This year we've switched the MBA Learning Center to run on Instructure's Canvas Learning Management System (LSM).
Previously we ran the MBA Learning Center on the Moodle LMS system. Because we were doing things with Moodle that it wasn't really intended to do, a lot of compromises in functionality were made. Teachers had no control over course content. Teachers had no ability to schedule tests and quizzes. Your students had to bounce between disparate LAPs in order for you to teach them your course.
We were also experiencing some technical problems with Moodle, again stemming from the fact that we were doing things with Moodle that it wasn't intended to do.
We listened to your concerns, made a list of the features and benefits that we wanted to see in a Learning Management System, and went looking.
In our search, we spoke to dozens of different LMS companies and narrowed our search down to a select few. From those few we spent considerable time talking with the respective company representatives, looking for the best fit possible both for us and for YOU, our teachers.
We finally selected Instructure's Canvas LMS to use for our MBA Learning Center this year.
Canvas is one of the top LMS systems in the world today, full to brimming with features that we're sure will make your life more productive.
We're creating Canvas sub-accounts for each school using the MBA Learning Center and making each teacher a "Canvas Admin" within that sub-account. This means that you are free to use virtually any Canvas feature in your classroom.
As a Canvas Admin you can create your own courses and control virtually every aspect of those courses, customizing them so that they work to your exact needs. You are free to combine our content with yours, create new content, modify our content to suit your needs, etc. The possibilities are virtually limitless.
The content you create within the MBA Learning Center will stay there from year to year so long as you maintain your Learning Center license.
Optionally you can create your courses in our MBA Learning Center Canvas system them move them to your school's LMS system (you must maintain an active MBA Learning Center license to use our content outside of the Learning Center and we proof that you have removed our content from another LMS if you do no renew your license).
The rest of this document will walk you through the basics of creating a course using our content to get your class up and running.
Canvas has a multitude of features - far too many for us to even touch on within this document. For more information about the workings of Canvas LMS, review to the official Canvas Documentation:
Along with your "Welcome to the Learning Center" email, you should also receive an email directly from Canvas that will guide you through the process of signing up and creating a password:
Click the link in the email from Canvas to finish the registration process. Choose a password for logging into Canvas, and make sure you set your Time Zone properly.
If you don't receive the email from Canvas, check your spam folder. If you still don't see it contact us at HelpMe@MBAResearch.org and let us know.
What To Do First
The first screen you'll see after you log into the MBA Learning Center is this:
The second blue box allows you to set up your Canvas Notifications Preferences: how (and how often) you want Canvas to let you know what’s going on.
You can set your Notification Preferences now or leave them for later. We recommend you set them later when you get a better grasp on the ins and outs of Canvas.
For more information about Notifications Preferences:
So Where Are All The LAPs ???!?!
(Don't know what a LAP is? Click HERE)
Glad you asked!
We're doing things a bit differently now that we’ve moved the MBA Learning Center to Canvas.
Instead of a LONG list of LAPs to be taught individually, the new Canvas-based MBA Learning Center lets YOU create a course, custom-tailored by you, for your students.
All the LAPs (and more) from the old MBA Learning Center are here, but now you can link them together to create courses.
Don't have a clue about what LAPs to use? No problem! We can help you with that! We’ve designed a series of "model" courses in entrepreneurship, finance, management and administration, and marketing for your consideration. To access a list of the MBA Learning Center modules (LAPs) that align with each of these courses, click here:
Thanks to our partnership with the Daniels Fund, all of our course guides are now free to anyone who requests them. The Daniels Fund asks only that you take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey, letting them know how you’ll be using the resources that they've so generously sponsored. You can find the course guides in our online store:
Ok, But I Still Don't See The LAPs?!?!
Before you can access and use the LAPs, you need to create a course. After creating your course you can import the LAPs that you want to teach into that course.
