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Canvas Training Information

Canvas 101F

All faculty can easily go to their Canvas Dashboard to access the CANVAS 101F training tutorial without having to enroll or request to be enrolled. As a reminder, this training is completely online and is full of tutorials and videos for how to use Canvas. You can also review webinars for each of the modules. We hope that it will be beneficial. To manage what courses you see on your Dashboard, visit this Canvas Guide.

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Professional Development

The Center for Online Education (COE) will be presenting monthly webinars that will be held on the second Wednesday of the month. Each webinar will introduce faculty/staff to a new area of professional development, at which time the webinar will be recorded and archived into the Canvas 101F.

Webinar Schedule*

Wednesday, November 8: “Best Practices of Building Research Assignments” (Marielle McNeal)

Wednesday, December 13: “Copyright Considerations” (Andy Meyer)


Wednesday, February 14: “ADA 101: Accessibility” (Laura Ebner)

To join: an invitation will be sent from the Canvas 101F the day of the Webinar, or you can go to the Canvas 101F, click on Conferences from the Course Navigation Menu and then click Join for the scheduled webinar.

*Stay tuned for more Webinar Wednesdays that are in the works!

COE 101: Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning
A self-paced, entirely online introduction to online teaching and learning for those faculty who are brand new to online teaching. Delivered in Canvas. Register with COE

COE 102: Online Course Development
6-week, instructor-led course with assistance from an assigned peer mentor to assist faculty in the design and development of hybrid/online courses using Quality Matters as design quality control. Spring 2018 offerings: March 5, June 4, October 1. All hybrid and online courses at North Park University must be designed and developed through this course.

Ongoing, self-paced introductory Canvas tutorial for faculty/staff. Delivered in Canvas.

Ongoing, self-paced introductory Canvas tutorial for students. Delivered in Canvas.

ACSR-0500:Online Orientation 
The Online Orientation introduces students to various university support resources and helps them to build technical skills for negotiating Canvas. This orientation is a requirement for new students entering the various graduate schools and School of Professional Studies. The Online Orientation must be completed by the second week of their academic course.

Quality Matters offers professional development opportunities in the form of webinars, conferences, online courses, and course reviews. If you are interested in signing up for professional development through Quality Matters please contact the Center for Online Education to be enrolled.



Instructional Design

Providing high-quality, engaging courses is a top priority to North Park University—no matter what format students choose to take classes. We take our students’ learning experiences seriously and strive to ensure a rewarding experience in any face-to-face, hybrid, or online classroom. QM Logo

North Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the Quality Matters (QM) quality assurance program, committed to best practices in online course development and delivery.

Quality Matters (QM) originated from a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized peer-reviewed process for the academic quality and rigor of online and hybrid courses. Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer-reviewed process designed to certify the quality of online courses. Quality Matters is:

  • Collegial, partnering faculty peer reviewers with course representatives in dialogue about course design
  • Research-based
  • Recognized

Today, QM offers professional development opportunities in the form of webinars, conferences, online courses, and course reviews through their secure QM Course Review Management System (CRMS). You can view more about signing up for professional development opportunities in our Professional Development tab below.

North Park has been a member of QM since 2009 where they utilize the Quality Matters Rubric (you would receive a fully annotated version during the Course Development Process in the COE 102) for their Internal Review Process for all online and hybrid courses. Please watch this brief video that provides an overview of QM. For additional information about QM, please visit the Quality Matters website.

Provided by the Center for Online Education includes training of faculty in hybrid and online course design and development, and the maintenance of Quality Matters™ instructional design requirements in all online/hybrid courses. Instructional design duties are executed primarily via the course entitled, Online Course Development (COE 102), face-to-face workshops and one-on-one guidance.

Why Quality Matters™(QM)?

Mock COE 102 Enrollment Request

Overview of Course Development

In designing and developing online and hybrid courses, the Center for Online Education views instructional design as a systematic process, in which every course component (i.e. assessments, instructional materials, course activities, learner interaction, and technology) works together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning objectives for all online/hybrid courses. You can view our entire course development process from inquiry, development and review in the following document or click the below images to expand a particular section.

