The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true in the world of education. Visuals have a unique ability to convey complex information, stimulate curiosity, and captivate the eye, making them an essential tool for enhancing the learning experience.
Complex data can be transformed into insightful infographics, intuitive flowcharts, fun videos, and interactive multimedia presentations.
Enter Canva, a versatile and user-friendly design tool that empowers educators to transform their course materials into visually appealing and engaging resources. In this digital age, where attention spans are shorter and engagement is paramount, Canva stands as a beacon of creativity and efficiency for those looking to craft exceptional online courses.
Canva: An Overview
Canva is a popular design platform that offers a variety of features for creating visual content, including presentations, with both free and paid plans. Canva offers many beneficial tools for content creators and educators, allowing you to create diverse learning materials using a friendly drag-and-drop editor with premade design elements and ready-to-use templates.
For example, Canva offers a special option for educators called “Canva for Education”, which is available for free for teachers, schools, and school districts. Through Canva for Education, you can create class spaces, take advantage of LMS integrations, create Canva assignments and more. We will explore these features in greater detail throughout the article.
As an additional convenience for schools, Canva allows them to take advantage of SSO for all users to access Canva for Education and automatically be assigned a proper role. There’s no need to invite people, upload user lists, etc. If a user already has a Canva account under their school email address, they’ll be prompted to join the account to SSO. If not, Canva will automatically create a new account for them.
Designing Course Presentations
Canva offers a wide range of presentation templates that are designed to save you time and effort during your online course creation. Educational presentation templates are specifically designed for the classroom, be it online or offline. Some designs are even created with specific subjects, such as science or math in mind.
Simply choose a template with a design and layout that suits your course and input your information into the slides.
fter selecting a template, you can start customizing it to match your content and branding. You can modify elements like text, images, colors, and fonts.
You can format text using different fonts, sizes, colors, and styles. Incorporate visuals such as images, icons, charts, and graphs to enhance the visual appeal and convey information more effectively. You have a wide variety of design elements, icons, animation effects, videos and images right at your fingertips, with additional options available with the paid plans. Additionally, you can upload your own content.
Once you’re satisfied with your presentation, you can download it in various formats (PDF, PowerPoint, etc.) or directly share it with others. For online courses, you can upload the presentation to your LMS.
Adding Canva Presentations To A WordPress LMS
Once you have created your course presentation and are ready to share it with your students, you can easily embed it into your WordPress site. In our case, we worked with LearnDash LMS to test this option, but you can work with any LMS of your choice.
All you have to do is open the presentation you created in Canva and click on the Share option. Navigate to “More” and select the “Embed” option. Then, copy the HTML embed code and go to your WordPress admin dashboard.
Go to the LearnDash LMS menu and navigate to the Course or Lesson page of your choice. From here add an HTML block and paste the code you just copied. Finally, save your changes. Your students will now be able to see the presentation on the front end.
Canva for Education integrates with core classroom tools, including Schoology, D2L, Moodle, Blackboard, Google Classroom, Canvas, and Microsoft Teams.
Through these integrations, educators can create assignments using Canva directly from their learning management systems. Teachers can select what type of project the student should work with, for example, white whiteboard, presentation, or infographic, and select a template for them to work with.
You’ll also find a handful of templates for interactive worksheets that, through Canva for education, you can even assign to individual students. Just select a template for your worksheet, lock the elements so students don’t accidentally delete them, and click on “create assignment”. This will allow you to create separate versions of the template for each student for them to fill out and submit.
Students can then work directly on the template, producing their own design and submit it as an assignment, directly on their online course.
You can take a look at how this would work, in this example video created by Canva for their Canvas LMS integration:
Through your LMS you can attach your assignments to specific lessons or topics, type down a description with instructions for your assignment, and even give it a due date. All together, this makes for a seamless integration process that facilitates learning resource creation for educators worldwide.
To take it a step further, Canva for Education brings forth the option of “Group Work”. In this section, teachers can create collaborative assignments for students to complete as a group or as a class. As for other types of content, Canva offers ready-made templates, which are fully editable, for group work assignments. You can either add all your students to your assignment at once or send copies of your assignments to small groups of students, according to your requirements.
To share a group assignment with your entire class just generate a shareable link through the Canva editor and share the link directly through your LMS, by adding the link to an assignment. This option is also available without an LMS as you can simply share the link through Zoom, email, or online chatbox.
Integrating Canva With Moodle
Using a Canva for Education account, you can easily integrate Canva’s tools to your Moodle courses, allowing you to deliver an interactive learning experience. For example, you can set up a Canva for Education shortcut link on Moodle so that teachers and students can launch Canva directly from their Moodle accounts.
