It is now the year 2022, approximately seven years after the film “Back to the Future” predicted the world would have hoverboards. We got pretty close with big-wheeled skateboards for $88 at Walmart. Virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular and the British navy has their own Iron Man suit jetting across the waters. It’s no secret that the world is becoming increasingly technologically savvy as time passes on.
And yet — and yet — there are still professors among us who refuse to use Canvas, or some sort of online venue for students to see the class. Perhaps some of these teachers don’t know how to use it, while others hate technology.
For both parties, I will say this: Your job is to guide your students to success. Shouldn’t something as simple as being able to see your grades and assignments be a requirement?
If a teacher doesn’t know how to operate the page, they can always have a teacher’s assistant guide them or ask another professor for help! It really isn’t that much of an obstacle, if they want to accommodate.
Additionally, with many teachers having to become even more familiar with online sites such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, at this point I don’t think it’s asking too much for a little extra work. If students can’t see their grades, get no feedback on assignments and can’t find out what the homework is — how can you really expect them to get better at a subject?
Somehow worse, I’ve had professors who held a Canvas page but refused to put any due dates next to assignments, which meant that none of them would show up in the dashboard or in the calendar. They claimed that it would be annoying if they had to change all the dates if assignments needed to be pushed back, but they would still re-upload a new syllabus every time with new dates, as if that wasn’t really the same amount of effort. (This syllabus was also clearly the same one they used every year and still had the year 2017 on it, with a lot of wrong dates listed.)
The reality is, these professors are being paid for this job, by us. Not having a Canvas page doesn’t make you a bad professor while having one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good professor. But, it’s my firm belief that doing this bare minimum and staying consistent and transparent does show how much someone cares about their job or their students’ success.