Research Article - (2023) Volume 11, Issue 6

Using Web-Based Instructional Tools in Graphic Design Projects of Students with Speech Disorders
Nouf Alsuwaida*
Department of Fine Arts, University of Ha’il, Hail, Saudi Arabia
*Correspondence: Nouf Alsuwaida, Department of Fine Arts, University of Ha’il, Hail, Saudi Arabia, Email:

Received: 27-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. RPAM-23-24124; Editor assigned: 30-Nov-2023, Pre QC No. RPAM-23-24124 (PQ) ; Reviewed: 14-Dec-2023, QC No. RPAM-23-24124; Revised: 21-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. RPAM-23-24124 (R); Published: 28-Dec-2023, DOI: 10.35248/2315-7844.23.11.430


Background: This study aimed to evaluate the learning experiences of art students with speech disorders using an online platform, the web-based learning technology “Canva.”

Methods: Using mixed methods, data were obtained from students with speech disorders from an all-female academic institution in Saudi Arabia in 2022.

Results: The findings revealed that Canva facilitated students’ acquisition of art and design media technology and improved their communication, self-direction, and emotional and behavioral regulation. The outcome of the study provided four themes:

• Students’ feelings and experiences through concrete experience in the hybrid graphic design course.

• Students’ observation and reflection in reflective observation during the hybrid graphic design course.

• Students became self-directed and critical thinkers abstract conceptualization.

• Students developed their ability to practice in a final project group through active experimentation.

Conclusion: These results have implications for educators who want to promote engagement and interaction of students with disabilities using technological tools.


Canva; Graphic design; Experiential learning theory; Speech disorders


AC: Abstract Conceptualization; AE: Active Experimentation; CE: Concrete Experience; ELT: Experiential Learning Theory; RO: Reflective Observation


Instructors can use learning technologies, specifically learning media aids, in creative ways to innovate new teaching methods, attract students, and engage students’ attention [1]. Introducing new teaching and learning methods requires an approach to professional development that considers instructors’ requirements. The recent increase in E-learning use has prompted many institutions to adopt an organizational approach [2]. The development of educational learning technologies will allow for identifying and implementing emerging trends.

Wilson described professional development for E-learning as a “change process.” Such a process is an organization’s approach to implementing E-learning and includes strategies for “diffusion of innovation,” “peer learning,” “embedding practice,” “project- based,” “online professional development,” and “accredited courses [3].” As E-learning technologies are used by different students with different abilities/disabilities, they must be designed to be accessible to all. Speech disorders can affect university or college students, causing difficulty communicating with teachers or students without speech disorders, especially in face-to-face classes. Language is one of the most important ways for students to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with peers and teachers. Rogers et al. discussed how learners can creatively interact with learning resources to enhance learning and communication [4]. Thus, interaction takes place, but it is silent rather than overt.

In addition, this study aims to develop knowledge about how technological visual aids used in teaching can improve skill development. We further investigate how teachers can successfully use visual arts with learning technologies through their strategic use of silence. Students can use these technologies to draw, carry out projects, or report on their learning. We assume that learning technologies are practical tools to teach students with different needs and to combine teaching approaches while considering students’ individual needs and learning styles. Such lessons can facilitate the acquisition of knowledge for a diverse student population. A classroom scenario where teachers must accommodate students with special needs requires sensitivity, and this is where technology can be invaluable [5,6].

The current study aims to investigate Saudi Arabian graphic design students’ use of learning technologies in the context of special needs (i.e., those with speech disorders). Few studies focus on this particular use of web-based instructional tools. This study uses a qualitative design and collects data from focus groups, surveys and observations during a graphic design course.

The research covers three themes:

• The use of Canva in a graphic design course.

• The inclusion of learners with disabilities in Canva.

• The evaluation of Canva from the perspective of learners with speech disorders.

The study aims to discover practical ways that other art and design faculty can promote the engagement and interaction of students with disabilities using technology tools.

Canva is a free graphic design platform with numerous templates for users to create content, including book covers, magazine covers, logos, business cards, posters, flyers, and presentations. This platform is free to use and offers a wide range of easily accessible features, making it user-friendly. It has a collection of professional templates, the availabiilty of Canva Pro for business management and scaling up of graphical content, and the option of working individually or in a team to ensure collaboration.

