Using DesignPLUS in Canvas to Address QM Standards for Course Design

we are going to get started with our online webinar using design plus in canvas to address qm standards for course design first a few brief housekeeping items as i mentioned i am speaking now so you should hear hear audio um if you don’t you can use the audio settings to check your audio setup um and you see some instructions on the screen there you can also make use of the live captioning that will be available and the link to that will be posted in the chat your voice will be muted during the webinar but if you have questions please feel free to post them in the q a box during the webinar you can also use the chat box to talk with your colleagues about the presentation sort of informally but be sure to select all panelists and attendees so that your colleagues will see what you have to say otherwise it will only go to the panelists and if you’d like to share how you’ll use something that you learned today please feel free to tweet at qm program or at city labs all right so we’ll begin the recording now and officially welcome everyone here to our online learning webinar using design plus in canvas to address qm standards for course design i’m jillian jevick i’m the instructional design manager at quality matters and with me today is mike zackerson chief executive officer of city labs kenneth larson lead developer and inventor of city labs and alicia reed instructional technology coordinator at laredo college unfortunately nicole lemon was scheduled to present today but she’s unable to present with us today so we do have kenneth here which is you know real treat to have him here to show us a little bit about the city labs tools first i’m going to tell you just a brief bit about quality matters it’s the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments we provide a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning that’s used within and across organizations so when you see qm certification marks it means they’ve met rigorous sets of standards in a rigorous review process we have just about over 1300 institutions who are members in 21 countries and were used by higher ed k-12 and continuing and professional education organizations i’m going to turn it over to mike now to tell you a little bit about city labs hi jillian thank you for that introduction and welcome everyone we’re excited to participate with quality matters today in this webinar so a little bit about city labs we are a company that provides tools for canvas that help organizations scale their online course development and delivery practices we uh next slide julian we entered into a partnership just recently with quality matters and we’re really excited about that we attended our first quality matters uh conference probably about two maybe three years ago as a vendor partner and noticed that two of our customers presented at that conference unbeknownst to us and so we knew immediately that there was you know a lot of overlap between what our tools can help accomplish and some of the goals and the the needs of the quality matters community so last year we approached uh the quality matters team about a partnership and we knew that they were transitioning to canvas and moving a lot of their professional development over to canvas so we offered to allow them to use our tools at no cost to aid in that process and help with designing some of the materials that uh all of you will experience there in their canvas environment and uh also saw an opportunity to uh through the partnership um expand awareness of quality matters within our client base and so we’re really excited about the opportunity to partner and to you know present today as part of that and to to just be two organizations that care deeply about uh you know providing high quality online learning experiences so thank you for that it’s a little bit more about city labs we have a little different business model we actually take locally developed tools that solve important challenges so that means these are tools developed by

generally university partners in-house they’ve created some sort of tool to to solve a problem that they have around their canvas implementation so we partner with them go ahead to the next slide and we take their technology put it into the cloud wrap it with training and support and other services and through this mechanism provide a means of what we call sas sharing these locally developed solutions to provide them on a broader scale within the canvas community we are a small company go ahead with to the next slide we started in 2016 as a spin out from utah state university center for innovative design and instruction uh we’re a small team fewer than uh than 10 people but we have quite a bit of experience over 90 years of experience among the team in various capacities around edtech and instructional design and and using canvas and so forth and we’ve have the good fortune of working with over 260 clients we’re actually uh over 280 clients now but uh and two of them you know we work with clients both in k-12 and also higher education and uh springfield public schools is an example of one of our k-12 uh customers and we’re sorry that that dr lemon was unable to join us today but they’re they’re an example of a k-12 customer that we work with and then we’re excited to have alicia here from laredo college to present a community college’s perspective on using these tools in our portfolio of products uh go ahead to the next slide we have four products uh three of which came from our partnership with utah state university design plus uh tidy up and the ready go course development tracker tool those are the three that have been developed by utah state and then we last year we partnered with university central florida who developed the you do it accessibility checker for canvas and we partnered with them to not only continue the roadmap of that product but also bring that product into a cloud service for for the broader community today’s presentation go ahead to the next slide is going to focus on design plus and design plus is our integrated tool course design tool set for canvas that makes it really easy to rapidly build engaging courses inside canvas without having to know a lot of html and css to do that and the inventor of design plus is kenneth larson and he is going to present a short demo for us thanks mike i’m going to stop sharing my screen and turn it over to canada kenneth to share his screen and give you this demo hey sounds like fun uh so as was mentioned my name is kenneth larson and the the tools that we’re going to take a look at today are really some tools that came out of my work as an instructional designer and also as a programmer at utah