Complete Course Development Process

Course Developer Checklist

Click the below images to expand

Resources for Writing Learning Objectives

  • Bloom’s Verbs Wheel is a useful tool for selecting appropriate verbs for varied levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Resources for Developing Assessments

Aligning assessments with learning objectives. Carnegie Mellon explains how to align assessments with learning objectives.

Resources for Developing Instructional Materials

Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use their creative work.

MERLOT. Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching.

MIT Open Courseware. Use this resource to locate materials for varied disciplines.

Learning Theories

Videos: Instructional Design Resources

Rubric Resources

Rubistar is a free tool used to create quality rubrics.

iRubric is a comprehensive rubric development, assessment, and sharing tool. Designed from the ground up, iRubric supports a variety of applications in an easy-to-use package. Best of all, iRubric is free to individual faculty and students. IRubric School-Edition empowers schools with an easy-to-use system for monitoring student learning outcomes and aligning with standards.

Sample Rubrics is produced by the Association for Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.


Instructional Design Models

Instructional Design Central’s Instructional Design Models and Methods provides an overview of several popular instructional design models and methods.

Presentation Tools

Google Slides – Google slides is part of the Google Apps for Education and can be found in any Google Drive. At first glance it may appear as another version of PowerPoint, but look closer. Students can collaborate in groups and work on one set of slides. Because Google owns YouTube, YT video can be embedded as opposed to just using a link. If you have a G-Mail account, you have access to Google Drive and Google Slides.
Powtoon – a very unique and different kind of presentation technology.
Prezi – Create digital presentations.
Slide Rocket – Touted as PowerPoint on steroids. Digital presentations.
ExplainEverything – one of the most powerful apps available.  Create tutorials, projects, or virtually any multi-media idea.
Movenote – a web based tool that is similar but simpler than Explain Everything.
Flowvella – Looking for a new alternative to PowerPoint. Presentations, Keynote, or Prezi?  Consider Flowboard.
eMaze – Another neat “alternative to PowerPoint, Keynote, et al” presentation tool.  Web 2.0 tool.
Buncee – Presentation tool with a flair for younger children.  Buncee offers a safe environment for young students by offering classroom accounts for just $60 a year per
VoiceThreadTransforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.

Video Tools

YouTube Video Editor – create videos right in YouTube!
Animoto – Create multi-media projects. Merge music, video, pictures, etc.
Windows Movie Maker – movie making platform for Windows machines.
WeVideo – WeVideo is a very useable online video creation site.  If you can’t use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, try WeVideo.
iMovie – It just doesn’t get much better!  iPad app, iPhone app, or Macbook.  For iPad or iPhone
Peanut Gallery – allows you to create old-time silent films using your voice.
Lego Movie Maker – for iPad – create sets with Legos and then convert them to movies.  Watch this video
Shadow Puppets – a video making tool for your iPad/iPhone.  Combine photos, video clips, and voice.
EduCanon – Allows you to import video, trim it, add questions, comments, etc.
EDpuzzle – Same as EduCannon only it has a few more bells and whistles – namely you can add audio as comments or complete overdub.
Vibby – Similar to EduCanon and EdPuzzle.  However, Vibby allows you to cut videos up and choose segments.  The others allow you to trim front and back end only.
Mixtape – This free web tool lets you do exactly what it says: mix a group of YouTube videos into one mix. You can trim the front end and back end. Imagine you had four clips on four different videos. Each video is 10 minutes long but you only want 1-2 minutes of each. Mixtape lets you do that.
Vimeo – online video storage similar to YouTube but far less commercial.
Adobe Spark – Create impactful graphics, webpages and videos stories. Allows you to transform your ideas into stunning visual stories.
Zamzar – online video conversion/download site.  This is where you can convert video to match the format of your video creation program.  For example:  you can convert a .mov [apple friendly] to a .wmv [windows friendly].
Convert-Video-Online – alternate to Zamzar. Zamzar requires you enter an email address and sends you notification by mail. CVO runs the entire process right from the program.
Movenote – a web based tool that is similar but simpler than Explain Everything. Move note is not pure screencasting. It allows you to screencast slides with accompanying webcam video of the facilitator.
Screencast-o-Matic – Web based screencasting. Make sure your Java is current. Works well for Windows machines.
Jing Techsmith: The software takes a picture or video of the user’s computer screen and uploads it to the Web, FTP, computer or clipboard. … Users must sign up for an account before using the software.
Screencastify – Screencasting for Chromebooks. This link starts at the Chrome store where you can type screencastify in the search window.