We pose the following two questions:

1. How do instructors use learning technologies in computer graphics application courses involving students with disabilities?

2. What are the students’ experiences using Canva for fashion projects?

3. How do students with disabilities evaluate Canva as a tool in the Computer Graphics Application course?

Literature Review

Experiential learning theory

KDavid A. Kolb developed the Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) during the 1970s to create an extensive structure that illustrates how individuals gain and utilize knowledge through direct encounters [7,8]. According to Allen et al. this theory identifies a four-step, interrelated learning cycle [9]. Beginning with the concrete experience phase, learners engage in first-hand interactions with situations, issues, or tasks to acquire knowledge [10,11]. According to Murgu et al., this is followed by the reflective observation phase, in which learners examine the experience and evaluate the result [11]. In the next phase, abstract conceptualization, learners link their previous knowledge with their experience [7]. Finally, the active experimentation phase encourages practical application, allowing individuals to experiment with various approaches and solutions [12]. By engaging in experiential learning, individuals are given the unique opportunity to expand their understanding and abilities in practical contexts continually.

What sets ELT apart from other learning theories is its recognition of the recurring and circular process that accompanies knowledge acquisition. By repeating this process, individuals can refine their skills and better comprehend their chosen subject matter [13]. According to Tenney-Soeiro and Sieplinga this perspective assumes that learning is a continuous process during which individuals refine their understanding and skills through multiple stages of reflection, abstraction, application, and engagement. Kolb’s concept also recognizes that individuals have different tendencies towards preferred learning methods, whether through practical experiences or through more theoretical and conceptual ones [8]. In its entirety, ELT offers a pragmatic framework that educators and learners can leverage to optimize the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Its emphasis on active engagement, thoughtful reflection, abstraction, and hands-on application provides a sound basis for fostering effective learning outcomes [14]. The Experiential Learning Theory ELT of Kolb’s Cycle as explained by according to Kolb et al. including: Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC) and Active Experimentation (AE) (Figure 1) [15].


Figure 1: Experiential Learning Theory of the Kolb’s Cycle.

Online teaching and learning with students with disabilities

The pandemic has distressed academics, creating a significant rift between teaching and learning. According to Kotwal et al. online classes became vital overnight with no productive or smooth transitions [16]. The education of students with speech impairments cannot be compared to the education of students who have typical speaking and hearing abilities. Students rely on sign language, facial expressions, and lip reading to communicate. Accommodating these needs was difficult during the sudden switch to online learning as teachers lacked the basic training needed to provide the accommodations. Online education continues to develop for student populations, as should special needs teacher training. Crouse T et al. claimed that, despite the substantial amount of literature, there continues to be room to navigate teachers’ knowledge in such environments [17]. This is important to provide quality education to all students. Accessibility to online education is complex and multidimensional and can be achieved through the engagement of different stakeholders. Jalovcic D et al. have discussed how online learning environments can provide new opportunities for students with disabilities to achieve higher education when barriers are reduced and removed [18]. The academic success of students with disabilities can be improved through accessibility and provision. Current familiarity with the online learning of students with disabilities depends on the quantitative assessment of visible behaviours. Ali MA indicated that the faculty members had positive attitudes toward using E-learning technology for students with disabilities and supported the introduction of social, cognitive, and learning collaboration during the pandemic [19].

Research into online learning employs certain terminology. Learning is successful when the instructor uses strategies in class to engage students and supports them in becoming self-directed. Engaged learning occurs when students participate in active learning, social cognition, constructivism, and problem-based learning. Active learning refers to students experiencing and collaborating in the learning process. Adult learners are self-directed and stimulated by these environments [20]. Social cognition enables students to learn from others by building complex worldviews. Collaborative activities require students to be creative, critically analytical, and skilful. Constructivism describes how students process and then reflect on knowledge within the underlying social environment. Technology has reorganized the way we live, communicate, and learn, and has also reorganized the design of learning and teaching [21]. According to Herbart JF, technology supports a systematic approach to teaching [22]. In other words, a teacher can combine the technological tools with creative design courses.

Technology tools for use by students with disabilities

Assistive technology aids students with learning disabilities. Regardless of students’ disabilities, assistive technology fosters effective learning. For instance, students with dyscalculia appreciate the ease of using “talking calculators.” These devices help them access assignments, perform calculations, and read numbers. According to the Master’s in Special Education Degree Program Guide, every student with a disability has a unique learning style, and many struggle to understand auditory lectures. An ideal solution is a “variable speed recorder” that allows students to record discussions in class [23].

