E-Learning Blog: Using Canvas for Student-to-Student Interaction

by Carlos Montoya, M.Ed

Researches have found that one of the greatest challenges for any type of online course is interaction among students. Instructors have used their creativity and found ways to battle those challenges by transferring their face-to-face teaching strategies in their online environment. In any type of online setting (hybrid or 100% online), one way that a course can increase student-to -student interaction is by using wiki pages.

Wiki Pages

A wiki page is a web application that allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others.

As you may or may not know, Canvas utilizes the wiki page idea. Instructors use this page to write, create and share information among other things. But why not use the wiki page as a tool for students to contribute to a concept, topic or unit that you assign to them.

For example, if the reading assignment for this week is chapter 2, then you can create a wiki page for the students to contribute ideas and resources about the assigned chapter. They can upload images, videos, journal entries, links, news, and other resources related to the topic. Students will be able to share their ideas and resources with each other while you oversee their collaboration. They will learn from each other and be encouraged to participate and different learning needs will be met.

The wiki page can be placed inside a module (if your course’s layout has modules) or you can just enable the “Pages” tab (if disable) and students can access all the pages you create. This could be considered as a participation grade or extra credit.

To create a wiki page:

  • Click on “Pages” on your navigation menu (left side menu)
  • Click on “+Page”
  • Input title and directions
  • Select “options” drop down menu
  • Select “Teacher and students” can edit this page
  • Now click save.
Create a page, then give it a title. Write the directions. Select teachers and students to edit this page and then save it.

Figure 1: Content Page

Place it under a module:

  • Select a module
  • Click on the “+” button
  • On the “Add” drop down window select “content page”
  • Find the page you just created
  • Click “Add Item”
  • Publish the page
Select the module and click on add an item.

Figure 2: Sample Module

Select "content page" from the add drop down menu. Find the page that was created. Click add item.

Figure 3: Add Content Page Pane

Publish the content page. Make sure the module is also published.

Figure 4: Sample Module with Created Page

Enable Pages on the course navigation menu:

If you don’t have modules set up, you can enable the pages option so that students have access to them.

  • Click on “Settings” on the course navigation menu (left side menu)
  • Click on the “Navigation” tab (on top menu)
  • Find the “Pages” item on the lower menu, drag and drop it into the upper menu
After clicking on "settings" click on "Navigation". Then drag and drop "pages" from the lower menu, to the upper menu.

Figure 5: Course Settings Pane

If you have any question please don’t hesitate to ask me. My email is cmmontoya@sar.usf.edu and phone is 941-359-4295.

Until next time,
Carlos Montoya