Campus News

Advisors Develop Unique Resource for College of Communication and Information Students

Canvas Page
The Canvas shell created by the College of Communication and Information advisors is now growing outside of the college.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2019) — University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information (CI) advisors Jordan Hoehler and Ryan Story, along with the entire student services team, have developed a Canvas shell for CI students. The shell provides students with resources and answers to general questions about the college and its specific majors. The approach is now growing outside CI, as Hoehler and Story were recently asked to present their design at a Lunch and Learn with the UK Advising Network.

Canvas is the academic management system that faculty and students at UK utilize for all aspects of coursework — from student submissions to grading. The shell is a framework for a class or unit, or in this case, a group of student advisees.

After discussing several different ideas about the lay out of the shell, the advisors decided on a design that accommodates each individual advisor’s personality along with their individual needs and preferences. Along with the customized shells for each advisor, Hoehler and Story created six modules for students — New Student Orientation, First Semester, Pre-Major, Major, Approaching Graduation and CI Academic Success. Each module contains tabs to tips, resources, videos and links to documents a student may need throughout their academic career. The pets of the Student Services team also make an appearance to keep it fun for students navigating through the modules.

“We want this page to be a one-stop-shop for our students whenever they have questions regarding their major or our college,” Hoehler said.

In addition to creating a resourceful platform for students, advisors can also send announcements, such as important dates or events, through Canvas to all of their advisees.

“When looking at the development of the Canvas shell, we wanted our resources to be as easily accessible as cookies on the bottom shelf of the grocery store,” Story said.

Suanne Early, director of Student Affairs for the College of Communication and Information, believes this new approach strengthens the partnership between the CI advising team and their students.

“Our entire team has been instrumental in creating a student-centered, user-friendly platform that provides needed resources to students from the time they join our college to graduation,” Early said.

The advisors began using this Canvas shell in the summer of 2018 with students participating in “see blue.” U summer orientation. The 2018-2019 freshman class was the first implemented into the Canvas shell college-wide, and the remainder of CI students were added in Fall 2019.

Utilizing Canvas, a platform most students are already using for their classes, is just one more way the CI Student Services team is living their mission to empower all students to take ownership of their academic and personal development by creating a partnership between advisor and student in a supportive and inclusive environment.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.