The “Looking for Help with your Classes?” Canvas page was created to be a centralized space linking student coursework in Canvas to all out-of-class campus academic resources at the University of Kentucky. Many students have limited awareness of the many free tutoring and academic support resources available to them. Additionally, many instructors are also unaware of these resources and lack the time to ensure that all students know about them. While several university websites list all of our tutoring centers, these lists are lengthy, requiring lots of scrolling. These websites are also separate from Canvas, where most of our students do their class work. What was missing was a bridge linking the virtual course space of the LMS to the free, external resources that provide added support. That is exactly what this page provides. The page is published to Canvas Commons for University of Kentucky users where instructors can simply import/download the premade page to any of their course shells, providing valuable information to their students about where to find tutoring help.
The DesignPLUS tools used in creating the student academic resources page help to remedy some of the problems with traditional lists of tutoring centers found on other websites. Through the use of DesignPLUS advanced elements including accordions and popover popup content, the page is designed as an easy-to-view decision tree that quickly points students toward the resource that can help them most. The accordion option is used to display four key statements representing what kind of help students might need. Clicking the statement that best represents their need reveals to students a menu of subjects, assignments, or scenarios organized as columns of popover buttons. The popover buttons allow for at-a-glance assessment of what subjects, assignments, or issues have university services associated with them. Finally, the popover content provides the link that connects students to each resources’ website. By hovering over the relevant button, students can access with one click the location where they can make appointments or seek help. To accommodate screen reader technology that does not work with popup content, the page also includes a link to a screen reader-friendly version of the information. DesignPLUS advanced elements are key to making this page student-friendly and useful. Without those elements, it would be another long list of tutoring centers that students are hesitant to read.
The page was designed and created by Dr. Jill Abney, faculty/instructional consultant for the University of Kentucky’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Alicia Benben, Sarah Asher, and Buddy Hall of UK Online assisted and consulted in the creation of the page. The page is a project of the provost unit of Teaching, Learning, and Academic Innovation led by Associate Provost Dr. Kathi Kern.