University of Illinois

Last spring, UIUC announced that we were moving from Compass2g (Blackboard) to Canvas this academic year.  So, I've been exploring Canvas over the summer and decided to jump in and move my course to Canvas this fall.  My plan is to share tips about developing courses in Canvas along the way.

Since I have to manually move my content, my goals for this semester are to have a paperless lab and the content is also accessible for all students in my lab.  For the latter, I am going to draw from the UDL guidelines and the IT Accessibility 101 course provided by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services at Illinois. 

My first course in Canvas will be BIOE415: Biomedical Instrumentation Lab.  I'm organizing each lab into a module with background information and the experiment instructions.  Therefore a lot of my content is getting transferred to pages that are just webpages and you can edit the HTML if you know what you are doing.

My first tip is about how to add figure captions to images on pages in Canvas.  It is easy if you know HTML, but not if you are trying to search for how to do it on Canvas pages.

Read more: Canvas Tip - Figure Tags

On May 10, 2016, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering.  It was not an easy task, but it was a necessary step to achieve my goal of becoming a professor so I pushed through.  Along the way, I identified a few key things that contributed to my success at Illinois:

  1. Advisor(s) have a huge impact on your progress
  2. Project and time management skills are important
  3. Stay focused on the end goal
  4. Find sometime time for yourself

Read more: Graduation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Each year the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers Grants for the Advancement of Teaching Engineering (GATE).  Professor Sreenivas (my advisor) and I were awarded funding use the GE320 laboratory kit in the fall semester of 2014.

This will give us the opportunity to conduct a quasi-experiment in GE320 laboratory sections this fall.  The control group will be four of the scheduled lab sections of GE320 in the fall semester of 2014.  These sections will use the lab equipment that is currently being used in the course.  The subject group will be the remaining three of the laboratory sections.  These sections will use a laboratory kit instead of the existing equipment.  Even though the kit is designed to be portable, in this study the kit will be used during schedule laboratory sessions in the same room as the other sections.  The laboratory experiments in this course are designed to reinforce topics learned in lecture and give students the opportunity to practice what they have learned.  I will measure how well each group achieves the course objectives to ensure the kit helps the students at least as well as the existing equipment before proceeding with further development of the kit.

All GATE recipients for the 2014-15 school year

Read more: Grant for teaching engineering awarded

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.