state university i started back in 2013 i was working on my masters to become an instructional designer and i was hired to help faculty build their courses in canvas and there was some repetition involved i have a background in web development so there were things i really wanted to do with the courses that i built to make them look nice and engaging and and work with students to help improve the quality of those courses but there were things that were very difficult to do just with canvas out of the box and so i was very fortunate to have a boss that let me start hacking canvas to see if i could get it to do some other fun things and so that’s what we’re going to take a look at today is how we can take and use some of these tools to quickly develop our courses have a nice consistent look and feel address some of those quality and accessibility standards etc so i have a blank canvas course here so the first thing i’m going to do is i’m going to come into the course settings i’m going to turn on one of our design plus actually has three different tools there is a set of tools that are available when we’re working in the rich content editor that allow you to theme and templatize and have some fun there there’s a tool called the multi-tool which we’re going to turn on right now to help us rapidly build out our course structure and then there’s a third tool that’ll let us work help us work with images when we’re working in the rich content editor so i’ve gone ahead and turned on the multi-tool and i’m just going to come in here open this up inside of canvas and this is going to help us kind of get a feel and build out our course so i’m going to go ahead and start here at the top with the template builder and i’m going to go ahead and set canvas to have a front page so that we can have a nice landing area for our students to come to and i’m also going to set this so that that home link in canvas points to that

page as well and we’ll we’ll build this page out here in just a minute but the main thing that i want to think about in the template builder is i want to think about the different pieces that are going to make up my course so let’s say that in each of the modules i’m going to build out i want to have an overview page and then maybe i’m going to be creating some lab assignments and maybe we’ve got some you know group discussions that we want to build out and maybe i’ve got some end of unit quizzes it’s really just allowing us to create shells for different types of content inside of canvas and then we can open these up to start turning them into a template so i’m going to go ahead and open up this overview page here and then the second tool we’re going to take a look at is this design tools sidebar here this is where this will allow us to kind of work with our content in the rich content editor so when we’re working with new content there’s kind of two main ways that we can start we can start by coming in here and pulling in template content this would allow us to duplicate tools that we have our pages that we already have in canvas or we can pull in some institutional templates we do have a lot of institutions who will build out templates that address a lot of those quality matter rubrics and standards there that we can pull in or i can just start from scratch by building out a page here so each of these buttons represent the different themes that are available that kind of control the look and feel and so i can select the theme i want i have this nice stylized heading here now and because this is a template i’m not going to worry about the text of that but we’re going to come in and we’re going to add what we call content blocks so this is this idea of grouping or chunking our content so let’s say that in this overview page i need to have an introduction we’re going to talk about objectives we’re going to have some readings some lectures talk about our assignments whatever the case may be we can set up these different templates at the institution level also maybe i want to talk about some current events so i can also create my own blocks here inside this course we can drag and drop and rearrange these we can come in and let’s say i want to add a nice little icon here so let’s search for an icon to go along with that and so really the idea here is to build as much of the structure as we can so we have to repeat ourselves as little as possible when it comes time to building content and so i can use any of the tools that are built into canvas i can use the design tool sidebar because it is creating content inside of native canvas and so i can go ahead and save that i can return to the multi-tool and complete that process with all of my other templates so typically focusing on the rich content editor but i can also set a lot of the other settings and things that apply to those pieces of content as well and then once i’ve got all my templates set up the next step is to move on to the module builder where i can take a step back and say okay now that i have these pieces what does a typical module going to look like in this course so let’s say i want to break up my course by units and i want to create five units and in each of these units i want to go ahead and throw in an overview page that’s based off of that overview template we just created but i can throw in assignments discussions quizzes little text headers we can drag and drop and rearrange we can indent things we can remove things let’s say this is going to be the lab assignment for our unit and based off our lab template and submitted online and typically i want those to be a hundred points a piece so i’m really just going through and saying okay what is going to make up a typical module in my course and then i’ll go ahead and generate the modulus which will duplicate that pattern for as many modules as i wanted to create and then i can come start customizing this as an outline so let’s say that this is going to be our introduction and we want this to be called a welcome to class and i’m not going to have a quiz in this first unit so this allows me to come through let’s say unit 2 is getting started unit 3 is halfway there unit 4 is almost finished and unit 5 is our conclusion and so i’m outlining my course and i can actually save the progress of this so i can work on this outline for a couple of days to a couple of weeks as needed and then when i’ve got everything set up the way i want i can go ahead and add the modules to the course and this is using the canvas api in the background to go through and you know create all of that content build out those modules when i started at utah state when we would help faculty build out a shell so they could start putting in content for an online course they’d sit down with one of our instructional designers they’d talk for half an hour to an hour look at some example courses go over the syllabus then they’d separate and the instructional designer or one of our student interns would spend four hours to two days building out a shell that they could hand over now they’ll actually use these tools and by the end of a half hour-to-hour consultation they walk out with a built out course shell that they can start customizing if we take a look at that welcome to class page we didn’t need to worry about the heading because when we create that with the module builder it puts in how we’re

