Select Page

Upcoming OFDC


It’s not too late to sign up for the OFDC starting today, January 31. If you can’t make it to that one, consider signing up for the one starting March 28!

Updated for 2022, the OFDC (Online Faculty Development Course) offered by COLI is for full-time and part-time faculty, whether new to D2L, or experienced with technology for teaching. This five-week mini-course prepares instructors to teach online and hybrid courses. The OFDC provides many practical tips for teaching online but more importantly, helps faculty explore new pedagogies for active learning, social presence, and community in courses on the internet.

Additionally, the updated OFDC offers insights on what Regular and Substantive Interactions (RSI) are and how to incorporate RSI into your courses. It also includes information on Panopto, Canisius’s new video content management system, how it works, and how to best fit Panopto into your courses.

The OFDC can help professors craft engaging, interactive online experiences for students, either for all-online courses, or hybrid courses that feature limited use of the classroom. This spring semester, we are offering two courses, one starting on January 31st and ending on March 4th, and a second one starting on March 28th and ending on April 29th. To RSVP for either, please check out the COLI faculty development events here. While you are there, be sure to sign up for our Online Teaching and Learning Updates Workshops and Panopto Workshops too!

Better Discussions with

Collaborative annotation tools allow you and your students to discuss a text, website, video, or other media through shared marginalia.  It’s a form of asynchronous discussion, but instead of taking place within a message board tool (such as D2L Discussions), the conversation happens in comments attached directly on a digital document, web page, or video timeline track.  Better still, each discussion thread – a starting comment and subsequent replies – is keyed to a highlighted word or passage, or a specific time on the video timeline.

This has obvious value for online courses, but face-to-face courses can benefit as well: students can begin a discussion in marginalia, getting the benefits of text-based threaded or asynchronous discussions in Then, the conversation can continue in the classroom, where students experience the benefits of face-to-face interaction.

In COLI, we recommend that professors try before firmly deciding to use D2L discussions.   Since so many online class discussions focus on texts, provides an added benefit of bringing the conversation to the text itself!  In D2L, we have access to two toolsets: Perusall, and Hypothesis.  While the former can handle student annotations on videos, we recommend that professors try first, since it is simpler to use.

Here’s our video showing students how works.  You can quickly see from it why this is a great discussion mode where the class conversation should happen around a text, such as a .pdf file or website.

This semester we are running virtual workshops where you can learn how to set up in your D2L course space, and get tips for efficiently managing conversations. If you’d like to try to deploy it yourself, that’s easy: we have a handy step-by-step guide here. Additionally, has a great website with plenty of tips on how to use it effectively in coursework. Workshops, a great option for collaborative annotation exercises on the web, offers workshops for faculty using, or possibly interested in trying their toolset. In COLI we don’t usually recommend vendor workshops; vendors tend to emphasize features instead of real, practical tips for teaching real students., though, is different, since their product was really designed by and for professors.

Here’s their list for upcoming workshops:

Activating annotation with Hypothesis in D2L (30 minutes)

This is a great introductory workshop if you’re new to adding Hypothesis as an external tool to your readings in D2L.

Using multimedia & tags in annotations (30 minutes)

This workshop walks you through how to increase engagement by adding multimedia and tags in annotations.

Using Hypothesis with small groups (30 minutes)

This workshop focuses on the options for using Hypothesis in small groups, and it covers how social annotation can be used to create a more collaborative learning environment.

Show-and-tell participatory workshop (30 minutes)

This workshop will help instructors who have already been using Hypothesis more fully leverage all of its features. Come to this session with one or more examples of an effective and meaningful annotation assignment that your students completed. Think of this as a professional learning community session for brainstorming and sharing.

Creative ways to use social annotation in your courses (30 minutes)

This workshop covers a variety of discussion protocols and active-learning strategies that can help make social annotation even more fun and engaging for you and your students.

They will make recordings available, too.