Canvas Spotlight Course Showcase

Course Showcase – SOC 3590: Social Statistics

Last updated on May 21, 2024

The adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) not only saves students money on textbooks but also allows instructors increased flexibility with their materials. (For more on OER adoption, please read Find OER and Use them in Canvas). To truly be beneficial to all students, OER should also be accessible for all learners, regardless of ability. Remediating those resources with the tenants of universal design in mind ensures a great learning experience for all in addition to the cost savings and greater flexibility inherent in an OER

About Dr. Jiang

Dr. Ting Jiang received her Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. What draws her to Sociology is her interest in studying social changes in the globalization era. Her particular area of expertise is in East Asia, with a recent focus on the ancient Silk Road and how it is still transforming countries in Central and East Asia. At MSU Denver, Dr. Jiang taught a broad range of topics in Sociology, including Introduction to Sociology, Chinese Society, Asian American Experiences, Love and Family in East Asia, Gerontology, Population, Social Stratification, Writing, Theory, and Statistics.

Showcase Examples

Multiple Means of Engagement

  • In SOC 3590, Dr. Jiang brought together multiple OER sources within Canvas to create topics and exercises she needed for her students in addition to creating her own lecture videos and software demonstrations. An inherent feature of OER is the ability to reuse, remix, and redistribute material to make a highly customized resource that removes extraneous information for learners. This optimizes the relevance and value of the material for the student.
  • Bringing these resources within Canvas ensured that students would be able to access the materials easily without relying on external and possibly inaccessible websites or requiring students to purchase expensive textbooks. It also ensures ease of navigation by consolidating all course reading within modules on Canvas.

Multiple Means of Representation

  • The resources adapted for this course communicated the application and specifics of statistics related to sociology. As such, it presented formulas, data, and tables with content that would otherwise be inaccessible to learners without modification. 
  • The course uses LaTeX to clarify formulas and data that would otherwise be nearly impossible to communicate to a learner with alt text or other remediation solutions. Producing math equations and data via LaTeX and MathML ensured that assistive technologies could both read the formula correctly and allow for keyboard navigation, ensuring that learners have equal access to the knowledge presented.
Excerpt of page describing a complex math formula in accessible format

Multiple Means of Action and Expression

  • A truly useful OER integrates opportunities for learners to practice their learning with knowledge checks and reflection points meant to facilitate the scaffolding of knowledge throughout the module; Wakefield Research Report indicates that 66% of US students appreciate the ability to test their knowledge during study sessions (Wakefield, 2018).
  • Within this course, there are extensive opportunities for learners to engage with knowledge checks and self-reflection examples that are placed within the OER materials themselves. This allows learners to build knowledge and monitor their progress on key concepts while engaged in course readings and learning.

Partnering for Continuous Improvement in Teaching and Learning

A significant factor in the success of this and similar projects is the support and funding from the Office of Online Learning (OOL), which has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of our online educational endeavors. OOL’s support and contributions have empowered faculty members to innovate and create a more enriching educational environment for all. Please visit the Office of Online Learning for more information about all that they are doing to help MSU Denver faculty members and students.


Wakefield. (2018) Vital Source Survey Quickread Report.

Zhang, X., Tlili, A., Nascimbeni, F. et al. Accessibility within open educational resources and practices for disabled learners: a systematic literature review. Smart Learn. Environ. 7, 1 (2020).