breaking up our content and we’ve got you know our heading there so now i need to just edit this and put in the content that’s tied to this course now when it comes to working with these tools we have a lot of different things built in here from uh the ability to let me come in here and uh here we’ll take a look at this one we do factor in things like accessibility and structure you have the ability to control a lot of the different pieces at the institution level with this sidebar itself we have working with content so we added in those content blocks rearranging things we have nice front page themes you can choose from there’s also the ability in here to customize the style of things and this really changes based on where i’m working so when i’m working with an image i get tools for working with images letting me set their alt text adjusting their size and position when i’m working with a link i can quickly you know adjust the settings of links turn them into buttons etc i can work with lists tables this will allow me to quickly set things like the headings because with setting headings you have to make sure you have the appropriate heading structure in html as well as the appropriate scopes letting screen reader users know what that heading applies to so there’s a lot of different things like that built in we also have built-in accessibility checks to allow you to quickly review your heading structure and adjust your headings up and down to make sure that they are set up correctly and working with your images and quickly setting alternative text or quickly looking through the text of all of your links so that if you find things like click here and more and click for details that don’t make sense out of context you can quickly go in and adjust those as well so there’s a lot of different things that we can do there if we take a look at this let’s come back to this course here and let’s create a nice front page for this so i’m going to go to that home page i’m going to go ahead and edit this and then we’re going to go ahead and come into the design tools sidebar and i’m going to go ahead and choose a theme now this knows i’m looking at the front page in canvas so as i look at these themes in addition to that stylized heading i’m going to get a banner image some navigation section there a little message letting me know what kind of image ratio to choose for these so i can go ahead and add that in there if i want at the institution level you can set the default image but most of the time you want the image to reflect the subject being taught so i can go ahead and select this placeholder image and open up our third tool here that will allow me to come into my canvas course or my computer or search unsplash.com or pixels.com to go ahead and find an image that i want to use so i’m just going to go ahead and grab one here from my computer and pull that in there and i can go ahead and crop this and choose that recommended or required image ratio pick the portion of this image that i’d like to go ahead and use for my banner go ahead and crop that i can come in here and set the appropriate alternative text choose where i want that to go in my course and then go ahead and upload and embed it so it gives you a lot of different things when you’re building out your content within the multi-tool there are some other tools in here one of our faculty’s favorites is a due date modifier that allows you to go through and work through your different assignments discussions and quizzes and you know set their due dates lock dates unlock dates all of that we can set in one place we can do some bulk updating set default times uh etc so that’s kind of how the tools work but i want to show you just the wide variety of things that you can do with the tools that are available in that rich content editor sidebar so you have the different themes that you can choose from we have a wide variety of these and when we set up for an institution we adjust the branding to match the institutions color palette but then there’s just all these different styles that you can pick and choose from that’s really just changing the look and feel of the content so you can have a consistent user experience but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything has to look exactly the same you have that ability to add your content blocks we also don’t want to there’s a lot you can do with the sidebar and we don’t want to overwhelm people so we’ve actually broken it down into what we call comfort levels so everybody starts out at a basic level at that basic level they can choose a theme they can work with the front page pieces they can add content blocks they can also do play with those basic styling things adding borders to images working with their links and tables making tables that are sortable alphanumerically working with ordered unordered lists working with iframe content so most of the ways you bring in external content into canvas uses iframes so we can have some fun with the look and feel of those as far as the icons we have we have the icons that are default to canvas as well as in a font called font awesome so there’s over 2000 that are keyword indexed and available there for you to choose from then as an individual user you can go in and turn on additional tools so what we consider more the intermediate level you can start to play with styling so adding borders working with margins and padding working with colors the color picker