As an example, here is a guide to building the Advanced Entrepreneurship course from:
Creating A Course
Step 1 - Create An Empty Course
Select the "Admin" button in the menu on the left side of the screen, then click on your school's account.
Then, create a new course by selecting the "+ Add a New Course" button on the right side of the screen:
A Side Note On Screen Sizes
Canvas arranges some of the screen based on screen width. On a wide screen the "+ Add a New Course" button will be on the right side of the screen. On a narrower screen (like a tablet or small laptop) those options will be moved down the page. If you don't see the "+ Add a New Course" button on the right side, look further down the screen for it.
Step 2 - Name Your Course
Give your course a Name, a Reference Code, an Enrollment Term, and then click "Add Course."
For this example, I'll call this course "Advanced Entrepreneurship."
The Reference Code should be a short descriptive word for the course. The Reference Code is what Canvas will display in the navigation bar at the top of the screen. I'll use "AdvEntre" as my Reference Code.
The Enrollment Term is the school year in which you'll be teaching this course. Do not use the "Default Term" as the enrollment term for your course.
Instead, use the predefined Enrollment Term that goes from August 1st of the start year to July 31st of the end year (in this case 2016-2017).
Once you fill everything in, click the "Add Course" button to create the course.
Ok, so where is it?
Refresh your web page, you should see your new course.
Step 3 - Enroll Yourself
Canvas won't let you import content into a course until you add a teacher (you!) to the course.
Add a Teacher (You) to the Course
Click on the "Settings" link under your course name:
You'll see the course settings screen. Click on the "People" menu option:
Click on the "+People" button:
Enter your email address. Make sure that you select the Role of "Teacher" for yourself, and then click on the "Next" button.
You'll be asked to confirm the user you're adding. Click the "Add Users" button and then the "Done" button
If you want to know more about the various Roles in Canvas, you can read about them here:Roles in Canvas
Almost everything in Canvas is permission-based. You invite people to participate, and they have to accept that invitation to access your course. Therefore, since you just invited yourself to enroll in this course, you have to accept that invitation. You can do that in one of two ways: (1) Canvas will email you, and you can accept the invitation from that email. (2) Or, you can click the "Home" button and you'll see a message from Canvas telling you that you've been invited to this course and letting you accept that invitation. Go ahead and do that now.
Step 4 - Course Home Page
Canvas has a couple of different ways that it will let you and your students view the contents of a course. The default view is "Course Activity Stream." MBA Research LAPs are built as Canvas Modules. So, to make life easier, change the "Course Home Page" view to "Course Modules."
To do so, click "Choose Home Page" on the right side of the screen
Then, from the list that pops up, select "Course Modules." Click the "Save" button.
Step 5 - Add LAPs To Your Course
On the left side of screen, you will see a new menu option: "Commons." Commons is the repository where all of the MBA Research LAPs are stored and where we'll go to pull content into our newly created course. Click the "Commons" button.
The first time you access Commons, you'll be asked to "Authorize" it. Click on the "Authorize" button.
FINALLY, LAPs !!!
Your screen won't look exactly like the screen shot above. That's because MBA Research is continually adding new LAPs to the system.
Let's refer back to the "Learning Center Modules By Course" document:
Find Advanced Entrepreneurship, and scroll down to the list of LAPs. You'll see one of the LAP we want in our course: EC-027, "Pay Your Share (Business Taxes)."
What about EC-009?At the time these instructions were written, EC-009 wasn't in Commons yet. I've skipped down to EC-027 for this demonstration.
Searching for LAPs in Commons
To find LAPs in Commons, use the search feature. Type in the LAP number, which in this case is EC-027. Commons searches are case-sensitive, so make sure you have your Caps Lock on.
Once you have EC-027 on the screen, click on the blue text/link/title of the LAP. You'll see a detailed view with the description of the LAP and content preview outlining the LAP content.
Importing the LAP into our Advanced Entrepreneurship Course
On the right side of the screen, check the box for our Advanced Entrepreneurship course.