Writing Tools

My Storybook – This is a free, easy to use laptop storybook tool. Students can type text, draw, and insert pictures. The final product can be printed.
Google Blogger: Blogger is Google’s free tool for creating blogs. It is flexible and unbranded so you can use it to create and promote blogs without a budget. View this additional resource for getting started with Blogger.
Mixbook – Create online books with text and pictures. Different from Storybird in that the composer chooses the pictures.
Storybird – Collaborative storytelling. Match stories with artwork. Students can join a class without divulging personal info.
iBooks Creator –  iPad app.  Costs $4.99 but well worth it.  Very usable at all grade levels.  Imagine your students on a field trip with their iPads taking photos and using them to create a book about the experience.
Story Buddy – iPad app.  The lite version is free.  We like this story creator because you can save the final product as a PDF book and send it anywhere!!
Bookemon – create online books.
Demibooks – book writing app for your iPad.
SimpleBooklet – create online booklets.
Little Bird Tales – create books for the very young.  Uses student voice.  Doesn’t require writing.  Great site for early childhood.
Marvel Comics – Create your own comic book hero.
ToonDoo – another comic book site.
Teaching English with Technology – from edtech teacher. Lots of tools and ideas on how to use them.
Storyline Online – Stories read by famous personalities.
Storynory – More stories read aloud.
SpellingCity – recommended to us by elementary students in Texas, this site offers lots of possibilities.
Flocabulary – educational hip-hop.  You just have to see and hear it to believe it.
Hemingway – This free site allows you to cut and paste a writing sample. The site then analyzes your writing through multiple lenses and suggests improvements.
Grammaropolis – A great site for building grammar. Grades 1-3. Lots of activities. Lots of novelty and variety. Multi-platform.
Spanish Dict: Offers the most accurate Spanish to English to Spanish translation through our Spanish translators, dictionaries, and verb conjugations.
Kidblog – a really safe place for young kids to blog.
ReadThinkWrite – A treasure chest of lessons, activities, games from IRA and NCTE.

Augmented – Virtual Reality

Aurasma – Create your own augmented reality experiences. Requires that you also add the app to your smart phone.
Appdazzle – Twelve VR apps for iOS devices.
Wareable – The “Best” VR from Wareable
Google Cardboard – Google’s oficial site for GC. 
Google Cardboard iOS Apps – a great Symbaloo from Ann Witherspoon with lots of VR apps for Google Cardboard. 

Animation Tools

Plotagon – Finally!  A viable alternative to GoAnimate.  Plotogon is downloaded to your device.  You can work offline.  Life like animation.  The free package is super and you can buy add-ons as desired.
GoAnimate – Animation site. Create stories with animation characters.
DomoGoAnimate – A school friendlly version of GoAnimate which all inappropriate content is filtered out. You can create animations that can be embedded onto blogs, wikis, etc.
Voki – Create talking avatars. 
Morfo – A superb “talking head” app for tablets or smartphones.  You turn your photos into lifelike talking heads.
Sock Puppets – great i-Pad site that lets students create digital puppet shows.  Does not require writing.
Toontastic – hot off the presses from USA Today as a top five app for creativity.
Puppet Pals – like Sock Puppets only you can create characters from your own pictures.
Tellagami – iPad animation app.  Instead of a talking head, Tellagami gives you a full blown character.  
Powtoon – a very unique and different kind of presentation technology.
Wideo – combines animation and presentation tools into one platform.  Similar to Powtoon.  Easy to edit templates.
Moovly – this site is more about animation than presentation. It gets close to being a true animator – but still easy to use.  Great entry level animator.
Blabberize – make objects come to life and talk!