will actually let you know the wik 2.0 accessibility rating to let you know the appropriate color contrast from what you have selected we have a bunch of built-in block alerts and text emphasis and highlights and badge styles you can start to build dynamic panel widgets things like tabs and accordions and then we have a variation of accordion called expanders where you can actually open multiple panels at a time or you can expand or collapse the whole group we have module progress indicators that you can add in to give students a visual indication of where they are as they’re working with their way through a module we can quickly add information about your modules to different pages adding information about teachers and tas at the advanced level a lot of what you get there is for people like myself of perhaps somewhat questionable sanity who may actually enjoy things like working with html and css but there’s other fun tools that let you create your own custom border styles that can be applied to images and paragraphs and other content we can build pop-up content like tool tips and pop-overs and modal dialogues we have these little ungraded multiple choice questions called quick checks that are really just a quick formative assessment so you can ask students a question and when they answer they get immediate feedback of whether they understood that or not or maybe you need to provide some additional correction and then if what you’ve seen is not enough fun we also have what we call html snippets which are really just pre-configured chunks of content that you can insert into the rich content editor and we’ve built a bunch of these for you things like block quotes additional heading levels pre-formatted text and code blocks alerts and callouts in a variety of styles the ability to work with column layouts adding fun little horizontal divider lines adding in images with captions in a variety of styles and layouts and then at the institution level you also have the ability to build your own html snippets now some of the other things that are available become available when you’re working in the course syllabus so in the syllabus section of canvas the tools are pretty much the same but there are a few additional uh features and so if we come in and we let take a look at our syllabus tools i can still come in and i can go ahead and choose the theme that i like i can add content blocks but these template blocks are set unique to the syllabus so maybe i’ll throw in a course description some course objectives some canvas support information if i have a grading scheme set on the current course i can go ahead and pull that in if i don’t this will offer to walk me through how to actually set up a grading scheme in canvas and then the other piece that’s unique to the syllabus is the ability to add in what we call policy blocks so if i throw in this example policies block this is the way that you can add kind of that legalese stuff that you want everybody to have in their syllabus but nobody can ever remember where to find it or they add it in there once and never think about it again these can be set up in such a way that you can easily add in the different policies that you need this is like sexual harassment withdrawal policies disability statements cheating all of that different types of content these are actually locked inside of canvas so a teacher can’t just change that in the page but what ends up happening with these is anytime you come in and edit the syllabus what’s going to happen is it’s going to go out to where that policy is defined at the institution level grab the current state of the policies and then replace what’s in the syllabus with those updated policies so as long as they’re kept up to date at the institution level it’ll make sure those policies are up to date in at in the course level now that’s kind of the basis of design tools i have seen there have been a lot of questions coming through here and i think we’re going to try and address most of those at the end i can also potentially you know jump in as we’re listening to some of the others and address those as well okay jillian back to you great thanks kenneth let me go ahead and share my screen again okay and so i’ll talk a little bit now about qm’s use of design plus and yeah as you can see i think from kenneth’s demo there is a lot of capability and functionality in the tools and it’s very exciting we began using the tools back in january of 2020 as we were beginning our transition from moodle to canvas and for me um i think the design plus tools just make things so much more efficient and it also just looks better which is you know no small thing really i think so on the slide here you can see the image of one of our introduce yourself forums as it looked in moodle on the left so the before version in moodle with no design plus tools in use and then yeah the after format just looks so much better with design plus in canvas we used the tools to um

make the styled headings with the colors and icons and lines we’re using the basic bar two theme that you might have seen in kenneth’s demo and what i wish i had but i don’t because i got rid of it once i realized what the design plus tools could do for us is the intermediate part where we were trying to achieve the look of the design plus tools after image on the right without the use of design plus tools we were trying to do some of the headings the colored bars to set up things with the icons and it was not only more difficult to do it also just did not look as good so i was really excited when we began using the design plus tools and we were able to easily give our assignments discussions quizzes and other content pages a little bit of a makeover during the canvas transition so we already had the components there but we were able to give them this makeover and i think that that is more than just a cosmetic change i think it does also facilitate the readability of the page and that’s the focus of specific review standard 8.2 in the higher ed and k12 rubrics if you’re familiar with our rubrics and our participants really seem to like it as well we’ve gotten some inquiries about how did you do that how did you get that to look like that especially those who have been familiar with what our courses looked like in moodle before we made the transition um so at qm myself and one other instructional designer are primarily responsible for the design of all our courses and workshops and we strive for a lot of consistency and of course to meet our own standards so with the design plus tools we can define the different blocks of content that we want to use throughout all of our courses and workshops and a lot of those are of course are designed to meet the different qm standards so when we didn’t have design plus we had a template course that we would have to go into copy sort of the standard phrasing or standard setup that we wanted to use go into the course you’re working on put it in there and then you know go back and forth with design plus it’s all right there we open up the panel we bring our content in and that made things a lot easier and there’s this awesome selection to block tool that i don’t think kenneth showed or i might have missed it that made it really easy to put those headings in there so on the screen you have a couple of examples of the different blocks that we use we use a syllabus technologies block in