Instructors can choose the most suitable technological tools for communicating their activities in traditional or online classrooms. In online activities, instructors connect the course content to students’ knowledge through engaging in technology activities, deepening their understanding, and engaging and challenging them. Hence, instructors should design participatory online learning activities considering students’ needs and learning styles, useful communication tools, and adapt classroom-based activities for online use [20].

Assistive technologies include devices and services that maintain, enhance, and improve the abilities of students with disabilities. According to Young et al, students with speech disorders are supported through tablet applications and computer programs that provide speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities (e.g., Dragon Naturally Speaking), graphic organizers (e.g., Inspiration), and word prediction skills (e.g., wordQ) [24]. One of the best examples is Canva, a web-based tool that can help students understand their courses.

Web-based instruction

Educators could consider the integration of the World Wide Web into educational courses. Web-based instruction impacts students’ attitudes, social interactions, and overall learning. Reflecting on web integration tools is another way for instructors to develop effective online courses and tools [25]. Today’s technology has changed the way educators teach certain subjects, such as art and design, and how assignments are completed in such courses. New and advanced concepts are constantly being introduced in the art field, and artists with disabilities often simply need a medium to express their thoughts and feelings. Technology is changing the way artwork is created and shared. It is transforming the conventional and orthodox audience into an enlightened and modern audience, allowing art to transcend boundaries through the social connections that technology provides [26]. Technological platforms have also opened up many prospects for artists and introduced many features they can access. For instance, artists can now use smart phone devices to paint as they would use a traditional canvas, paint, and paintbrush [27].

Graphic design is a form of art commonly used in academic and professional settings to realize certain interactions, present information, and facilitate communication through visual arts. It involves the skills of artists and experts who create pictorial, visual, or graphic content to communicate or convey messages. With visual hierarchy techniques, creators use pictures and typography to meet users’ particular needs while displaying features logically in collaborative design. The main purpose of graphic design and message communication is to optimize end-user experience [28]. Computer graphics is one of the most common and popular examples of technology integrated into the arts [29]. Teaching graphic design is not an easy task. It requires teachers to teach students the basics and equip them with creative ways to present information by awakening and exploring their creativity [30]. Technology has revolutionized the field of graphic design, introducing the latest software and applications that facilitate the design process. However, mastering these tools requires extensive learning and continuous practice. Studies have examined teaching methods in art and design courses, particularly in graphic design, and their impact on learning [31].

Generally, Experiential Learning Theory is a foundation for augmenting art education for learners with disabilities using web-based tools such as Canva. This theoretical framework revolves around a four-stage learning cycle: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. In art education, students actively produce magazine covers using Canva, contemplating their output, amalgamating graphic design principles, and experimenting with innovative methods. By merging experiential learning theory with web-based tools, art students with disabilities can amplify their learning, adapt to technology and thrive in academic environments, even with obstacles like the COVID-19 pandemic.


Research design

The research design was a qualitative case study method, and data were collected through observation, focus groups, surveys, and analysis of the documents and artifacts. The case study on a graphic design course examined the outcomes of using Canva as a web technology tool. The research focused on an independent graphic design course using 15 students with speech disorders as its sample. The study was conducted on a private, all-female campus in Saudi Arabia in the fall semester of 2022, from August 30 to December 30. We wanted to explore the experiences of art students with disabilities when using learning technology and how technology tools like Canva encourage students with special needs (specifically, speech impairments) to engage in learning in a graphic design course.

Participant demographics

In the fall semester of 2022, 15 female students with disabilities enrolled in a face-to-face course agreed to participate. The questionnaire collected demographic data, including the participants’ gender, age, nationality, language, level of undergraduate education, and email address. All participants were female; 73% were aged 18 to 24, 23.3% aged 25 to 34, and 6.6% aged 35 to 44. They were all of Saudi nationality, with Arabic as their native language. The participants had different levels of undergraduate education; 33.3% were sophomores, 46.6% were juniors, and 26.6% were seniors (Table 1).

