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Tools for Engagement

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Canvas logo


Canvas has excellent built-in tools for engagement including Groups, Chat, Discussions and InBox.

Explore the Engagement Resources on this page for guides and best practices in designing and facilitating effective online student engagement activities.

Canvas Studio logo

Studio is a Canvas tool for creating, hosting and delivering interactive video content in your courses. Access Studio in your Canvas Global navigation and inside each of your Canvas courses. With Canvas Studio, you can upload, create, edit, manage, share and discuss audio and video files; review analytics on which students are viewing your content and for how long; and encourage active student engagement with your videos. 

Zoom logo
Zoom provides real-time web conferencing and collaboration. Free Pro Zoom version available to COC faculty & staff. Through licensing from the state Chancellor’s Office, College of the Canyons offers District supported Zoom licenses to all employees. Use Zoom in Canvas for office hours and synchronous class meetings. Get guidance & recommendations on using Zoom for Synchronous classes at COC.

Pebblepad logoPebblePad is a digital learning journey platform where faculty, staff, and students can collect, curate, and reflect on their personal, professional, and academic learning over time through ePortfolios, pages, collections, activity logs, blogs, workbooks, and templates. PebblePad may also be used for assessment purposes.

  • Watch this short video (0:41) for a brief overview, and learn how to use PebblePad at PebblePad and ePortfolio Resources and PebblePad In-Depth Help. 
  • To access your PebblePad dashboard, click on the “PebblePad” link in your Canvas course navigation, or click on the tile titled “PebblePad” in Single Sign-On (Canyons ID).
    1. Once on your PebblePad dashboard, click the Get Creative menu - accessed by the Get Creative panel of the Home Page or via the Burger menu (the three horizontal lines in the top left-hand corner). This menu gives you access to several options for building Assets that bring together other items from your personal store and potentially from the Internet.
    2. Select from the series of tools (Create a portfolio, create a page, etc.) to get started.
    3. Add text, links, videos, and images to the page using the “Add Content” button at the top of the page.

PlayPosit logoPlayPosit is an interactive web-based video platform that allows educators to provide formative assessments both inside and outside the classroom. Use this tool to break up a session of narration by adding pauses to PlayPosit videos, or "bulbs," at regular intervals and check student understanding. You can also embed quiz-type questions into videos. Includes data analytics to provide powerful insight into educational trends in the classroom.

GoReact logoGoReact is an interactive cloud-based platform for feedback, grading, and critiquing of student video assignments. Instructors create the video assignments. Students upload or record their video submissions. Instructors and/or peers then leave time-coded text, video, or audio feedback. Assignments are graded using easily-customized rubrics or points. Reports allow you to track and measure student progress. 


Course Engagement Checklistwoman looking at laptop screen

The following checklist is from the "Interaction" section of the College of the Canyons Course Design Checklist, designed to enable you (the instructor) to compare your courses with the best practices for online education established by the Online Education Initiative (OEI)'s Course Design Rubric

In my course, I...

  1. Initiate contact prior to or at the beginning of course and provide the syllabus, welcome letter, or other relevant resources.
  2. Engage in regular and substantive contact using a variety of communication tools (e.g., email, inbox, announcements, chat).
  3. Make my contact information easy for students to find (e.g., syllabus, syllabus page, home page, modules) and let students know expected response times.
  4. Ensure opportunities for student-initiated interaction with other students and with me (the instructor) are clearly available and encouraged in the syllabus and monitored regularly by me (e.g., discussion forums, synchronous chats, email).
  5. Design student-to-student collaboration opportunities to build workplace skills such as teamwork, cooperation, negotiation, and consensus-building (e.g., discussion forums, group projects).
  6. Design and facilitate communication activities to be responsive to the variety of cultures and communication styles in the class.
  7. Include rubrics and/or details of grading criteria for all assessments.


For information about existing polices and guidance related to student interaction, please visit College of the Canyons DE Policies and Guidance.

Resource Courses for Engagement


coc faculty resource course: building community online

Building Community Online Faculty Resource  Course

The Building Community Online resource course contains ready-made activities and course content ideas to help support social connection and meaningful interaction in your online classes. This course includes:

  • specific examples of assignments designed to support student-to-student communication
  • ideas for supporting and connecting with students as an instructor. 
  • All of the pages and activities in this course are available for you to use and modify for your course and course subject. 




graphic arrow pointing downEngagement Workshops & Webinar Recordings


graphic arrow pointing downCanvas Guides, Release Notes, and Incident Reports

Is there a tool or resource that should be included on this page? Have a question that's not answered here? Please let us know! Contact the Online Education team.

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