Nancy O'Laughlin

Nancy O'Laughlin

Educational Technology Consultant, ATS

Canvas Speedgrader

Grading can be one of the most challenging and time consuming tasks an instructor faces. Providing a consistent effort across all students can be difficult depending on the type of assignment, class size, number of courses you teach, etc. The Speedgrader tool in Canvas can make grading practices easier, more streamlined and full of meaningful feedback for your students. When you use the Speedgrader tool you can:

  • see your students submissions,
  • annotate and provide feedback right on the submission (for some file types),
  • you can grade with a rubric,
  • provide text, attachments or audio/video feedback.
    • And as soon as you grade one student, the next one is right there. There is no extra downloading of student work unless you choose to grade that way. Once you have tried it, I can’t imagine grading any other way!  

-Nancy O’Laughlin, Educational Technology Consultant, ATS


Rose Muravchick

Rose Muravchick

Assistant Director, CTAL

Exam or quiz study guides

Give your students extra-incentive to study, and also get a sneak-peak into how they prepared for your exam. Have students turn in a short study guide (1-2 pages) at the time of their exams.

  • Give them a few points on the exam just for handing the study guide in.
  • Scan the study guides briefly (don’t comment on or correct them!) and make some notes about where students seem to have gone off track in their studying.
  • Present this global feedback to the entire class when you hand back their exams so that you can give them feedback on how to study more effectively for the next exam. For example:
    • “I noticed that most of you didn’t include a list of the sources used to support this argument. Make sure that you review the names of the authors and their major works so that you can cite them specifically in the next in-class essay.”
    • “I see that most of you defined this term incorrectly in your study guides; remember to review the glossary in your textbook before our next exam.”

-Rose Muravchick, assistant director, CTAL


Kathy Pusecker

Kathy Pusecker

Director, CTAL

Exit tickets with muddiest point

If you want students to be more reflective about what they are learning, and you also want to make sure that students are giving you and their colleagues their full attention during your class period, try a “Muddiest Point” exit ticket. These exit tickets can be used as proof of attendance and participation, if you assign credit for those components. If you do, you’ll want to let the students know that the feedback (while not anonymous) is only for you and for the improvement of the course. Encourage them to be honest, and let them know how you will use this feedback.

  • In the last 2 minutes of class, ask students to quickly write down one topic, idea, or process that you discussed in class that they are still unsure about or that doesn’t make sense to them. Students might write things like:
    • “I’m still not sure what the difference is between equity and equality.”
    • “I don’t understand what the conversation we had today has to do with engineering.”
    • “I don’t know what I’m supposed to know for the upcoming exam.”
  • Once you look through this feedback, you may wish to make some changes to your next class session, or more clearly communicate about some aspect of your classroom policies. You don’t need to offer a response to every student comment, but if you see trends, you might want to consider a response.

-Kathy Pusecker, director, CTAL


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