Curating Tools

Canvas – Looking for a complete learning management system for your classes?  We have worked with Canvas and find it an incredible tool.
NearPod – NearPod allows you to send slides to your student devices and control what they are looking at. It moves the screen from the front of the room to the students device. Also has interactive possibilities.  Can be used to create complete units of work. 
Pole Everywhere: This is a free and user-friendly source of live-polling. Poll Everywhere also displays results in real-time.
Socrative: Quickly assess students with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding. Then use auto-populated results to determine the best instructional approach to most effectively drive learning.
Blendspace – A great site to curate content.
ThingLink – turn photos into student resources using links. ThingLink is a great tool to organize a set of web resources.
Edmodo – Built to look like a social media platform, Edmodo has a quick learning curve and is easy to use.
Google Classroom – A very easy to use platform that links to your Google drive. Note: only available to users with a school e-mail address. 
iTunes U – Create courses in iTunes U.  A great app that is easy to use, organize, and curate. Warning!  The resultant course created on your Mac is for iPads only. Requires iTunesU app and Apple ID.  Start here on your Mac.
Zunal – Originally designed to create web quests, Zunal has been used to create complete units of work.
Seesaw – This site-app allows students to gather their work into digital portfolios. Keeps all their work in one place.  The teacher can organize by classes. 
Wix – Free website builder. Could also be used for Product Focus.
Weebly – Free website builder. – Free website builder.  
Yola – Free website builder.  

Gaming Tools

Gamindex – a cool jump-off site to review digital games.
Ready made games. 
MangaHigh – a suite of ready to play math games on a variety of math topics.  Each game has a preview video.
Motion Math – Motion Math is a suite of math games for elementary grades. There is a free trail but eventually purchase is required. You can go to YouTube and search “Motion Math Game Title” and find sample videos. These games are ready made. They work on tablets and phones. 
Math Versus Zombies – zombies are about to invade your home! Use math to fight them off! Tablet and phone app.  There is a charge for the app. Ready made game – no design capabilities. 
iCivics – Different civics games to hone your civics content. Ready made game – no design capabilities. 
Dungeon Geometry – A math video game for grades four through seven. This is a phone or tablet app. The website explains.
Sokikom – A safe, math social learning game.               
SumDog – may be the coolest game site I have seen.
Arcademics – very similar to SumDog.
Playful Learning – a great site where teachers collaborate over educational gaming. 
Fractus Learning – this link reviews five sites and is a jump-off link for online game creation:  Sploder!, Draw4Play, Isoball 3, Jacksmith, and Purpose Games. 
Prodigy – math games for common core standards.

Platforms that allow teachers and students to design games.
Gamestar Mechanic – a superb site allows teachers or students to become game designers without using code. Gamester Mechanic has an excellent learning program that teachers and students use to become apprentice and intern game designers. For an excellent review of Gamester Mechanic click this blog. Be sure to view the Teacher’s Page.
Stencyl – Stencyl is a free download to your laptop. There is a tutorial. Students or teachers can create games. The resultant games are similar to Gamester Mechanic. These will be what we call Pacman style games where a character moves through a created environment gathering points and avoiding enemies. The learning curve is steeper than Gamester Mechanic. However, Stencyl offers two advantages. 1] It has more programmable options. 2] Games can be published to phones or tablets. Stencyl designed games have sold online as legitimate commercial games. Like Gamester Mechanic, Stencyl requires no coding skills. In our opinion it is approachable for grades 7 and up.
Scratch – This free platform allows student stop create their own games using block coding. 

Quiz Games.  Platforms that allow teachers to create quizzes in a gaming platform.
Kahoot – create quizzes, surveys, etc in a game-based format. A national hit! – a hot new gaming site.  Create games for content review.
Quizalize – A platform create quiz games for students. Similar to Kahoot. However, Quizalize lets you send quizzes to students to complete on their own time.
Quizlet: makes simple learning tools that let you study anything. Start learning today with flashcards, games and learning tools — all for free.