Variable Class Number Percentage
Gender Women 15 100%
Age 18–24 years old 11 73%
25–34 years old 3 23.30%
35–44 years old 1 6.60%
Level of education Sophomore 5 33.30%
Juniors 7 46.60%
Seniors 4 26.60%
Nationality Saudi 15 100%
Native language Arabic 15 100%

Table 1: Demographics of art education students.

Data collection tools and process

Data were obtained through focus groups, observation, survey, and analysis of the documents and artifacts.

Survey: The researcher used two surveys consisting of questionnaires at the beginning of the course to collect the participants’ demographics and survey questionnaires with close- and open-ended questions to evaluate students’ Canva tool experiences after class. The sources of the questionnaire items were provided with four criteria: access, usability and time management, privacy and intellectual property, and enjoyment. Each criterion had five questions. The participants chose from five responses (strongly agree, agree, uncertain, strongly disagree, and disagree). All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. The questionnaire was first transcribed into Arabic, the student’s native language; the transcripts were translated into English, along with the field notes.

Focus groups: An assistant teacher with sign language skills helped the researcher to communicate with the disabled students. The small group project in this study involved 15 students with disabilities (i.e., speech disorders) who were divided equally into three groups. Each group had the task of creating a fashion design magazine at the end of the graphic design course.

Observation: Observation is a research method used to collect information from participants. The researcher observed the students’ behaviours during the learning process using four criteria from experiential learning in the observation protocol tool:

• Concrete experience

• Reflective observation

• Abstract conceptualization

• Active experimentation

Results and Discussion

This study demonstrates the different web applications that can be used to create learning media for art and design. Before the class, the researcher introduced three websites for students: Canva,, and Infogram. The students chose Canva because it supported the Arabic language and they found the website comparatively attractive. More and more educators are using the latest technologies to make teaching and learning interesting, effective, and more realistic. One of these technologies is Canva, a graphic design platform that allows the user to create graphics for social media posts, posters, presentations, documents and other graphic or pictorial content.

The study aimed to be the first to investigate the specific attributes that Canva brings to design courses that help learners with disabilities meet their educational goals. The researcher integrated ELT in Canva in a Hybrid Graphic Design Course. All learners were asked to use devices such as laptops, and smartphones during the training in the hybrid course. Kolb et al. expressed that there is “a relationship between learning style and problem-solving and decision making, online search behaviour, and performance in computer training and computer-assisted instruction” [15]. The following were the themes of the study according to experiential learning theory (Figure 2).


Figure 2: The Themes of the Study According to Experiential Learning Theory (ELP).

Theme 1: Students’ feelings and experiences through CE in the hybrid graphic design course

The first research question was, “How do instructors use learning technologies in computer graphics application courses to teach students with disabilities?” The researcher designed a graphic design hybrid course using ELT in the Web of Canva and social media as learning technologies. Botelho et al. explained that CE is “the learning process begins with the students actively carrying out an experience/activity” [32]. In the CE stage, Kolb and Kolb believed that ELT played a significant role in the creative destruction of education learning technology in transforming higher education when providing a learning platform to rebuild the education system [33]. Thus, learners are empowered individually and begin building e-learning communities. The instructor presented a PowerPoint and classroom materials in Blackboard as a Learning Management System (LMS), as well as using Canva to participate both online and on-campus, while encouraging students to use the graphical design tools on the platform to learn and practice various graphic design approaches.

Description of graphic design course: This course aimed to provide students with knowledge about how to develop creative solutions to realize the concept of a project through the creation of graphic interaction results. Topics covered included design strategies and elements, infographics, user behaviour, user experience, and graphical user interface design.

Course objectives: The course objectives included the following:

• Students would be able to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of visual art and design.

• Students would be able to develop basic skills using technology tools and experiential learning theory in the design process.

• Students would develop techniques and methods for creative problem-solving.

Canva templates training session: To begin using Canva to teach graphic design, the instructor conducted the basic training necessary to introduce students to the platform and familiarize them with the different features that could be used for various purposes, including graphic design. In other words, the CE stage involved students with special needs, who tend to rely more on feelings, discovering the ability to use Canva for the first time. The Canva platform did not require much expertise, so the basic training sessions were relatively short. Once students had been trained to access and use Canva, the instructor could maximize the use of Canva for graphic design. The instructor then assigned projects and poster creation and guided students on how to use the platform to complete their assignments. Using the templates available on Canva, the instructor challenged students to create their content at the end of each session after learning each graphic design technique. This practical application allowed students to consolidate their knowledge and skills. As Canva was easy to use and free to access, this activity did not take up much time in the classroom. The main scheme that the lecturer followed was to use materials prepared in Canva to teach the basics of graphic design; the students could also access the materials through the collaborative access feature of the platform. In addition, the instructor provided students with tips and step-by-step guidance to improve their graphic design skills.

