Riaz Tejani JD, PHD, Esq.
Associate Professor of Business Ethics
School of Business and Society
The changeover from any established LMS platform to another can be both initially disorienting and time-consuming to continuing teaching faculty. In my eleven years, I have worked with three, and now Canvas will be the fourth. These changeovers can require additional expenditures of time and energy. But when being sensitive about faculty human resource costs, we should consider both sides of the transition. In this regard, the switch over to Canvas from Moodle in the School of Business and Society came with a surprise benefit. I found Canvas’ new “Speed Grader’ function a major improvement over grading in Moodle. Under the old system, toggling between individual student papers took several seconds as the system would refresh and load. I would then download each student paper in Word and write comments in “track changes” for maximum feedback and formative assessment. I would then upload the file back into Moodle, enter numerical scores, and then save it before moving on. The time spent on system data transfers alone could be 30-60 seconds per paper. When grading short assignments, this was a large marginal time cost. Under Canvas SpeedGrader, I can see each paper rendered in full text on the platform and enter track change comments right on the screen. The system automatically saves each so I never lose anything, and it makes opening and closing comment bubbles as easy as one keystroke. I then also have a feedback form open at the right of the screen and can see the paper with comments as I type general feedback notes. Finally, when finished with a paper, I simply tap the arrow in the upper right and am on the next student submission in 1-2 seconds. There’s little time wasted on rendering and downloading files, and it certainly saves my data connection and memory from not having to store files temporarily. This overall difference in grading functionality has saved as much as 30% of my grading time, which means students can hear back from me quicker than ever.