You can use a variety of tools for online small group discussions. We have outlined solutions, rated them for the effort required, and identified key considerations.

Good Practices

Use this checklist to create an accessible Canvas quiz.
Take a strategic approach to create a course community that helps students work together and learn from each other.
Instructors can create course sites that are both usable and accessible to the widest range of students possible by organizing their course site with a landing page, modules, and a limited menu, plus following other core skills of accessible design.
There are multiple ways in Canvas to notify your student of course expectations, due dates, discussions, or disruptions that impact them. But are students getting the message?
Challenge Working in small groups on activities and assignments can be beneficial even for "routine" tasks, as students have the opportunity to learn from and help one another.
Online assessments may be used to support instructional goals, even if your primary course format isn’t fully online.
If your course typically has timed, in-person, proctored exams, there are a number of options to consider if you wish to use online proctoring tools.
Instructors often use classroom discussions to promote sharing and ideas about a subject matter. Sometimes, discussions can become rote and tedious, or engage only one or a few students and the instructor.
Design Exam to Be Open-Book Use the Canvas Quiz tool to create a timed exam that can be done open-book or in collaboration with others.
As faculty and instructors adapt to online and blended learning, it's important that students are prepared to be successful online learners.
Conducting Remotely University policy allows for remote participation on doctoral preliminary & final oral examinations, and provides i
Technology tool options for students to create individual or group presentations they can submit to Canvas for the purposes of assessment.
If you plan to use online exams with Proctorio settings to assess and evaluate student learning, please be aware that the Proctorio tool may cause problems for international users.
Creating videos for courses is time intensive and the process of creating, publishing and sharing your media with students can be overwhelming. Kaltura integrates with Canvas and allows instructors to easily upload and share video content.
Create a Balanced Assessment PlanTo support your larger summative assessments, include smaller assignments that will also assess the key learning outcomes.
Identify Instructional Needs If your students are performing a practical or applied assessment, use your instructional goals to help identify an appropriate solution.
The start of each semester brings anticipation and excitement.
Create a Balanced Assessment Plan As you create an assessment plan that includes both formative and summative assessments, consider how you are sequencing assessments, and where students will receive feedbac
Uploading a large video file is cumbersome, and navigating a video recording of a 50-minute (or longer) class is challenging for students. By chunking your lecture, you can create smaller files. This is easy to do in Zoom and will benefit both you and your students.

IT Community Group

The University of Minnesota Libraries provides copyright permission services, including free consultation and workshops.
Surveys at the University of Minnesota are governed by the University Survey Advisory Team (U-SAT).


Content chunking, for instructional design, is the strategy of breaking up content into shorter, bite-size pieces that are more manageable and easier to remember.
In a recent study, researchers identified the design factors that were most valued by participants in terms of promoting an engaging online learning experience.
This presentation will introduce a rubric-based method of auditing online courses for their maturity on three dimensions of development. 
Instructors and students alike can benefit from the power and flexibility offered by push notifications.
We recommend the following steps for those who are just getting started with Canvas at the University of Minnesota.
How to Access Courses in CanvasCanvas can be accessed through the MyU portal under Key Links or on the Academics tab, or by going directly to 
Chunking is a concept embedded in the world of instructional and information design.
This source is an example of a branching scenario that provides practice in cultural awareness for noncommissioned officers.
The central message of this book is that there are ways of creating learning experiences that can sufficiently impact the outcomes for students and instructors.
This is an example of a branching scenario that provides methods for dealing with office issues.
Learning Tools, also known as learning apps, external tools, third-party apps, or LTI apps, can be added on to Canvas to extend the core functionality and features of the system.
Chunking is a concept that originates from the field of cognitive psychology.
The key is to design tasks that are truly collaborative, meaning the students will benefit more from doing the activity as a group than doing it alone.
To be effective, online curricula illustrating communication behaviors need face-to-face interaction, individual role play with feedback and discussion.
LATIS consultatively supports researchers in the design, data collection, and analysis of surveys and experiments in the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and arts.
This resource opens to a slide presentation give at an Educause Conference. The presenter is from Virginia Tech. 
The use of discussion forums as a vehicle for learning is based on the pedagogical tenets of collaborative learning theory, which call for collaboration between participants, experimentation, and open inquiry.
The Office of eLearning provides faculty and staff support for Quality Matters,
This source provides samples of branching scenarios for different professions.
Tips and tricks to help you record quality videos with your smartphone.
This comprehensive checklist is organized to support your upcoming semester preparation. Work through these topics to confirm your Canvas course site is ready and shared with students.
Student media assignments engage students in course content and provide opportunities for reflection and deeper learning. See examples from the College of Education + Human Development.
A resource for students who are assigned group work for their courses.
The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) created this checklist to help instructors create effective online courses.
Learn how to set up a branching scenario properly, no matter what tool you decide to develop it in.
USAS is the business owner of Qualtrics for the University and has a team of experts available to help bridge the gap between do-it-yourself and advanced level questionnaire design and survey programming.
When should you go to the trouble of designing a branching scenario? See some examples.

User Stories

Why capture a guest expert lecture or presentation on video?
The benefits of student group work are well documented:
Demonstration videos help students learn because they can both see and hear the proper way to do things at every step.
Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) media production staff collaborated with Professor Wissinger to create 24short technique videos and six tip videos, which were uploaded to YouTube and embedded on the class site.