our syllabus that has a link to our minimum technology requirements page and then has some wording to the instructional designer that if there’s any special technology for this course then you might need to add that here into the block we also have this back to start here block that is a navigational tool we use at the bottom of our syllabi pages to direct participants back to the start here page that they were on so a navigational that supports good navigation as uh required by the the qm rubric and then we also have some of these blocks like the reminder for the firm due date and i have a great instructional designer on my team who’s been really taking good advantage of the more advanced tools that kenneth mentioned as we’re learning more and more about design plus tools to really make the different snippets of content on the pages really increase readability draw attention to particular things we really want to focus on and help participants work through the instructions for our assignments in a little bit better way than we were able to do before so it’s all about continuous improvement at quality matters and that is something that we have found we’re able to easily support with the the design plus tools that we’ve had access to so i am going to turn it over to laredo college and my colleague alicia here to give you a bit of a demo of what they are doing at laredo college let me go ahead and stop sharing alicia and let you take over thank you hello everyone so let me show you i’m not as good at explaining city labs as kenneth is and he does it super fast but i’m going to try my best i just want to show you how the before and after how city labs has helped community college evolve in regarding quality matters so what you’re seeing over here is a template that we used to have back in 2017 or so so as you can see is so plain and simple

this this would be the home page and it’s so plain and simple and as a student to be honest it’s not that attractive but this is what we had after you will come in into the course what students would have to do is go to the modules and there we had created a module a super long module with tons of pages in it with all the information that they needed and to to meet the standards so just to show you if you go into one of the pages this is what we had black and white text not attractive at all to be honest and once you finish reading all this page the student will have to go next and read another long page and then next and read another long page and so on and so forth so like i said it was not attractive for the students at all so we kind of reinvent the wheel and we learn a little bit of html but to be honest we were not good at all and we created this template back in 2019 this is before we met city labs so as you can see this was a little bit more it has a little bit more color it’s the same information is the description of the course prerequisites we learned how to do tabs over here which we were very proud of so we tried to fit as much information as we could in the home page so to be honest we were covering almost all standards and most of the standards i’m sorry in the home page by adding these tabs but the issue here is because we created html one not all our instructors are very familiar with to html or some are not familiar at all so whenever they wanted to edit a page if they go the backspace too much they would delete the html or they would place it outside of the tab it would really mess it up also what happened with this a template that we had back then uh if you click on the different tabs as you can see the tabs get bigger get smaller as the text so we didn’t do a good job to be honest with you once we met city labs we were able to come up with this which is way more attractive way more well organized and i’m gonna show you what we’ve done so this is the home page is the same information that we have before the course the name of the course here we will put the description of the course the course description that we get from the catalog the prerequisites and the course objectives so just on the home page we’re covering at least three standards just to to start in a very well organized way the content blocks we love them you can see where it’s one and where’s another one uh the students can go identify it can go straight and identify the information that they’re looking for of course we we adapt this to to every every course we don’t have the same image for all the courses the instructors can uh can choose their own image but this is all all our courses look the same then here we created a start here page so of course the intent of the template is just fill in the blanks kind of so what we did is we created this template with with content blocks like i said very well organized and all the instructors got to do is we’re already filling most of the information our template covers 30 out of the 42 specific standards so they got to do is change whatever is in red so as you can see here will be their introduction their contact information then the next content block is the course structure here we say it’s in modules it has quizzes assignments the beginning of the course when is the end of the course uh if they need to go to the syllabus here’s a link to the syllabus but here we cover about a couple of standards just in that in that section then the next one is the netiquette same thing we we explain everything they don’t the instructors don’t need to change anything that course policies they just need to change this little piece over here but as well we’re covering at least two to three standards in this paragraph technology requirements computer skills and then we go to the next page so as you can see just in this page is a lot of information but what we love about city labs it’s helped it help us organize it very very well students can easily identify like i said any information that they

