As teachers, we love the online submission assignment type since it will automatically assign missing and late statuses. But, we often assign work to our students that includes written work. For example, showing work in math, annotating a map in social studies, creating a storyboard in English, or labeling an image in science.
We might want to request that all of this work be submitted digitally, and that is great! It can present a hurdle for some students, so here are some tips to support all students in getting their written work into a digital submission.
Students who have a phone or tablet can download the Canvas Student app. The app allows students to use their device’s camera and scan work directly into an assignment. The scan feature is great since it allows them to grab just the document and will auto-focus it. They can even add multiple images to one assignment.
Students who do not have access to a phone or tablet (many of our middle school students) can use their school-issued laptop. The laptops all have a camera, but taking a photo of a piece of paper is hard to do! Holding the paper straight, while trying to get it in the frame of the camera and then having to click the button (on the screen) requires a lot of maneuvering. It can lead to frustration. Instead of taking a picture of the work, have students record a video of their work. They do not need to be in the video, just the work. What this does, is it eliminates the need to capture the image perfectly. If they record for 15-20 seconds, when you are grading, you can pause the video as needed to see the work they are submitting. Thank you to Annette Lin at Liberty for sharing this idea!
While I have your attention with this second option, let’s make these 20 seconds even more meaningful. Consider having all students submit a short recording of their work and include a verbal annotation or reflection. You can have a couple of questions they might answer while showing the work and consider providing sentence stems to help get them started.
You could have them reflect on a math problem they struggled with, ask a clarifying question, or maybe explain one piece of work they are especially proud of.
No matter which subject you teach, having students submit handwritten work is common and hopefully the tips here can help support all students in successfully getting their work digital.
We would love to continue to add Canvas tips, so please share your ideas with us!