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Center for Academic Innovation and Transformation

Training Materials

Huston-Tillotson University has a mission to provide its increasingly diverse student body with an exemplary education that is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, balanced with professional development.  Our vision is preparing leaders in a connected world where diversity of thought matters.

Training Materials


Canvas 101

Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) developed by Instructure. While moderately new in the industry, Canvas has made major advancements through innovative tools, a modern interface, and streamline functionalities.  Canvas is known for its user-friendly online environment and ability to easily connect instructors and students both in and out of the classroom. Canvas includes basic LMS functionality for managing enrollments, sharing documents, submitting assignments, and assigning grades, as well as personalized features for individual students.

Huston-Tillotson University will debut Canvas Spring 2020!  For up-to-date new

What are the benefits to me?

  • A clean, user-friendly interface
  • A dashboard page that quickly summarizes assignments, announcements and other relevant information across course sites
  • Customizable notifications – students can get alerts via email, text message or social media at the frequency they desire
  • A working calendar that can be added to Google Calendar, iCal or other popular calendar tools
  • Support for media content
  • The power of the cloud


How do I get started?


Student Canvas Resources


Faculty Canvas Resources

Career Preparation

Quality Matters

A founding principle that continues to drive Quality Matters is the need for QM Standards to reflect current academic research on effective learning. The initial standards and subsequent modifications have been based on the insights of teams of experienced online instructors and instructional designers and on the best practices standards promulgated by accrediting bodies and national and international organizations. In addition, the QM Standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that increase learning and engagement and that improve learner retention rates.

QM Research is focused on curating and supporting research studies related to the impact and use of the Quality Matters model. Literature reviews to inform members of the Rubric Committees in their effort to assure that the Rubrics remains current with the research are also an important component of QM Research activities. If you are looking for guidance on conducting QM-focused research or finding studies to support the use of QM, we recommend starting with the resources listed in this section.

Visit the Center for Academic Innovation and Transformation for a QM Higher Ed Workbook.  The annotations are highly beneficial to applying QM’s 8 Standards to course design. (source:  Quality Matters)

QM Higher Education Standards Rubric

Reference:  Quality Matters, 2020




SPOL’s intuitive framework fosters collaboration across planning, accreditation, assessment, credentialing, and budgeting, facilitating high-level analysis and data-informed decision-making at all levels of your institution.


Staff Development


Distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous (live) or asynchronous (delayed).  A distance education course may use the internet, or other connectivity such broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; audio conferencing; or other digital media if used as part of the distance education course or program (SACSCOC, 2020).

Here at Huston-Tillotson University, we hold a high standard to our Distance Education and Correspondence courses.  Faculty who teach in distance and correspondence education programs and courses receive appropriate training.   To ensure sufficient number of instructors qualified to develop, design and teach these courses, those interested in teaching in alternative modalities must earn the 1) APPQMR Certification and the 2) HT Canvas Proficiency Assessment Certification.

Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and hybrid courses. This is an introductory workshop designed to introduce participants to the rubric and its application to course design for student success. It is open to any faculty or staff interested in learning how to apply the QM rubric and for those who wish to serve as a peer reviewer on campus.

Workshops are held on campus, remotely and online through the year.  Workshops are two weeks long and asynchronous, but does have due dates for completing the modules. You can read more about the workshop and QM on the Office of Digital Learning’s website. 

This workshop is offered free of charge to the HT community, courtesy of the Center for Academic Innovation and Transformation

HT Canvas Proficiency Assessment Certification

Mastering basic uses of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) are essential for faculty instruction.  In order to assess comprehension necessary for the basic use this LMS, the following competencies must be met.  The objective of this assessment is to transform a default course shell by completing each competency stipulated.  An earned score of 82% (14 of the 17 competencies) is required for eligibility to teach online and/or hybrid courses at Huston-Tillotson University.

·         Account Management (avatar image, contact information, notification settings)

·         Course Customization (course image, navigation menu, modules and content management)

·         Course Assessments (assignment, discussion and quiz creation)

·         Communication features (inbox messaging and course announcements)

·         System Tools (calendar, multi-media and Conferences)

 *3rd party LMS certifications are not accepted

To get started, sign into Canvas and complete the Growing with Canvas:  Instructor Training Module located on the Dashboard.  Instructors are also encouraged to attend Canvas SOS! to help learning the LMS.  After training, proceed to register to attempt the Canvas Proficiency Assessment Certification.


Both the APPQMR and Canvas Proficiency Assessment Certifications must be earned at least 2 months prior to teaching assignment.

Faculty and adjunct instructors can register by emailing

Questions? Please contact Dr. Jennifer Miles at or 512-505-6460