Designing for the Canvas App

Please Note: This resource is designed to act as an addendum to the Canvas Community - Course Evaluation Checklist.

How To Use

The legend in each header references what type of criterion is demonstrated. A ★ rating indicates an Essential and standard design component to online learning; a ★★ rating is considered Best Practice and adds value to a course; and ★★★ is Exemplary and elevates learning. 

Mobile Design

★ Essential   ★★ Best Practice   ★★★ Exemplary

Yes ✔

Criteria

Example

❏   ★

Text Headers are included within modules to help guide student navigation | Canvas Guide - Add Text Header

↠ UDL 2.2 Clarify syntax and structure 

Text Headers in Module

❏   ★

Chunk content into smaller parts (2000 words max) and use the module tool to organize Canvas Pages into a table of contents. 

↠ UDL 2.2 Clarify syntax and structure 

Chunking Content 

❏   ★

When possible, Canvas Pages are used to present content, instead of linking to external URLs or files in the flow of the module.

↠ UDL 7.3 Minimize threats and distractions

Text Readability - Comparisons


❏   ★★

Instructions and prompts are platform neutral to minimize student confusion.

↠ UDL 7.1 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy

Multiple Device Guidelines


❏   ★★

Students are alerted and given alternatives when an unsupported file type is used. 

↠ UDL 7.3: Minimize threats and distractions

Access Alternative

❏   ★★★

Use Requirements within Modules to give users a visual bookmark of their progress. | Canvas Guide - Add Requirements 

↠ UDL 2.2 Clarify syntax and structure 

Module Requirements

Course Enhancements

★ Essential   ★★ Best Practice   ★★★ Exemplary

Yes ✔

Criteria

Resource

❏   ★★

Assessment design takes into account the additional tools students have when working on a mobile device - camera, video, audio, file upload, GPS

Mobile Series Video: Tips to Designing Mobile-Friendly Assignments

❏   ★★★

Assessment design takes into account the ability for students to use the Mobile Annotations tool on an assignment that uses an uploaded PDF | Canvas Guide - Submit a PDF assignment with annotations in the Canvas app - iOS and Canvas Guide - Submit a PDF assignment with annotations in the Canvas app - Android 

Canvas Live Video: Canvas Mobile Annotations Quick Demo



We know each institution has unique requirements for their courses and we hope this document will serve as a great resource or starting point. We’d love to hear how you’re using this checklist. Please leave comments in the Canvas Community - Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist blog post.

It’s always best practice to review your course(s) in the app. Search “Instructure” to find free teacher and student apps available for iOS and Android.

Mobile Design Resources

CITATIONS

  1. CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.
  2. Going Mobile with Webcourses@UCF. https://vimeo.com/134745175

CONTRIBUTORS

Ryan Seilhamer, Program Director of Mobile Strategy & Innovation, University of Central Florida

Deonne Johnson, Ph.D., Adoption Consultant, Instructure
Erin Keefe, Senior Trainer, Instructure

Lily Philips, Instructional Designer, Instructure

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