Next, click the green "Import into Course" button.
Important Side Note
Canvas has a bug that affects importing content into courses. If you import too many LAPs too quickly, the import feature will get stuck, keeping you from adding any more content into that course. As you import each LAP, go to the course and make sure each import is finished before starting on the next one.
Click on the "Courses" button on the left side of the screen, then click on the course you’re creating.
Keep in mind that if you go to the course immediately after clicking the "Import into Course" button, there won't be any content on the page. It takes Canvas a few seconds, or sometimes a few minutes, to import the content into your course.
Refresh the page or click the "Home" button until you see the LAP content appear.
Scroll down through the LAP and check out the content. Sections in Green are "Published." That means both you and your students can see the content of that section and access it. Sections in Gray are "Unpublished." Gray/Unpublished sections are only visible to you. You'll see a large section of Unpublished material at the end of the LAP. This is all of the instructor reference material, including answer keys, the discussion guide, and other content intended just for teachers.
LAP EC-027 is now a Module in our Advanced Entrepreneurship course.
If you want, you can collapse the content of the module so that only the the title appears. This makes it a lot easier to navigate the course when it is populated with lots of modules.
Collapse the content of EC-027 by clicking the triangle icon next to the module/LAP title.
Import More LAPs
Go back to Commons by clicking the "Commons" button on the left side of the screen. Search for the next LAP from our list of LAPs for this course (EC-028) and import it into the course.
Once you've imported it, go back to the course and refresh the screen until you see EC-028 appear as a new module in the course.
Collapse the content of EC-028 (not required, but it will make it easier for you to navigate). Go back to Commons and keep importing LAPs until you have all that you want in your course.
Organizing Your Modules
After you have imported all of the LAPs you need for this course, you'll need to organize them in the order you want to teach them in. When you import modules from Commons, Canvas doesn't put them into the course in the order of instruction, so you'll need to sequence them to align with your course guide.
Modules can be moved around by grabbing the "Handle" (looks like a double row of vertical dots) and dragging the module where you want it to be.
Step 6 - A Few More Things
Course Settings - Course Details
Click on the "Settings" button on the left side of the screen.
Here you can change various things about the course, including the Name and Course Code. You can also set a start and end date for the course. Unless you specify a start and end date for a course, it will start and end on the dates set for the Enrollment Term (which were set when the course was created). The default Term dates are August 1st of the start year to July 31st of the end year.
Make sure the Time Zone is set properly for your course.
A Note On Language
Setting the Language does not change the language of the course. It sets the language of the Canvas menus and options for that course. The actual LAPs are, and will remain, in English regardless of the Language setting.
Under the visibility section, you can restrict your students from being able to access the course outside of the start and end dates.
For more information about Course Details, you can check out the Canvas Documentation:Course Details
Change Course Navigation
This step is optional but will help make your course less confusing. The sections of LAPs that contain the student narrative are stored as Canvas "Pages" within each LAP. If you click on the "Pages" navigation link on the left side of the screen, you’ll see all those pages listed without rhyme or reason. You can disable the "Pages" navigation link so that students don't get confused by seeing all of the the narratives out of order.
To disable the "Pages" navigation first click on the "Settings" button on the left; then click on the "Navigation" tab at the top; bext click on the "Gear" icon across from "Pages"; and finally click on the "Disable" icon.
The 2nd column on the screen is the Navigation menu. Items in black are visible to everyone. Items in gray are only visible to you. We've just made the "Pages" navigation option visible only to you.
Step 7 - Publish Your Course
Click on the "Home" button on the left side of the screen. Then, click on the green "Publish" button on the right side of the screen.
Your course is now ready to go; you just need to add students.
Step 8 - Add Your Students
You may only add students if you have purchased student licenses. If you add students without first purchasing student licenses, you will be billed for these student accounts at a cost of $10 per student.