need they can just scroll down and see oh this is what we need because the titles stand out on the content blocks the other page that we had uh created with silly city labs is more resources in this particular case we we do this kind of the second part of the the specific standards we have the grading policy we have this table which is accessible we created with the tools from city labs all the instructors got to do is just change the numbers change the name of the assignments and the percentages here we were able to compress a lot of information in this particular case we have the rubrics and we change it for every course but here we do it like an image or you can do it as a table but you see is so easy and so very or organized it’s attractive to the eye for the students and all our courses look the same so they all know regardless if it’s a math an english a biology course they know where to find the information instructional materials same thing we will put here um the name of the book or if this is a third-party product or anything we will put it in this particular section in this content blog feedback all this is very well organized as well in the sense that all the information that they need to know because we wanted to compress it and not to make it all text just like that uh we were able to to do it on the expanders which worked great so as you can as you can see yes these are very long pages but we believe they’re very well organized they’re attractive to the students of course in this case we’re using our college colors but we have received very very good comments from the students in the sense that they don’t need to read the whole page to find out what book do i need they can just go straight and find it easily like instructional materials that’s all i need to to read and they know they just gotta focus on this particular section so they love it we also use city labs as jillian was mentioning earlier we also do when we’re creating the assignments we also do kind of a template these are the three requirements that we ask our instructors to have on all their assignments of course they can add more and depending on on the situation we add more content blocks but as you can see always you would the students would know why am i doing this assignment why why do i need to do it because many times as we know some assignments may worth a hundred points or maybe worth nothing it’s just for practice but i think we think as uh we need not to explain to the students but we need to tell them this is the reason why you will benefit if you do this assignment you will learn this you will learn the colors the numbers whatever the case may be uh very well explain explain instructions and these are the instructions and where they can call where they can go in case they need support so we also do we also use cd labs for our assignments we also use um we don’t have it in in this template but we also use a scan i was mentioning earlier how to create the modules we use that as well and we do it case by case because depending on on the course but as you can see city last has really really helped us organize like i said we believe it’s very well is very attractive for the students it has helped us like i said to me 30 standards out of the 42 and the other 12 that we need to meet are totally up to the instructor in the sense of the this is that’s the alignment and we cover that on what we call the course map but that’s totally just the alignment the creation of the assignment the creation of the objectives all of that so on the design section like i said we cover most of them more than 50 percent and that has been thanks to city labs because it has really um helped us organize a lot of information in a we believe in a very attractive way con very um straight to the point and it was so easy once you start playing with city labs it’s so easy you like it and you start creating more and more and more i know maybe when when canada was doing the presentation it’s a lot of information

but believe me you get the hang of it super super quick and and it’s really it’s really easy to use so let me stop sharing alicia before you stop sharing there was a request there was a request to show your course shell in student view is that something you could do yes so this is how they see it that’s the student view and when the student comes in they know they have to start there and all of this would be changed already and changed to black text once the instructor does all the all the changes then they will go to more resources and that’s the other page and this is how they will see it and then from here they will start with their with their course content in this particular case with our discussion or module one or whatever the case may be so what do you all think excellent it looks great thanks for sharing thank you and i can um just quickly show just as an example of you know how things can look differently i think you know alicia’s looks great and um you can quickly you know you can you can use the tools in many different ways so you can have that look and feel that i think you know works well for you or your institution using the branded colors and so um you know just to show like for instance our homepage and quality matters you can look differently but you can still have different icons different setup and we’re learning a lot more about the tools and working with them and coming up with different ways to do things but i think that that’s one of the the nice things about the tools is that you can just click through and have things look different ways and change things up and use the features and still allow for and so have some some templatized things but still allow for maybe a little bit of creativity and flex flexibility that faculty i know you know really like to have if you’re able to allow that at your institution and do that so i think that that’s really nice feature of the tools and i’ll stop sharing there and um let us turn to i think it is questions i know we had a lot of questions and we have about um 17 minutes left so i think we should be able to get to several of those so please use the q a to post those questions and i’ll let um mike look like you had a lot that you wanted to answer so i’ll let you go ahead and answer those yeah i will try to get through these we do have a lot of questions coming in um alicia while we’ve got you let’s let’s direct some questions your way can you comment a little bit on you you already commented a little bit on the impact on the student experience is there any more you can elaborate on that and then also on the flip side the faculty experience with the tools there’s some some questions about whether this is too complicated for faculty to engage with and that kind of thing sure well as as you saw the other template the the previous ones besides the fact that they were ugly to be honest uh some instructors of course they don’t want to use it so one of the things that we saw is every semester every session that that we started students will have to learn the course not the content just where do i find what so if you’re taking four courses six courses whatever the case may be you’re learning you have to learn that and it may take you up to a week depending on the situation so when we created the template uh it helped to eliminate that but when we created with city labs since it’s so easy to copy that template to to all the courses pretty much at once because we do blueprint so it’s so easy even the students comment that now i know regardless if i take 10 courses i know where the information is going to be because all of them has the same template the same way to do it the same thing for the instructors even though you’re teaching english 1301 1302 2327 and whatever um they know where they have because it’s a template and once again it’s so we’re organized they just need to go instructional materials this is what i need to make a change