Students’ participation and feelings: The instructor helped students discover Canva for the first time and engaged them in its use. Ollin considered the complex skills of “silent pedagogy,” where the teacher consciously decides to abstain from intervention based on continuous sensitive readings of the learning environment [34]. In other words, students were silent when practicing and completing activities. They immediately began using the Canva website and experimented with its tools and capabilities. Although some students preferred doing assignments using technology tools individually while others preferred to work in groups, the instructor guided them first to work individually and discover Canva as the web-based instruction by using experiential learning theory.

Theme 2: Students watching and reflecting in RO during the hybrid graphic design course

The second research question was, “What are the students’ experiences using Canva for a fashion project?” Observations and ELP were carried out in order to answer this. The teacher helped the students engage in learning by implementing various external strategies. The researcher applied the second stage of ELP to students with special needs to support them in becoming self-motivated, reflective, and actively involved. At the RO stage, students watch and reflect on their performances and consider successes and failures. Botelho et al. expressed that, during the RO stage, students consciously reflect on the variability between understanding and experiences [33].

For the final project in the study, the students were formed into three groups with five students each. The groups set their own learning objectives by choosing a project topic. They then explored resources to answer meaningful questions. Each group’s findings were shared with an audience via social media, allowing students to add value outside of the learning environment. This meant that the lecturer designed the participatory online learning activities with their particular needs in mind. Conrad and Donaldson explained how classroom activities can be effectively adapted for online use, taking into account the learning styles of the students [20]. Their observation showed how the instructor supported the learners to become independent. The instructor first provided them with basic graphic design skills so that they could understand the objectives and knowledge. After practicing the Canva activities, they shared their experiences and knowledge during the final project. The instructor allowed them to compare their work with that of other groups and gave them assignments for a group exam. When students submitted their assignments, they worked individually and took responsibility for their learning process and problem- solving, sharing their work with classmates, and posting their work on different social media channels, such as social media platforms.

Theme 3: Students became Self-Directed and critical thinkers through (AC)

In the current study, students used the AC stage to understand the problem in theory and then found the solutions when they practiced in Canva. The students could understand the general principles from their experience and observation [33]. Thus, they took responsibility for completing their work individually before doing a group project. This process helps students learn how to become self-directed and critical thinkers. Kirwan et al. described learner self-direction as “an individual differences variable” [35]. Brockett and Hiemstra expressed that self-directed learning is the approach of adult learning when students take responsibility for their learning by setting goals and defining the worth of learning [36]. In the current study, the instructor catered to the student’s individual needs by practicing diverse teaching methods that incorporated audio/visual aids and activities that focused on the students’ multiple intelligences. The students participated in problem-solving activities and set high but realistic expectations.

Xia discussed how “using web-based technologies in teaching supports both critical thinking and social interaction” [37]. Students used several technology tools in the hybrid course, such as social media platforms, research papers, and chatting via videoconferencing on Blackboard. Thus, Moore et al. explained that all forms of E-learning can eventually provide a learning opportunity for individuals to be self-directed when students use applications, programs, objects, or websites [38]. They also become creative and solve problems. The instructor provided effective feedback to the students in oral and written form to encourage their efforts and correct them where required. In this way, students remained motivated to learn, developed a sense of achievement and gained self-confidence. Social cognition enabled students to learn from each other and build a complex worldview as part of the group project when they created Canva activities together.

Some students found that using web-based technologies for teaching and learning was more effective than traditional modes of teaching [37]. The instructor provided an atmosphere where the students could explore the Canva tools. Hands-on activities using Canva allowed the students to obtain knowledge through trial and error, and classroom activities sharpened the students’ skills and aptitudes. They interacted efficiently using computers, iPads, and smartphones, and enhanced their learning in the classroom by designing logos, advertisements, infographics, presentations, and magazines. Canva has many features, including curved text, photo effects, image enhancers, and frames added to photos, and text added to photos. The students considered Canva a digital media tool and explored the toolbar, menu bar, and templates. After completing the final group project through design thinking, they applied their designs to cover magazine advertising.

