Category: Teaching Math Online

Video Code Easter Eggs

I have this sneaky trick I use to tell which students watch online videos and which don’t.  I hide “secret codes” in the videos (like the programmer’s Easter Eggs).  When a student finds one of my “Easter Egg codes” they can submit it for 1 point towards participation.  Sometimes the codes are numbers I generate at random (Ex: 40234) and sometimes it’s a word, phrase, or story (my cat is chasing a fly in front of my computer). I don’t tell the students where the codes are. I don’t tell them HOW I’ve shared the code or what kind...

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Online Office Hours in Instructure Canvas

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the video chat service provided in Canvas was turned off in Fall 2012. It has now been replaced with a Text Chat that is built in to Canvas, but no video. I have been incredibly happy with the online office hours that I’ve been holding in Canvas this semester (see previous post on SAVI tools in Canvas here).  Day after day, students are showing up for office hours to ask their own questions, hear other students’ questions, and just kind of hang out while they work on problems.  It’s lovely to SEE my online students regularly and...

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Aligning Inline Equations Vertically in Instructure Canvas

When you use the Canvas equation editor to insert an equation surrounded by text, you may be wishing there was some way to align the equations in the middle vertically, instead of on the bottom (the default setting for inline equations).  Well, there is, but you’re going to have to be just a little brave and do a tiny edit to the HTML to fix it. The basic fix is to grab a small bit of HTML code and paste it into each equation image definition.  The code you need is: style=”vertical-align:middle;” First, click on “Switch View” to see...

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Collecting Learning Notebooks in an Online Course

In a prior post, I discussed how I’m using Learning Notebooks to encourage students to carefully think through the mathematical steps and notation for solving problems. I promised that I would explain how students complete this assignment in an online course, so today I’ve made a video, Collecting Learning Notebooks in an Online Course to show you the process I’m using inside of Instructure Canvas.  The process should be similar for other Learning Management Systems (though it may not be quite this easy). Here’s the process.  Students still complete their Learning Notebook exactly how they do in a traditional class....

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Escaping Blackboard and Redesigning for Instructure Canvas

I’ve been in the process of redesigning my Online Calculus course for Instructure Canvas, and I thought I’d share a bit about the design of the new course. In the redesign video, I will compare the same content as it existed in Blackboard, how it transfered “raw” to Canvas upon import, and then how I’ve re-styled it to design for “Pages” instead of “Folders.” You’ll find that it helps to settle on a consistent look and feel for your new Canvas pages. Find a relatively complicated page and spend some time thinking about page design. What elements do you...

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