Calendar Sync Optimized

Submitted by Alison England on

One of the biggest factors to student success is whether students are able to manage their time efficiently.  Canvas offers a fantastic way to sync personal calendars in i-cal and Google with Canvas assignments. To asses and encourage students use of this function, I compared a PSY 101 F:F course in which students were not provided instruction or calendar sync assignmet, to a SWU 102 course in which students were assigned a calendar sync assignment with instructions. Finding #1-Requiring the calendar sync significantly decreased the number of missed assignments (‘0’ grades).  For students who did not sync, there were 10% missed assignments in both courses.  Those who used the calendar sync had less than 3% missed assignments. Finding #2-Including specific instructions and graded sync assignment increased utilization by 40%. Finding #3-It is critical to include specific instructions on the calendar sync in your Getting Started module. It is an extremely helpful tool, and one that takes students, on average, 5 minutes to complete. 

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
SWU 102
PSY 101
Assessment of the Month
Average: 4.1 (8 votes)


Erik Huntsinger Wed, 12/09/2015 - 10:31am

Hi Alison, I like this study because its as close as we can get to a true experiment as we can ethically get to at the community colleges.  Two sections, with students more or less randomly assigned, are given two different processes to follow to see if one is more effective at encouraging students to submit work than the other.  One question I have is will you be limiting your study to the first few weeks or month of the semester or will you be measuring it for the entire semester?  I will be interested to see your results!

Peter Turner Thu, 12/10/2015 - 9:22am

Great idea, Alison! I think you could also measure the number of questions emailed/canvas-generated about assignments sent to you. :)

Olga Tsoudis Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:01am

This is a great study. I am looking forward to your results to encourage me to do the same. Please share what you will include in the syllabus, the quiz and any other directions given.

Michelle Breaux Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:07am

I think this is a great idea!  I wasn't aware of it, so I'm sure many of my students aren't aware either.  I look forward to your results.

Olga Tsoudis Sat, 11/12/2016 - 7:59pm

HI Alison, This is so important for student success and long term life success! This is something we can all incorporate in the Getting Started Module. Thank you for sharing!

Becky Baranowski Mon, 11/14/2016 - 8:22am

Like the others said, I was also not aware of this feature.  I need to try this in the Spring.  This in return means I need to be more organized. I have a tendency to write due dates on the white board, but I don't put them in Canvas.  Thanks for sharing this.  

Peter Turner Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:17am

Very convincing results, Allison! I am going to use your directions to incorporate into my classes next semester!

Teri Graham Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:20am

I was not aware of this canvas resource and am very grateful that you shared this with us.  The data obviously supports the importance of encouraging our students to be organized and utilize time management skills to plan ahead.  I use MathAS for my students assignments but am going to need to research if something like this exists for that program :-)

Heather Muns Tue, 11/15/2016 - 2:08pm

Love it!  I'm going to use this.  


Erica Wager Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:18am

I do not teach any online classes at this point but hope to do so soon and this feature seems SO important for helping students succeed. I find that particularly in my Intro (PSY 101) classes, many students have a lot of trouble keeping up with homeworks and readings (and this is in my in person class where I remind them in class to do the readings and hw!). In an online course I can imagine that this would be even more difficult so this seems like the perfect way to help students get on track from the get to. Thank you for sharing! 

Becky Baranowski Thu, 03/23/2017 - 9:54am

Hi Allison, 

Just wanted to follow up with this CATS.  Did you do the calendar sync again this semester?  I have been telling my students and other faculty about this.  I didn't require it, but I think I will require students to do this in the fall and compare to previous semesters.  

Alison England Mon, 05/08/2017 - 9:41pm

This is a recent comment from a student regarding the Calendar Sync assignment:

I will FOREVER calendar sync my assignments now! It was honestly like the best thing I have ever done, it was right on my phone so I could not forget anything and even when I was at work or traveling it was right there for a reminder. It is the best tool I learned from this class. So thank you!