Recently I needed to create some technical help documentation around a change within our LMS. The change involved our plagiarism tool, Turnitin, which had sunsetted the API version of the tool and was launching the new LTI version.  The change was to take place on January 1st. The timing was perfect as the date for the implementation would allow our faculty three weeks to make the adjustment to the new Turnitin LTI tool prior to the start of the spring semester.

In the past I’ve used the content pages within Canvas as the method to communicate training or to create help documentation. While searching for something to jazz up my method for communicating training to our faculty, I found the tool smore.

Smore is a free web service that allows a user to create interactive web flyers.  After creating my account on the website https://www.smore.com/ I was able to begin making flyers for my training documentation. Here is a sample of a document I created: https://www.smore.com/ng3jh

There are several reasons I really enjoyed using this tool:

  • It allowed me to select the layout I needed which contains interactive drag and drop templates for dropping in the content, images, links and video.
  • I was able to move the content around on the flyer.
  • I was able to bring in images quickly and easily.
  • I was able to pick a standard font and color for the header and body of the flyer.
  • I was able to select a background look for the flyer.
  • The flyer allowed me to import in Thinglink images I had created. Here is a sample of one of my flyers that shows how I used Thinglink. https://www.smore.com/pw690
  • Thinglink is another free web service that allows a user to annotate images and videos which is very helpful when creating training document. You can learn more about Thinglink at https://www.thinglink.com/.
  • The flyer allowed me to control my sharing options which included all the normal social media solutions including Pinterest.
  • The flyer provided me with an embed code for dropping in my content into a Canvas content page.
  • Any edits I complete on my flyer in smore are instantly updated within Canvas.
  • I am able to preview and print my flyer if necessary.
  • Best of all, once I had 30 hits on my flyer, I received an email from smore telling me I can view the analytics for my flyer.
  • The analytics included how many visitors had seen my flyer, a Google map showing the location of the visitors, and the amount of time visitors spent reading the flyer. I can also see how many other sites are linked to my flyer which tells me how much traffic my flyer is receiving. How amazing is that! The analytics are included with the free account.

As you can tell I’m very satisfied with my approach to creating my technical documentation.  To evaluate the success of my new method for delivering help documentation, I am going to survey the faculty and ask for feedback on the training materials I developed using smore.