If you wish to purchase student licenses visit our online store:
You can add students in the same manner that you added yourself to the course:
Click the "People" option on the left side of the screen. Click the "+ People" button. Add your students by email address. Make sure you select the role of "Student." Click the "Next" button, and then the "Done" button.
Your students will get an email instructing them to join Canvas (if they are not already using Canvas) and inviting them to the course.
What is a LAP?
A LAP, or Learning Activity Package, is a comprehensive module designed to teach a specific topic or Performance Indicator based on the national standards for business and marketing education. Each LAP contains student readings, individual and group activities, assessment tools, and other instructional materials to make teaching and learning easier and more effective.
Each LAP provides in-depth learning, with a focus on real-life application in the business community. LAPs are designed to help students move beyond learning "about" business to learning to "do" business in the real world. LAPs provide more depth and a greater emphasis on application than typical textbooks or other educational resources.
There are currently three different kinds of LAPs in the MBA Learning Center.
Most of the LAPs in the Learning Center are full LAPs as we just described.
The two other types of LAPs are Quick Study LAPs and Just For You LAPs.
Quick Study LAPs do not contain as much content as a full LAP. They might only have a single narrative section and/or a single activity but typically include a PowerPoint presentation and a PostTest.
Just For You LAPs are much more brief. They might only contain a handful of items or a web link to a pertinent activity or article related to the given Performance Indicator.
How Are LAPs Organized?
LAPs are broadly organized by Instructional Area.
The MBA Research Instructional Areas are:
- (BL) Business Law
Understands business's responsibility to know, abide by, and enforce laws and regulations that affect business operations and transactions
- (CC) Compliance
Understands business's responsibility to know, comply with, and enforce laws and regulations that affect financial business operations and transactions
- (CM) Channel Management
Understands the concepts and processes needed to identify, select, monitor, and evaluate sales channels
- (CO) Communication Skills
Understands the concepts, strategies, and systems used to obtain and convey ideas and information
- (CR) Customer Relations
Understands the techniques and strategies used to foster positive, ongoing relationships with customers
- (DS) Distribution
Understands the concepts and processes needed to move, store, locate, and/or transfer ownership of goods and services
- (EC) Economics
Understands the economic principles and concepts fundamental to business operations
- (EI) Emotional Intelligence
Understands techniques, strategies, and systems used to foster self-understanding and enhance relationships with others
- (EN) Entrepreneurship
Understands the concepts, processes, and skills associated with identifying new ideas, opportunities, and methods and with creating or starting a new project or venture
- (FI) Financial Analysis
Understands tools, strategies, and systems used to maintain, monitor, control, and plan the use of financial resources
- (FM) Financial-Information Management
Understands tools, strategies, and systems needed to access, process, maintain, evaluate, and disseminate financial information to assist business decision-making
- (HR) Human Resources Management
Understands the tools, techniques, and systems that businesses use to plan, staff, lead, and organize its human resources
- (IM) Marketing-Information Management
Understands the concepts, systems, and tools needed to gather, access, synthesize, evaluate, and disseminate information for use in making business decisions
- (KM) Knowledge Management
Understands the systems, strategies, and techniques used to collect, organize, analyze, and share information known in an organization.