um start here start end date of the course this is what i need to change so all they got to focus it’s on the content so because we know they’re not instructional designers in our institution that most of the instructors are smes they’re not actually designed the course design so it’s so easy for them just to have a template and go to particular areas where they have to to change but anything else besides the fact that sometimes they’re not very technical they don’t know what the the student will need is it okay to have a laptop is it okay to have a tab a tablet is it okay to have a desktop so because we’re already putting all that information in there they don’t have to worry about so they really like it they really love it and like i said they just concentrate on the content which is you know their expertise excellent thank you uh there was a question here julian uh a request to see your uh qm course shell in student view is that something you could do sure um let me go here and actually while you’re pulling that up i can also add a little bit to that last question so at utah state we actually did a study of student performance in courses both that did not use design plus as well as the courses that did and it did register a a significant increase in student performance for the courses that did use it and that was particularly noticeable in first generation students as far as the courses that they uh went through and reviewed the the first generation students particularly excelled when the courses were designed using these tools that’s great kenneth that’s great to hear um so our to our uh student view of one of our courses here that um uses our template has our brief intro the links here that we use to direct folks to some quick access items are created using the navigation block tool of the design plus tools so that’s been a helpful feature the start here page has different blocks of standardized information that we use in all of our courses and workshops we have the get a moment there there you can see the participant agreement a little bit better has the different headings like alicia’s had for kind of an overview and purpose of the assignment what are the instructions to complete it if you have any questions and let me go over to modules and similarly with our introduce yourself discussion we have the different sections and headings that previously in moodle were just sort of black and white different headings um i know my instructional designer is working on some more advanced features with some of the tabs and the accordions and different call out boxes that she was showing me the other day but i don’t have them in here yet because we’re still working on it because we’re still learning the tools and and taking advantage of them and making our courses even better with them is there anything else in particular that is being posted in chat that anyone would like to see in our they wanted to see it in modules view which i think you’re showing showing here yeah so our modules look um you know pretty similar i think to what um they would look like without the design plus tools but we have the different items in here using our sort of overview lessons quizzes assignments and then moving on to each module summary and next steps yeah so we don’t do anything to actually change the style and look of the modules page because there’s not really a way to do that on a course-by-course basis we do have a few different tools that allow you to pull some of that information into just a normal page so that you can add additional information around it but in general the modules page just looks like the modules page kenneth there are a number of questions about accessibility um could you maybe review some of the things that design plus helps with accessibility wise and i don’t know if we have time to you know review all the or actually see all the features but i i can do a high level uh review so all of the content that’s been built all the

sidebar etc has been designed to meet accessibility standards you know i have been a web developer for 10 years i’ve attended like the web aim trainings etc so i try and build everything to meet that compliance guideline also i still work at utah state university and when i’m not home due to covid uh for most of the time for about six of the seven years that i worked there i actually sat two desks away from our university accessibility guru and so everything that i built if i ever had questions i’d ask him i’d make him review things he’d look things up for me so that we could make sure that does that now that doesn’t mean that you can’t build inaccessible content because canvas is still a rich content editor but we do have built-in checks to look at things like image alternative text your heading structure uh like i showed you the ability to quickly set headings for tables whether that’s a the first row is headings or the first column is headings uh adding things like captions to your tables working with alt text for images looking at links out of context so that you can make sure that the link text you’re showing would make sense to a screen reader user out of context when you get to the more intermediate and advanced levels and can start to play with colors we do give you color pickers and when you choose a color well when you select something it will let you know if the current colors meet accessibility guidelines meaning that there’s sufficient contrast between the background and the text color and if you choose a color like if you set a background color on a different on an element it will actually dynamically identify whether black text or white text gives you the best contrast for that element to help make sure that what you’re creating meets that accessibility guideline anything i missed mike no i i think that was a great overview there were several questions about the syllabus and whether the syllabus can be printed or if it lives can be linked to pdf syllabi or you know i maybe there’s just some confusion about our tools and how they work with the canvas syllabus yeah so the tools are just creating content in the syllabus section of canvas uh they have been built in such a way that you can use your browser and just hit print canvas strips away all its user interface stuff we do things to like make sure that if you’re using expanders or tabs they are opened up so that you can see