesday, September 6, 1:30-3:00 pm, Main Hall 108 – Grading in Canvas
  • Wednesday, September 7, 9:30-11 am, Main Hall 108 – Canvas Overview
  • Thursday, September 8, 9:30-11 am, Mail Hall 108 – Grading in Canvas

Session Descriptions and RSVP Links

  • Canvas Overview
    Jedidiah will provide an overview of the tools available within Canvas.
    RSVP: https://forms.office.com/r/fVZnuVXgzs

  • Grading in Canvas
    Jedidiah will share grading strategies and tools within Canvas. Topics include Speedgrader, weighting grades and using the gradebook.
    RSVP: https://forms.office.com/r/fVZnuVXgzs

  • Create a More Inclusive Syllabus
    Jedidiah Rex and Rose Theisen will lead participants in an exploration of what it means to create a more inclusive syllabus and why it is important to do so. Participants will be provided with a rubric and other syllabus resources. Participants will be given the opportunity for structured peer-to-peer discussion.   

    Workshop participants will review the inclusive syllabus rubric, discuss why inclusive syllabi are important, and summarize and compare elements of an inclusive syllabus, analyze syllabi for inclusive elements, and create an evaluation and action plan for making their own syllabus more inclusive.   

    *While this session is part of the New Faculty Orientation, all faculty are welcome.
    RSVP: https://forms.office.com/r/eSFJksp2Ni

Canvas Training Sessions: D-Term and More

If you are interested in a first-time or refresher training, a number of sessions will be offered. Most sessions will be in Zoom, but there will be two sessions in-person. The in-person sessions will take place in the Humanities Lab (Main 108). Descriptions, modalities, topics, dates and times are listed below.

Session Descriptions

> Introduction: A walkthrough of Canvas and tools to get started using Canvas.
> Grading and Feedback: A focused look at using the grading and feedback tools available in Canvas including the gradebook and Speedgrader.
> Course Design: A hands-on exploration of how to create a student-centered Canvas course using the Canvas Course Checklist. 

Session Dates and Times

Most sessions will be in Zoom, but there will be one session in-person. The in-person session will take place in the Humanities Lab (Main Hall 108). Modalities and topics are listed below.

  • Friday, November 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m. [In-Person] Grading and Feedback
  • Monday, November 22, 10:00-11:30 a.m. [Zoom] Introduction
  • Tuesday, November 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m. [Zoom] Grading and Feedback
  • Tuesday, November 30, 9:30-11:00 a.m. [In-Person] Introduction
  • Wednesday, December 1, 1:30-3:00 p.m. [Zoom] Canvas Course Design
  • Friday, December 3, 9:30-11:00 a.m. [Zoom] Introduction
  • Thursday, December 9, 9:30-11:00 a.m. [Zoom] Grading and Feedback
  • Thursday, December 9, 1:30-3:00 p.m. [Zoom] Canvas Course Design
  • Monday, December 13, 10-11:30 a.m. [Zoom] Introduction


Please RSVP here. You may choose as many sessions as you wish to attend.
Zoom links for pertinent sessions will be shared with you after you RSVP.

Canvas Summer Training Updates

Thank you to those who have taken advantage of the Canvas training opportunities to-date. This post is to inform you that some of the later session topics have been changed to cover specific functions within Canvas. The additional topics will be “Canvas Studio: Working with Video in Canvas,” and “Grading & Feedback.”

You can see the specific updated sessions and RSVP on the original post.

Please reach out to Jedidiah Rex if you have questions about the sessions.

Canvas Training – Summer 2021

The information on this page will be kept up-to-date when/if opportunities are added or cancelled.

UPDATE – Thursday, July 22, 2021: Some of the later session topics have been changed to allow meeting in person. The updated sessions will be appended with “IN-PERSON“. All in person sessions will take place in the Main 108 Humanities Lab.

UPDATE – Friday, July 9, 2021: Some of the later session topics have been changed to cover specific functions within Canvas – Canvas Studio, and Grading & Feedback. The new topic will listed in bold.

All instructors are encouraged to use Canvas for their courses beginning in the fall. To support faculty in transitioning to Canvas we will be offering training sessions beginning finals week of the spring term through the week before the start of the fall term. The schedule of dates is below.

We invite faculty to attend when, and to as many sessions, as they prefer. The RSVP form will allow you to select the session or sessions you prefer. You may also submit more than once. After you have submitted your preferred session(s) you will be sent Outlook invitation(s) and Zoom link/details.