Role playing games. Students assume a role in a community activity and interact with other students to solve problems, play games, etc.
Whyville? – Become a participant in the online Whyville community. For elementary students. Participants have great latitude in where they go and what they do, but all the games are ready made. From the website:  “Whyville is one of the safest, friendliest and most innovative game-based learning sites for your students. Whyville is also FREE, with over 100 games and activities covering a wide range of subjects. Your students can safely explore, play and have fun while learning important lessons about the real world.” 
Government in Action – Students assume a role in government such as a member of the House of Representatives. They then participate in all aspects of government from passing legislation to getting re-elected. This app was demonstrated by a high school government teacher at South by Southwest Edu who runs his entire high class through the platform. From McGraw Hill. Works on laptops or tablets. A free version is available. 
Argument Wars – a civics based site that lets students argue a case before a judge.  Game-based learning.  Free sample to try.
Make Your Case – Civics, government, etc. Choose your legal team and argue your case online. Ready made game – no design capabilities.
Kerbal Space Program [edu]  – Players assist the lovable-but-hapless Kerbals as they build rockets and carry out orbital missions. Students master real-world physics and engineering skills as their understanding of STEM concepts blast off! KerbalEdu is an official school-ready standalone* remix of the award winning game Kerbal Space Program. The game is available for everyone to purchase and has been enhanced with features that help integrate it into the classroom*. [From the website]
A free demo can be downloaded and played here. 

Sandbox Games.  The emphasis here is on building things in an online environment.
Minecraft – a worldwide phenomena. “Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.” Educator Wiki. Disclaimer:  Minecraft is not cheap. $25+ for a laptop version or $6.99 for the tablet version. However, you will likely find many of your students already have it.

Ananth Pai’s 3rd Grade Class site – Ananth is a wonder with classroom gaming.  His site contains many resources.
G.A.M.E – Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education. The title is self-explanatory. This site goes deep into gaming including World of Warcraft, Machinima,and Minecraft.

Digital Posters

Glogster – Create digital posters. Glogster has become a paid service. There is a free 7 day trail.
Adobe Spark: Create impactful graphics, webpages and videos stories. Allows you to transform your ideas into stunning visual stories.
ReciteThis – Turn quotes into beautiful posters.
Thinglink – A very cool site for interactive images – one of the hot digital tools out there. – a unique site to create visual products.
Canva – Create really cool graphics and then import to Thinglink. Check this Pinterest board for classroom Canva ideas.
Smore – Lots if neat templates. 

Photo Tools

Creative Common Photos:  Teach your students to find and use photos legally.
Copyright-friendly images – a phenomenal tutorial from Kathy Schrock on finding and using copyright friendly images.
British Library – thousands of royalty free photos.
Flickr Creative Commons – Start here.  Read the definitions.  Search any topic.  Filter by license.
Google Advanced Search – Start Here.  Scroll to bottom.  Set Usage rights to “free to use or share”.

Photo centric sites. 
Adobe Slate – create and share visual stories.
Adobe Spark – Create impactful graphics, webpages and videos stories. Allows you to transform your ideas into stunning visual stories.
Roxio Photoshow – Create multi-media projects. Merge music, video, pictures, etc.
Sphere360 – Create a 360 panorama picture with your phone.  View it online.
Photovisi – Create photo collages here.  Sort of an online Pic Collage.  You do not need to join anything to use this one.
BigHugeLabs – Everything you might want to do to a photo under one site.  Posters, magazine covers, trading cards, etc.
Adobe Voice –  iPad app that allows for creative photo show with music and narration. Works great without Internet once you register.
Bubbli – Create stunning 360 photos.

 Training North Park has a subscription to where you can find training videos and courses for your own use and the use of your students.


Accessibility is an important consideration when designing a course, both on-campus and online. Learn more about Accessibility from the University of Illinois Springfield, Center for Online Learning


The Online Learner

Periodically, COE distributes a newsletter to the campus community to communicate current training, developments and initiatives that the center is undertaking. Stay up to date with our newsletter called The Online Learner below.

Newsletter Archive