Additionally, you can add Canva Content to your Moodle courses for students to work on. Just add an activity or resource and select “Canva for Education” and then “Content”. This allows you to pick any design you want to use directly on Canva or create a new one.
To complete the process, click on “Link Text” and then select either “View Design only” or “New design” for each student, depending on your needs. A “New design for each student” is ideal since it allows each student to edit and work on their own copy of the design.
You can even embed designs as actual assignments in Moodle. To do so just go to edit the Course of your choice and follow these steps:
- Click “Add activity or resource” and select “Assignment”.
- Open the Canva design you want to add and click “Share”.
- Then, click “More” and select “Embed”.
- Click Embed and then on Copy under HTML embed code.
- Back in Moodle, click HTML from the rich text editor toolbar and paste the embed code on Canva.
- In the Submission type, select “Online text”.
- Click “Save Assignment” to finish.
Once your students complete the assignment, you can review their work directly from Student Submissions, grade, and add comments, all without leaving your LMS.
If you need help building and customizing your Moodle course, leveraging amazing tools like Canva, reach out to our Moodle Experts. We offer Moodle configuration services to help you set up your LMS site based on your requirements and can help you add fantastic features to your online course.
Using Canva for Course Videos
Canva is most famous for image and graphics creation, however, it also has complete and user-friendly video editing features. Just navigate to the “Video” category to find video editing templates and tools.
You can upload your video clips to edit video lessons using Canva’s famous drag-and-drop editor. You’ll have access to all basic video editing tools, allowing you to cut, trim, and add transitions. Additionally, you can add animated slides throughout your video. If there’s a video template that suits your needs, you can use that as a starting point.
Just like with graphics, Canva allows you to overlay text, icons, and graphics onto your video. This can be helpful for adding titles, subtitles, captions, or visual aids to your lessons.
Once you’re satisfied with your video edits, you can export the video in a suitable format. Canva provides options to export in various resolutions and formats, depending on your needs.
Infographics, Visual Aids, and Other Resources
Canva offers a wide variety of templates specifically geared towards educators. This includes templates for infographics, flowcharts, mind maps, and whiteboards. Furthermore, Canva has fully editable templates for classroom posters, school newsletters, lesson plans, and even flashcards.
Through Canva for Education, you can also set up class spaces where teachers and students can share, review, and manage their work together. The benefit of this space is that both parties can act as creators. This way students can demonstrate learning in Canva through different formats – from creating whiteboards, videos, infographics, etc.
To take things one step further, teachers can take advantage of other templates such as those for LMS banners to customize the look of your online course pages and zoom backgrounds to give your live classes a unique look.
Canva for Online Course Documents
Canva can be a useful tool for designing course materials such as PDFs, study guides worksheets, handouts, and other educational resources for online and offline learning. Other types of documents you could create include course outlines, reading materials, mind maps, etc.
The best part about Canva provides a variety of templates, design elements, and customization options that can help you create visually appealing and effective materials for your students, without any design skills or software required.
Canva allows you to add text boxes where you can enter questions, explanations, directions, and other textual content. Customize fonts, sizes, colors, and formatting to make the content clear and visually appealing.
If your worksheet requires images, diagrams, or icons, you can upload your own images or choose from Canva’s library. Icons can be especially helpful for illustrating concepts or indicating certain instructions.
If your worksheet requires students to provide answers, just make sure to include enough space for them to write or type their responses.
Depending on your requirements, you can print the worksheet and distribute physical copies to your students. Alternatively, you can share digital copies through email, learning management systems, or other online platforms.
Course Promotional Materials
Canva is an excellent tool for creating eye-catching social media graphics, banners, and flyers to promote an online course on various social media platforms. With its user-friendly interface and a wide range of design elements, Canva can help you create visually appealing content that grabs the attention of your target audience.
Canva offers a variety of templates specifically designed for social media graphics, banners, and flyers. Start by selecting the appropriate template size for the platform you’re targeting, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even email newsletters.
You can use your own images or choose from Canva’s extensive library of stock photos and illustrations. Make sure the imagery aligns with the theme of your course and resonates with your target audience.
If you have a logo, slogan, or other branding elements, incorporate them into your graphics to create a sense of familiarity and professionalism.
With the Canva Pro plan, you can easily post directly to a variety of social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and even schedule future posts.
Canva For Your Online Course
Visuals not only aid in comprehension but also facilitate long-term retention, allowing learners to connect with the material on a deeper level. Using Canva you can greatly simplify the design process for online courses and create engaging and visually appealing course materials. If you need help finding and implementing the best features to your online course website, don’t hesitate to reach out to our LMS experts. Whether it is configuring a new integration or custom building an online course website from scratch, we got you covered!