Canvas Training RSVP Form (requires Office 365 login)

Finals Week Canvas Training Schedule

  • Monday June 7, 10:30-11:30am
  • Tuesday June 8, 2-3pm
  • Thursday June 10, 10:30-11:30am; 2-3pm
  • Friday June 11, 10:30-11:30am

Summer Canvas Training Schedule

  • Tuesday, Jun 22, 10-11:30am
  • Wednesday, June 23, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, June 30, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, July 1, 10-11:30am
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, July 7, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, July 14, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, July 15, 10-11:30am
  • Tuesday, July 20, 10-11:30am
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2-3:30pm
  • Tuesday, July 27, 10-11:30am
  • Wednesday, July, 28, 10-11:30am
  • Tuesday, August 3, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 4, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 11, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, August 12, 10-11:30am Canvas Studio
  • Tuesday, August 17, 10-11:30am Grading & Feedback
  • Wednesday, August 18, 2-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 25, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, August 26, 10-11:30am Canvas Studio
  • Tuesday, August 31, 2-3:30pm Grading & Feedback
  • Wednesday, September 1, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, September 2, 2-3:30pm
  • Tuesday, September 7, 10-11:30am Canvas Studio,
    2-3:30pm Grading & Feedback
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2-3:30pm
  • Thursday, September 9, 10-11:30am Canvas Studio IN-PERSON,
    2-3:30pm Grading & Feedback IN-PERSON
  • Friday, September 10, 10-11:30am – IN-PERSON,

Canvas Training RSVP Form (requires Office 365 login)

Canvas Resources

Moodle: Aggregated Resources

In an effort to make finding resources easier for everyone, Jedidiah has created a blog post aggregating all the Moodle resources. You will find the post at the link below.

The post will be used to host links to all the Moodle workshops, support videos, and links. Links will be grouped by topic. If there is a Moodle support topic you would like to request, please contact Jedidiah Rex.


Moodle: Demystifying the Gradebook Session Summary

Session Video

The recording of the session (1:18:12) is posted below. It is only available to Lawrence University faculty and staff.

Session Summary

The Moodle gradebook can be a confusing, headache-inducing, tangle. But it doesn’t have to be. The strategies shared in this session and post can help make the Moodle gradebook more clear to instructors and students about how grades are calculated. Bringing clarity increases transparency making the gradebook more usable and inclusive.

There are a number of different methods to arrive at a grade, called aggregation methods. There are three which were the focus during the session: weighted mean of grades (WM), simple weighted mean of grades (SWM), and Natural aggregation. These three methods should be able to address the majority of desired grading scenarios.

Each of these may be used to arrive at the same grade. But they each calculate grades in a slightly different way. One big difference between WM, SWM, and Natural is that the first two normalize the grades to be out of 100 (points or percent). This can potentially create lack of clarity about how a grade is calculated. Natural used to be called “Sum of grades” and at default functions in the same way. For Natural then, the category and course totals are a sum of all the grades contained within. You can see a comparison of the three methods in the session video beginning at 0:07:50.


Whether an instructor chooses WM-SWM or Natural grading there are some strategies that can be utilized to make the Moodle gradebook more usable.

Start with your syllabus – What is meant by this is that an instructor should review how their grading strategy is laid out in their syllabus and replicate this in the Moodle gradebook. Many instructors use categories of grades i.e. Assignments, Quizzes, Exams, Final Exam, or Participation. Create these categories in the gradebook first, before adding activities or grade items. In addition to creating an organizing structure this approach allow an instructor to add activities directly to categories when they are created making less work down the road.

Use numbers – The Moodle gradebook calculates most accurately with numbers. It can use and display letter grades, but doing so can introduce some variability. For instance, does an “A” mean 100, or 94, or… ? Scales (check, check minus, or satisfactory/unsatisfactory) are difficult or impossible in some cases for Moodle to use in calculation. If an instructor desires the grades be displayed in certain way there are options for controlling this.

Keep it simple – While it is possible to mix and match aggregation methods, to use extra credit, drop the lowest ‘x’ grades, and nest categories, doing so can make it less clear to students how a grade is calculated. Anything an instructor can do to make this is as clear as possible limits challenges to grades, and through understanding created through transparency, allows the student to engage more fully.

If you have questions about setting up your gradebook, or about grading in Moodle please contact Jedidiah Rex.