all of the content in a printed pdf so you do have that ability to print it but it’s really just helping you build html and actually that kind of goes into one of the other questions that was asked that i saw in there earlier is how well this works on a copy so because of the fact that these tools are building content inside of native canvas it works with all of the delivery methods that are available in canvas you can build blueprint courses with it you can share stuff up to canvas commons and bring it back into different courses you can use the course copy the course export import because it’s really just building that content into canvas and if you were to share that content with another institution that is using design plus because of the fact that we brand institutions uh their color palettes and stuff separately unless you’ve manually created and overridden colors it would come in and match the branding and styling of that additional institution as well kenneth can you talk a little bit about uh who has access to the tools and how we can how they get installed and how they can be limited or rolled out a little bit on those topics absolutely so there are the three different tools they are installed at an account level in canvas that can be the root account or for like a full institution it could be like a departmental subaccount if it was just going in for like a specific department uh it just resides at the account level the pop out sidebar is added using the ability that canvas gives to add css and javascript at an account level so that gets uploaded into the canvas theme editor and then there are the two lti tools that just get added to the account like normal lti tools we do also have the ability to limit access so by default it’s available to anyone who can create and build course content but there’s the ability with that that little pop out sidebar you open it with the little button in the top corner one of our most common methods for limiting the tools is to just hide that button what that allows you to do is if you’re building templates and sharing it out to faculty with the tools hidden it still is going to bring in all of the styling and everything into the rich content editor so your faculty could go through and fill out the little gaps and you know fill in the content and the templates you’ve created even if they don’t know that sidebar exists they can still work with that content there are also ways we can be a little more strict we can tie it to like a course format in canvas so if you only wanted it available for courses that are set to be online we can tie it to that we can limit it down to just like admin teacher roles so only those users can use it although students wouldn’t really see the pop-out sidebar what the students would see was the that upload embed image tool like if they were participating in a discussion response and then we can even go as strict as

saying you give us a list of user ids and only the people that are in that list have the ability to see those tools in canvas excellent thanks kenneth for that um so there are a number of questions here about of how the tools are licensed and how you can get access to them and and those kinds of things so these are an add-on to canvas they are licensed separately from your canvas instance we you’re licensing them from city labs we provide the ongoing support and maintenance for the tools you know canvas provides releases every three weeks and so we’re on top of those releases ensuring that your content created with the tools as well as the the tools themselves continue to work from release to release within canvas um the licensing ranges from about 3 000 a year for an enterprise license about 3 000 a year at the low end and can go as high as uh 25 to 30 000 for really large i mean really large organizations it’s an annual license we do have uh individual designer license options that are limited to a specific canvas user id within your canvas system if if you prefer to just have one or two instructional designers use the tools and not uh open it up for access to the your broader community and we can also be flexible in terms of starting with departments if you want to just start with your online courses or your business school or something like that we can certainly uh you know figure out a license for those departments as well we also offer training as part of the first year there’s an additional fee for the training and and implementation uh that training is about five to six hours worth of material that will take three take your team through on zoom calls that are recorded that you have access to there’s also a help desk that you can submit tickets and and ask functional questions as well as uh i’ll you know submit a bugs or uh or any of those kinds of things um one other thing to add we do offer sandbox accounts that are free if you want to try out the tools on your own we can set up a sub account for you in our canvas instance that has the tools uh already implemented and set up for you to try out and we’re also happy to jump on a call and do a personalized demo for you and your team if you want to dig in and see the tools up close a little bit more so just contact us at citylabs.com and and make those requests so with that um i think we’re getting pretty close julian i don’t want to take too much you know go too close to the top of the hour but sure we’ve got just about two minutes left so if there are any last questions that you would like to address please feel free we will have this recorded and that recording will be sent out so that’s i know a very popular question and we’ll have that available yeah i’m i’m i’m looking at the questions they’re still coming in i’m sorry we don’t have time to address all of these we will you know maybe we can work with jillian to answer some of these asynchronously and provide some sort of documentation to accompany the recording to get through some of these but there are some very specific questions as well again you’re welcome to reach out to us uh specifically and we’re happy to answer those directly for you but sandbox accounts are real popular options so if you have a chance and if you’re thinking about it right now go ahead and request one at our website and we’ll get those set up within within the next few hours for you great thanks mike and thank you everyone for attending today really appreciate your time and hope you all have a great day we will be in touch with the recording and possibly some additional information that um might be useful based on all the questions that were received thanks again julian for hosting this and thank you alicia for participating in kenneth we appreciate your time today and thanks everyone for attending bye