With the new learning management system (LMS) for the MCCTP, I was concerned about the user interface as a section director. I’ve had experience using on-line modules with other software for my School of Medicine Critical Care and Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Electives. I knew how well these others worked, as well as the challenges facing the creation of new topics, importing media (videos, pictures, pdfs), developing pre- & post-course quizzes as well as the general day-to-day (or year-to-year) maintenance of the content. With how quickly medicine evolves, it is important to have a system that can easily be modified by the end-user (course author or director) for the most up-to-date materials for our learners. It even appears to be easy to move around material to be available for other courses (ie remove my POCUS section from the CCM fellows’ core didactics to create a separate course on just POCUS for the CCM faculty and staff.)
When starting with Canvas, I had most of my materials already developed on other platforms. However, I was amazed to see how easily I was able to transfer the materials as well as reformat them. The user interface for the software is almost “too easy.” I was able to “cut and paste” my text and easily reformat them. I could also easily add pictures and videos for the flipped classroom learning aspect to the POCUS section. All the changes occurred in real time (ie I did not have to “lock in” changes) and did not have to worry about disrupting what others were doing on their modules sections. With my pre-and post-course quizzes, it was easy to create and launch with set dates that they were available and due dates when they would inactivate, prompting the fellows to complete in a timely manner. Even reviewing the data from their quiz performance is providing me with the ability to see where their knowledge/skill defects are as well as their delta/improvement in scores and overall success of the curriculum itself in teaching this material.
So far, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much canvas can do as well as how easy it is as an instructor/ course author to develop my curriculum the way I need to for my materials.
Christopher SChott, MD