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A Look Under the Hood of E-Learning

By Helen Buckley | May 15, 2017
 
eLearning Header
 
Do you have any idea what’s under the hood of your car? I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t and it makes me nervous. There is so much to learn about the engine, belts, hoses, batteries, and more that it can be overwhelming. Students who are stepping outside of their comfort zone and taking their first MAP course tend to feel exactly the same way. Don’t be afraid. Let me give you a sneak peek under the hood of e-learning, so you can be successful and not stranded on the side of the road!  
 
The Car’s Key = Canvas LMS   
What in the world is the Canvas LMS and why is it the key to e-learning here at Marian University? Canvas is the Learning Management System that all of the MAP faculty use to administer course content. It’s essential for all MAP courses, so whether you are enrolled in a classroom-based, hybrid, or online class, you will use this “key” to unlock your materials. 
  
The Owner’s Manual = Notifications
Would you drive your new car without setting up the radio stations, adjusting your mirrors or moving your seat to the right position? Of course not. Our recommendation is that you follow the same rules with the Canvas LMS. Explore Canvas, review the layout and don’t forget to set up your notifications. You have the ability to set up alerts to your phone (via text) or to your personal email accounts. Don’t miss an important email or announcement from your instructor because you didn’t read the owner’s manual. Everything can be right at your fingertips and keep you on track.  
 
The Engine = Content/Course Materials

Without the engine, your car won’t budge. In the online world, we can’t function without the instruction, lectures, and assignments. Without a solid education, you won’t take the next step to earning a degree. Although instructors may use Canvas differently, they will use the LMS to house vital components of every course. 

  • It contains the course syllabus, important announcements, parking permits, and more.
  • It is the required point of contact for your instructor. You will use the Canvas “Inbox” to email instructors directly, not your personal email account. 
  • Online courses use the modules to house lectures, videos, exams, and more.   
The Hoses, Belts, and Plugs = Student Resources
Don’t let the hoses, belts, and plugs scare you. When in doubt do your research or call a mechanic. In this case, your Canvas mechanic could be the Canvas Support Hotline, The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, or your instructor. Don’t give up! Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask the important questions. Especially if it will help you continue toward your final destination.    
 
The Battery = You!  
What is your battery life? You have the power to get as much or as little out of the Canvas LMS that you want. It’s all up to you. The more time you spend working through each module, listening to the lectures, participating in the discussions, and reading the announcements, the more successful you will be. If you skip right to the quiz or homework assignment, there is a good chance that your low battery light will come on and eventually, you’ll need a jump start.
 
The good news is that after you understand all of the elements and connections under that hood, you have the power to be successful. What are you waiting for? Peel back the top of the convertible and take a drive!
 
You may also be interested in "The Benefits of Online Classes."

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