What I love about Canvas

I am passionate about innovation and new technologies as a tool to solve business and public problems and increase efficiency and collaboration. I believe Canvas can be a great example of how technology can be used in classrooms to enhance productivity and enable learning.

During graduate school students need to balance multiple commitments such as academics, recruitment, social engagements not to mention family and friends. Thus any tool which can safe time is a huge life saver.

Things which I love the most about Canvas are:

User friendly design and easy to use features

It’s really easy to use and it’s very intuitive. In Spring 2017 I got the chance to participate in the IDEO CoLab Makeathon in San Francisco and learn first hand what IDEO things about human centered design. I believe Canvas is a good example of a solution designed by putting students and instructors in the center and creating a product which truly addresses their needs and covers all the major pain points without being difficult to understand.

Engagement and collaboration

Features like “Discussions”, “Announcements” and “People” make collaborations and engagement easier. Students got a space to ask any questions and share thoughts. It allows students to get social satisfaction and do their “social jobs” by helping classmates with their questions. It also frees up instructors as a lot of questions are answered by peers.

Structure and organization

Probably one of the most important benefits of canvas. It allows to keep track of all commitments and do perform “functional jobs” on time: submit all the assignments, do readings, ask questions. It’s also good for “personal/emotional jobs” as it gives the feeling of securing: students know they’ll be notified of any upcoming deadlines through canvas so they don’t need to double check.

One feature I believe is currently missing is the one which allows for better prioritization and customization. For example, currently canvas doesn’t distinguish between courses I audit and take for credit. It sometimes confuses me as I need to manually delete certain assignments from the calendar. Additionally, canvas treats all the commitments equally. It would be nice to have an ability to flag certain things such as assignments which account for significant portion of the grade or/and are important for future job.

Overall, I believe is a great product and a real life saver. That being said, when I started to apply the framework below I identified few jobs and pain points not currently addressed (e.g ability to prioritize and customize).

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