Final Exam Prep with Canvas

Exams in the Springtime are made somewhat more bearable with the promise of warmer weather, sunshine, and iced coffees.

Prairie Crocus: Sign of Spring, Photo credit to Ales Maze on Unsplash

 

 

 

Brette Wilton-Kristoff, Graduate Student Communications Specialist, GMCTL,

April 10th, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing the basics is a good place to start to prep for your exams:

  1. Check your Canvas Calendar and map out your exam dates  (and any other important ‘To Do’ items).
    • Each of your courses and groups in Canvas will have a corresponding colored square on your Calendar.
      •  Go to your Calendar page, accessible anywhere from your Global Navigation Menu in Canvas.
      • You can view your Group Calendars from either your Group Home Page, or by locating the corresponding color of that group in your Calendar.
      • All groups and courses are listed on the right side bar of the Calendar page. The coloured square must be showing (clicked into) for course’s or group’s calendar items to appear on your Calendar.
      • Isolate a specific course or group to view in your Calendar for easier viewing.   

     2.  Review your Course Syllabus.

    • Remember this old thing? I find going back at the end of term and reviewing the course outline, outcomes, and assignment breakdowns a helpful way to refresh the themes of the course.
    • In each of your Canvas courses, your Syllabus can be accessed in the Course Navigation Menu. 
    • Right click To Print or, Change to PDF file and save the syllabus directly to your desktop.

3. Check out these Study Smart Tips from last term. 

Remember! The USask Study rooms & seats are open for bookings in advance here: https://libcal.usask.ca/reserve/murray

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

7 Cs of Communication

Brette D. W. KristoffGraduate Student, Communications Specialist, GMCTL  February 24th 2021

“How often do you communicate with people during your day? How clear is your communication? This article, published on Mind Tools, shares seven Cs of communication to ensure you’re communicating in the most clear and effective way possible.” Education Executive, June 28th, 2017

Step-up your written communication game with these 7 tips, adapted for USask Student Canvas Users! 

Photo by David Roberts, May 18, 2016, CC by 2.0

The Education Executive (UK) quoted above, used the 7 Cs of Communication from Mind Tools as a checklist for ensuring maximum efficiency and clarity in your writing.

Not only did I find this list straight-forward, the 7 Cs of Communication can be applied to any style of writing or communication. Whether it be email, Canvas discussions, or even your essay writing, the 7 Cs of Communication will enhance the clarity and efficiency of your writing. 

I read the article (so you don’t have to) and summarized the 7 Cs with some examples specifically for USask Student Canvas Users

What are the 7 Cs of Communication?

Remember these 7 Cs when you’re expressing your ideas in emails, discussion posts, or term papers. Your communication/writing should be:

1. Clear: Be clear about the goal or purpose of what you are trying to communicate.

  • Whether you’re writing a paper, responding to a discussion post, or sending a risky text, be as crystal clear as you can be in your intent. 
  • Be assertive but not aggressive, and AVOID passive-aggressive language at all costs. 
  • Use direct examples when appropriate, and a mix of simple/complex sentences ordered in a logical format. 

2. Concise: Stick to the point and keep it brief.

  • Are there filler words that can be deleted? Have you repeated the same idea more than once just in slightly different phrasing?
  • The article says: 
    • Eliminate and avoid using cliches and sayings such as, “for instance,” “you see,” “literally,” “basically,” “i mean,”… 

3. Concrete:

  • “When your message is concrete, then your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them.
  • There are details (but not too many!) and vivid facts, and there’s laser-like focus. Your message is solid.”

4. Correct/Credible: Your information should be audience appropriate and error free. 

  • Your aim should always be to facilitate accurate and relevant information. 
  • Provide proper references for any information that is not your own. Provide external links when appropriate.
  • Technical terms should be clearly explained (and audience appropriate!)
  • Names, titles, and other proper nouns are correctly spelled. Remember that spell check isn’t flawless, and especially sucks at grammar. Sorry Spell Check.  

5. Coherent/Creative: Your information should be ordered logically and express thoughtful ideas. 

  • All of your points must be relevant and related to the main topic.
  • Tone and flow should be consistent. Read your work aloud or to a friend to hear how it sounds. 
  • Be thoughtful, consider different opinions other than your own. Be considerate of what other people might be experiencing, too. 

6. Complete: 

    • Have you included all the necessary information? This includes things like the date, time, location, your information, acknowledging specific questions, or responding to previous correspondence etc. and so on. 
    • When writing an academic paper or assignment, review the requirements for the assignment and ensure you have met each one. 
      • Review your Canvas Course Syllabus

 

 

7. Courteous: “Courteous communication is friendly, open, and honest.”

  • The article reminds us to keep the reader’s viewpoint in mind, be empathetic, and to consider different opinions other than just your own.

Our ability to communicate effectively is essential. Everyday we share thoughts, ideas, stories, and information with others. Does what you’re trying to say meet the all 7 Cs of Communication?

                  – Content quoted and adapted from EdExec – 7 Cs of Communication

How can we use these 7 Cs in Canvas? 

  • Remember the 7 Cs of Communication in any setting, to better express your ideas and opinions!
  • Canvas has multiple communication channels which makes interacting with classmates and instructors easier. Offering various ways to collaborate and participate, Canvas Chats, Discussions, and Groups can be used to enhance your  virtual classroom setting. Use the Inbox for internal messaging.
  • Review our Canvas Student Tips posts on using Canvas Discussions and Canvas Groups.

Writing Help

  • USask Students have access  to many services, including the Library Writing Centre, tutoring, and academic writing workshops. 

 

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

Planning your Term with Canvas: Getting Started

An icy view, somewhere in Saskatoon. Photo by Marina Moreland, CC by 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, January 20th, 2021

Here are some ways to stay on track from the beginning of term.

Using your Canvas Calendar

View your Canvas Calendar from your Global Navigation menu:

  • Each calendar view will list your upcoming due dates and assignments (as soon as your instructor updates or adds content to the course schedule). 
  • View the calendar in Week, Month, or Agenda format by using the selection menu in the navigation bar. Add Calendar items as they come up throughout the term.

  • Ensure all calendars for all your classes are selected – meaning the coloured box is showing next to each class title, so all due dates/events show in your Calendar
  • Take some time to view your calendar and make note of upcoming To-Do’s and assignments. Stay on top and on track by making regular check-ins with your Canvas Calendar.

Ways to Contact Your Instructor in Canvas

There are two main ways to contact your instructor in Canvas:

1. Send a message through your Inbox

  • Your Canvas Inbox is a messaging tool (instead of email) used to communicate within a specific course, to an individual student or instructor, or to a group of students. 
  • Open your Canvas Inbox from your Global Navigation Menu. 
  • Select the drop down menu to choose your course and instructor you wish to message. 
  • Filter your messages by Inbox, Unread, Starred, Sent, Archived, or view Submission Comments. 
  • Your Canvas Inbox allows for simple and private space for conversations with your instructors and peers. Remember to always start any online communication with a formal greeting and goodbye; use proper spelling and grammar; and remember to clearly state your objective/question. 

2. Use the Help option to Ask Your Instructor a Question. 

  • Locate your Help tab at the bottom of your Global Navigation Menu and select the appropriate course and instructor.
  • Check out the other Help resources linked in the Help menu.

Other Student Resources

  • As a USask student you have access to free online Student Learning Services  including academic writing resources, math & stats helps, and other tutoring services.
  • For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.