Theme 4: Students develop the capacity in a final project group through AE

After completing an introductory training session on Canva, the instructor continued teaching the specific course (graphic design, in this case). In the first step, students were taught to create a basic design from scratch using basic graphic design techniques in Canva. After the course, the instructor assigned the students a final “Fashion Design Magazine” project. Specifically, the instructor required the students to create a fashion magazine cover using the Canva templates. Students then gained knowledge and experience and planned for subsequent experiences. According to ELT, the students were involved in testing a model or theory and planning for new concrete experiences in the AE stage [7].

The design could include basic quotes about fashion and use different backgrounds, fonts, colours and images. The activity was designed to improve the students’ knowledge of and skills with Canvas’s basic functions and deepen their understanding of fashion design. Students interacted with creativity in learning by using computers and creating experiences that enhanced the way people learn and communicate [4].

Learning objectives: Each student read a chapter from the required textbooks (Fashion Design Magazine and Book Cover). At the end of the chapter, the students were expected to:

• Understand the features of fashion design.

• Individually explore the toolbar, menu bar, and templates of Canva.

• Make a group project by practicing design thinking.

• Compare Canva tools to create, manage, and share branded content.

• Sketch the final project as a group.

• Apply tools to create the cover design for the fashion magazine in Canva.

Expected outcomes: At the end of the activity, students were expected to be able to use the technology tool (Canva) to understand graphic design by creating a cover design template for a fashion design magazine.

Assessment material: Along with reading the required chapter, the students were required to take notes during the instructor’s lectures, watch YouTube videos, and use interest to discover ideas. Once the students finished creating simple Canva designs, they were asked to polish them. In this step, the instructor carefully assessed the students’ designs and gave feedback to improve them and ensure that the designs followed graphic design standards. In addition, the instructor taught some advanced graphic design skills during this process. At the end of the course, the instructor used Canva to assign specific design requirements to the course project, which was completed and designed using the platform. This aided the instructor in assessing student creativity, graphic design, and Canva for creating graphic design content.

In sum, we observed that Canva can be used by educators not only to improve the teaching process and make effective course materials in an online educational setup, but also to educate students about graphic design techniques and allow them to put their knowledge into practice using the graphic design features of the program. According to experiential learning theory, students were completing the last stage of the theory (AC) in this process. They had been completing their work quickly and creating new ideas. Each group of students created and shared their design project by downloading and printing it as a fashion magazine cover (Figure 3).


Figure 3: First group project.

Learners’ communication and collaboration: Students with speech disorders were offered innovative ways to design and skilfully use technology tools. Canva helps students with different abilities and supports them in becoming creative. In this study, students demonstrated excellent communication skills, used appropriate eye contact and posture, and actively listened during the face-to-face class. To enhance communication, they used body languages such as sign language, facial expressions, and lip-syncing. They understood how to show empathy, build relationships, and acknowledge emotional responses (Figure 4).


Figure 4: Second group project.

Afacan Adanır et al. discussed the results of their study, which found that Turkish learners perceive communication tools, online exams, and text-based course notes to be the most useful for e-learning and found that online group activities and wiki pages were not useful [39]. On the other hand, Kyrgyz learners perceived interactive materials, online exams, and social media tools to be the most useful for e-learning. In the current study, students enjoyed communicating by using technology tools in the hybrid course. Each student showed similarities and differences in how their projects benefited from the use of online resources and activities. As a group, they interacted well when the instructor assigned the final group project (Figure 5).


Figure 5: Third group project.

Active learning was reflected in the students’ experience and collaboration in the learning process through Canva. The assistive technology in Canva helped students with disabilities through features such as speech-to-text and graphic organizers. Specifically, it helped students understand the course by allowing them to create what they understood. Grouping students together made it easier to share designs and folders online. It also allowed them to evaluate each other’s designs by liking, commenting, and editing. Their projects could also be shared outside of class using social media tools.