- (MK) Marketing
Understands the tools, techniques, and systems that businesses use to create exchanges and satisfy organizational objectives
- (MP) Market Planning
Understands the concepts and strategies utilized to determine and target marketing strategies to a select audience
- (NF) Information Management
Understands tools, strategies, and systems needed to access, process, maintain, evaluate, and disseminate information to assist business decision-making
- (OP) Operations
Understands the processes and systems implemented to monitor, plan, and control the day-to-day activities required for continued business functioning
- (PD) Professional Development
Understands concepts, tools, and strategies used to explore, obtain, and develop in a business career
- (PI) Pricing
Understands concepts and strategies utilized in determining and adjusting prices to maximize return and meet customers' perceptions of value
- (PJ) Project Management
Understands tools, techniques, and systems that are used to plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate business projects
- (PM) Product/Service Management
Understands the concepts and processes needed to obtain, develop, maintain, and improve a product or service mix in response to market opportunities
- (PR) Promotion
Understands the concepts and strategies needed to communicate information about products, services, images, and/or ideas to achieve a desired outcome
- (QM) Quality Management
Understands the need for standards and the strategies and techniques used to implement, monitor, and evaluate them
- (RA) Risk Analysis
Understands techniques and strategies used to gather, access, and evaluate the risk posed by potential insurance clients
- (RM) Risk Management
Understands risk-management strategies and techniques used to minimize business loss
- (SE) Selling
Understands the concepts and actions needed to determine client needs and wants and respond through planned, personalized communication that influences purchase decisions and enhances future business opportunities
- (SM) Strategic Management
Understands tools, techniques, and systems that affect a business's ability to plan, control, and organize an organization/department
- (VM) Innovation Management
Understand the strategies and techniques used in marketplace innovation
How Are LAPs Labeled?
This is where things get a bit confusing. No, we aren't intentionally trying to confuse everyone; it just seems that way some times.
LAPs are labeled first by the abbreviation for the Instructional Area (IA) that they belong to (from the above list), a dash or a colon, and then a number.
So LAP BL-006 is a LAP from the (BL) Business Law Instructional Area. The Performance Indicator for LAP BL-006 is BL:006.
Performance Indicators are always made up of the abbreviated Instructional Area(IA), a colon, and a number.
Now we get to the confusing part: the LAP labels do not always match their Performance Indicators. LAP BL-001, for example, covers content needed to teach Performance Indicator BL:003.
So why are we trying to confuse you? We're not, really. When we first started creating LAPs, we numbered them sequentially within Instructional Areas. So the first BL LAP we created was BL-001, the second BL-002, the third BL-003 and so on, regardless of which Performance Indicator was being addressed by that LAP. It seemed like a good plan at the time.
Through the miracle of hindsight, we now realize that it would cause a bit less confusion if the LAP labels and the Performance Indicators used the same number. We're currently in the process of switching them over, but it's very much a work in progress.
If you look at Canvas Commons, you'll see that some LAPS are labeled "IA - number" (with dashes), and some are labeled "IA : number" (with colons).
All the Full LAPs are labeled with dashes (BL-001, BL-006).
The "Quick Study" LAPs and "Just For You" LAPs are labeled with colons. In the "Just For You" LAPs, the LAP number and the Performance Indicator for the LAP are the same, and they are all labeled with colons. (CO:087, CO:090)
"Quick Study" LAPs are also labeled with colons. The LAP number and the Performance Indicator for the LAP are the same. Additionally, we've added the "QS" LAP number to each LAP. This is helpful when you are looking at an older reference page/book/guide that makes reference to "LAP-QS-001"; you'll be able to tell that you're on the right LAP:
Lastly, all of the "Just for You" LAPs and all of the "Quick Study" LAPs have small white squares in the corners so you can more easily distinguish them from the full LAPs.
The Dashboard and Course List
The courses you have created are shown in the "Dasboard" menu option and in the "Course" menu option.
To add and remove courses from the "Dashboard" and the "Course" menu, click on the "Course" button on the left, then click on the "All Courses" option.
You'll see a list of all your courses. Next to each course is a "Star" icon.
You can add or remove any course from the "Dashboard" and the "Course" menus by clicking the "Star." When the "Star" is yellow the course will show up on both menus, when it's clear the course won't appear in either menu.
Nothing happens to the course itself. You can always access it from the "Admin" menu and from the "Courses" "All Courses" menu.
By default all of the courses will be displayed in both menus and none of the courses in the "All Courses" menu will have yellow stars. When you set any stars, make sure to also set stars for all the other courses you want to display.