June 26-28, 2024
Long Beach, CA

Groups, Peer Review, and Google in Canvas

Effective Practices

Presented by: Gregory Beyrer, Professor, Cosumnes River College

Speaker Bio:

Gregory Beyrer is a distance education coordinator at Cosumnes River College and has been teaching in a technology-mediated environment since the days of HyperCard. He helps fellow faculty use technology effectively and teaches classes in history and online student success. Greg was Instructure’s Canvas Educator of the Year for 2019 and a founding member of the Online Education Initiative Steering Committee. His history degrees include a C.Phil. from UCLA, an M.A. from San José State University, and a B.A. from Cal. He also has a B.A. in ethnic studies from Cal.

Session Info:

Peer-to-peer interaction gives students a sense of belonging and a way to help each other succeed. Canvas has other tools besides Discussions to support this, including Groups and Peer Review. Groups can be set up automatically by Canvas, manually by the instructor, or formed by students themselves. There are different reasons for each option, including the purpose of the groups and the length of time students will work together. Assignments (including graded Discussions) that have Peer Review enabled provide a focused opportunity for students to help each other, and this is made more effective through an assignment rubric. Finally, Google Drive can be used on its own or in conjunction with Canvas’s tools to support a shared workspace for activities and assignments.

In this workshop, all three of these methods for giving students a way to work with their classmates will be demonstrated. Resources used in actual classes will be provided, and attendees will be invited to share their experiences with and questions about group work. While our use of these tools provide opportunities to comply with regulations regarding regular and substantive interaction among students, there is a better reason to give our students these experiences. Regardless of how our students feel about group work, their future coworkers and employers will appreciate any experience they have in outcome-aligned peer interaction.

Session Outcomes:

  • Create structured opportunities for student-to-student interactions that support the achievement of course learning outcomes
  • Understand the different methods for group formation, peer review, and sharing Google Drive in Canvas

Session Resources:


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