Learners’ engagement by creating projects in canva

In the current research, students participated in the Hybrid Graphic Design course, including online and F-2-F environments. Ong et al discussed how, when students engage in online learning activities, they become more motivated to learn and improve their performance [40]. Some students also enjoyed the interaction in the group project and learned better in groups. The researcher addressed the needs of students with disabilities by considering the Canva hybrid course as a collaborative tool in face-to-face and online settings. The students responded positively when the instructor conducted the group project. They cooperated well and completed the project on time. They also showed their satisfaction by smiling at the instructor or their classmateand thanking them with sign language.

Furthermore, they had the skills and knowledge to understand what needed to be accomplished in the classroom. They felt confident and interested as they drew their sketches before using the Canva tools. After that, they engaged in learning using Canva’s images and tools. The students demonstrated intelligence, high motivation, and a strong knowledge base in art and design, with their life experience supporting their knowledge. All learners benefited from contextual descriptions that allowed them to understand the need-to-know fashion design content. They also responded positively to being treated with respect, which was evident in the instructor’s tone. As previously mentioned, the students experienced a positive effect on their satisfaction, motivation, and ability to persist and learn. Using Canva appeared to motivate and engage those with speech disorders.

Evaluating canva from the perspective of learners with speech disorders

The third research question is, “How do students with disabilities evaluate Canva as a tool in the graphic design course?” Data were gathered using a data collection tool (i.e., Google Forms) that included two main sections. The first section collected the demographic data of the participants, while the second section contained four main criteria. At the end of the questionnaire, there was an open-ended question about whether participants wanted to add important information about Canva, but all other questions were close ended.

The questions assessed whether the technology tools helped the students complete their studies. The four main criteria were access, usability and time management, privacy and intellectual property, and enjoyment. Each criterion had five questions. The participants chose from five responses are strongly agree, agree, uncertain, strongly disagree, and disagree. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software (Table 2). The Cronbach’s alpha values of the variables. The survey yielded promising results. Participants’ responses, ranging from strongly agree to disagree strongly, were analysed to gauge the effectiveness of Canva in facilitating learning for students with disabilities (Table 3).

Cri Score Percentage %
Strongly agree 5 100%
Agree 4 80%
To some extent 3 60%
Disagree 2 40%
Strongly disagree 1 20%

Table 2: The five-level Likert scale.

Variable Cronbach’s alpha Items
Access 0.876 5
Usability and time management 0.871 5
Privacy and intellectual property 0.955 5
Enjoyment 0.928 5

Table 3: Cronbach’s alpha values of the variables.

Access: The results show that Canva is indeed a valuable tool for these students. The criterion of access received a remarkably high score, indicating that the technology tools offered by Canva support students’ educational endeavours. This emphasizes the importance of inclusive design that ensures equal access for students with disabilities. In evaluating the ability of the technology tools to support students in their studies, the criterion of access was scored accordingly, and the results are presented in Table 4.

Statements SA   A   NS   D   SD   M Standard Deviation
F % F % F % F % F %  
The tool was accessible for Windows and Mac users. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.92 0.7
The tool/product of the tool was viewable in a variety of web browsers. 10 75 5 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.91 0.5
The tool provides options that support users with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). 11 79 4 21 0 0 0 0 0   1.72 0.5
The tool has a website and mobile app. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.51 0.7
The tool has been around for a while. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.21 0.5

Table 4: Scores for the access criterion.

Usability and time management: The usability and time management aspect also received a high score, showing that Canva supports the efficient completion of tasks and the effective use of time. This means that the platform’s features are well aligned with students’ needs and enhance their learning experience. The results of the evaluation of the ease of use and time management criteria are shown in Table 5.

Statements SA   A   NS   D   SD   M Standard Deviation
F % F % F % F % F %
Have to create an account to use the tool 10 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.92 0.731
The tool is easy to use. 11 75 2 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.91 0.544
The tool allows working anytime and anywhere. 10 79 0 21 0 0 0 0 0   1.72 0.502
The tool has a robust and easy-to-use Help section. 10 100 3 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.51 0.703
Anything has to be downloaded and installed on the computer to use the tool. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.21 0.503

Table 5: Scores for the usability and time management criterion.

Privacy and intellectual property: The privacy and intellectual property criteria scored impressively high. This suggests that students benefit from Canva’s functionalities and are conscious of safeguarding their creative output and ideas. This awareness reflects the platform’s efficacy in fostering responsible use and understanding of intellectual property rights. Privacy and intellectual property as a criterion was scored, and the results are shown in Table 6.

Statements SA   A   NS   D   SD   M Standard Deviation
F % F % F % F % F %  
The tool allows you to restrict access to your work. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.82 0.731
The tool protects your data (e.g., the email address given when the account was created). 13 75 3 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.91 0.544
The tool allows you to retain sole intellectual property rights to the content you create. 15 79 5 21 0 0 0 0 0   1.72 0.504
The tool allows you to determine the copyright status of the content you created. 10 100 5 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.41 0.703
 You can save a copy of the product to your desktop for archival purposes. 0 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.2 0.502

Table 6: Scores for the privacy and intellectual property criterion.

Enjoyment: Equally encouraging is the high score in the enjoyment criterion, indicating that students derived pleasure and engagement from using Canva in their coursework. This positive feeling improved their educational experience and fostered a more productive and enjoyable learning environment. The high reliability of the survey variables, as evidenced by the high Cronbach’s alpha values, underscores the credibility of the results. These values underline the consistency and robustness of the measured criteria and confirm the conclusions of the survey. Enjoyment as a criterion was measured, and the results are shown in Table 7.

Statements SA   A   NS   D   S0044   M Standard Deviation
F % F % F % F % F %  
The tool allows you to be creative during the learning process. 15 100 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.47 0.746
The tool allows you to demonstrate creativity in the learning product. 9 75 3 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.81 0.602
The tool provides opportunities for different types of interaction (visual, verbal, written). 4 79 3 21 0 0 0 0 0   1.72 0.503
The tool increases the perception of connectedness. 1 100 4 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.61 0.704
The tool encourages collaboration. 15 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1.21 0.503

Table 7: Scores for the enjoyment criterion.

In conclusion, the survey results strongly suggest that Canva is an effective, user-friendly tool that significantly benefits students with disabilities in the graphic design course. The positive outcomes across the access, usability and time management, privacy and intellectual property, and enjoyment criteria highlight Canva’s multifaceted contributions to inclusive education. The results underline the practical use of the tool and show that students are aware of ethical considerations, such as the protection of intellectual property. This holistic assessment positions Canva as a recommended resource that provides enhanced learning experiences for students with disabilities in graphic design. At the end of the questionnaire was one open-ended question: “Do you want to add other information not mentioned previously about using Canva in the course?” The following quotations are representative of the students’ responses to that question.

• “Canva was easy to access and convenient to use. In addition, students mentioned that they didn’t need to download the software. They liked the Canva app because they had it in their mobile and it was easy to access anytime and anywhere.”

• “Canva was a limited free tool, but Canva pro included all of the features such as unlimited templates, design elements, and access to all images.”

• “It was an impressive tool that could change the learning process and transform how education was imparted online and in the classroom.”

• “Learners with disabilities who joined the course had optimistic feedback and demonstrated satisfaction, indicating that the tool improved their overall learning experience.”

• Based on our research findings, the following recommendations are made for higher education institutions that provide art and design curricula and degree programs to benefit those with learning disabilities:

• Integrate different types of web-based instruction in art and design courses.

• Train art and design faculties in the use of websites and mobile apps.

• Allow students to explore their design capabilities in the art field by using computer software and websites.


The findings of this mixed methods research revealed that students’ use of Canva facilitated their acquisition of art and design media technology skills and improved their communication, time management, self-direction, and emotional and behavioural regulation. These results have implications for educators wishing to promote the engagement of students with disabilities using technology tools. This study has some limitations. First, the methodological approach involves the use of a new teaching method. As the study was the first in which Canva was used in an art and design course, the students had to understand it first. Secondly, the location was a small town in Saudi Arabia, and the group of students with special needs who agreed to participate was small. The researcher realized that individual interviews were more appropriate than questionnaires in collecting data because they could provide more information about the subject. However, the researcher chose questionnaires instead of individual interviews because the participants were students with speech disorders. It was not easy to communicate with students without the assistance of a teacher with sign language skills. Other studies could interview students using a sign language interpreter.


Citation: Alsuwaida N (2023) Using Web-Based Instructional Tools in Graphic Design Projects of Students with Speech Disorders. Review Pub Administration Manag. 11:430.

Copyright: © 2023 Alsuwaida N. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.