Online Learning

Canvas faculty notes and tips

  1. You can get any of your Canvas questions answered by calling Canvas directly. LPC has paid for an 18-month contract that gives students and faculty 24x7 access to Canvas. The toll-free phone number is 1-844-600-4956. This phone number is in the Help menu in Canvas.
  2. There is also a Search the Canvas Guides link in the Help menu. You might want to use these before calling Canvas.
  3. Bookmark the Canvas login page, so you don't have to rely on the LPC web site to get to it. That way, if the LPC site goes down, you can still get to Canvas. Tell your students to do the same.
  4. Chrome is the preferred browser for Canvas.
  5. The Canvas training page on LPC’s Online Learning web site has lots of resources for instructors, including a link to the Canvas Instructor Guide should you need it.
  6. The main Canvas page on the above web site has resources for students that you can link to from within your courses.
  7. Make sure any images in your courses can be seen by students. If you did not participate in the cleanup service provided by Canvas, your images could be broken because of the migration from Blackboard. Even though you might see the images in your courses doesn’t mean that students can. Your images might be cached, or saved, on your computer. If you see broken images, obviously, neither you nor students will see them. If you see images just fine, check them by clearing the cache, or history, in your browser, and try to view them again. If the images are broken, you will need to add them back in. Another way to check is to copy the image URL, open a new tab in your browser, and paste that URL in there. If the URL is very long and/or contains the word “blackboard”, it’s broken. If the URL is brief and is in this format, it’s good:
  8. Those of you teaching online courses should email your students to let them know their courses are in Canvas, not Blackboard, and how to access them. They can get to the Canvas login page by going to the Online Learning web site or they can go directly to the Canvas login page.
  9. You will need to publish your course before students can access it and before you can email students.
  10. Use the Validate Links in Content tool in the Settings of your course to check for broken links.
  11. The Canvas Teacher mobile app lets you manage your courses via an Android or iOS device. Learn more about the app.
  12. Canvas workshops are listed on the Professional Development Workshops page. You can register for a workshop or appointment.
  13. Since Canvas is cloud-based, bug fixes, enhancements, and new features can be easily added. Our system will be updated with them every three weeks. There’s a link on the Canvas training page, under Other important resources, called Canvas release notes that will keep you updated.
  14. LPC’s new online tutoring system, NetTutor, has been integrated into Canvas. It appears as a default item in each course’s navigation menu. Please encourage your students to use NetTutor.
  15. The CCC’s new web conferencing software, ConferZoom, has been installed in Canvas. It is not in your course navigation menu by default, but you can place it there by going to Settings – Navigation. If you are experiencing issues using ConferZoom, contact ConferZoom Support. Make sure you have created an account at the ConferZoom web site, not at the Zoom web site.
  16. The VeriCite anti-plagiarism service has been integrated into Canvas. Info and videos about VeriCite can be found on the Canvas Training page.
  17. Apps from major textbook publishers are installed at the global level, so you won’t need to this in your course.
  18. If you use a Canvas Page as your home page and want to display announcements on it, go to Settings (the Course Details tab), and click “more options” at the bottom. Choose to display announcements on your home page.
  19. When moving from one semester to another, you can either copy a previous semester's course content or export the previous course and import it into the new course. You can do all of these by going to Settings in a course. While in Settings, do NOT click the Copy this Course button on the right side; this tool creates a new course that your students will not be able to access.
    1. Learn how to copy a course.
    2. Learn how to export a course.
    3. Learn how to import a course.
  20. Hide the navigation links in your course menu that you are not going to use. If you use Modules to present content, good links to hide include Files, Pages, and Quizzes.
  21. It’s good practice to group your assignments, particularly if you weight grades or drop the lowest score.
  22. If you used Journals in Blackboard, you can use Google Docs because Canvas doesn’t have a journals tool.
  23. When emailing your class from the Inbox, hover over each listed class to see the class name class expanded. This ensures you are emailing the correct class.
  24. For those of you who teach Canvas courses that include merged sections, you might have noticed that your sections are named identically when you go to the Gradebook and click the drop-down for Showing All Sections. To name your sections individually, go to Settings – Sections – click a section – Edit Section – type in a section for Section Name – Update Section. Do not touch the text for SIS ID; this will cause damage to your course. Repeat the process for the next section. Choosing a section in your Gradebook allows you to see only students in a specific section.
  25. The Attendance Roll Call app in Canvas gives you the ability to take attendance. You can enable it by going to Settings – Navigation and dragging Attendance from the hidden table below to the table above to activate it.
  26. There are two ways to give extra quiz attempts to students, via Student Quiz Results and via Moderate Quiz. The latter also allows you to give extra time to students for timed quizzes, which is helpful to DSPS students. Learn how to use both tools.
  27. If you need to make an assignment available to just one student, edit the assignment, scroll to the bottom, click Add, then choose the student and set the due and availability dates.
  28. Make sure you understand how Canvas assignment due dates and availability dates work. You have the option of allowing students to submit assignments late or not. If you don't allow late submissions, the simplest thing is to make your due dates and Availability Until dates the same. Learn more about due dates and availability dates.
  29. If you include an essay question in an exam, you can attach a rubric to it, and grade student answers with the rubric. However, after you grade it and click Save, you will need to also enter that score into the points box for the question (as of now, Canvas won't do that for you), then click Update Scores.
  30. For students who do not complete assignments by the deadline dates, manually give them zeroes in the gradebook. If you leave their grade cells blank, those missing assignments won't count against them. Canvas has a feature in the gradebook settings called Treat Ungraded as 0. If you enable it, you will get the students' true scores, but the students won't get it when they check their grades. In other words, the zeroes are only reflected in the totals in your view, not theirs.
  31. All Canvas-related emails are posted to the LPC Online Learning updates blog as a reference for you to use, if needed.
  32. If you need to print anything in Canvas, do it from within Chrome; it seems to come out pretty good.
  33. When setting your Notifications, make sure to turn on Submissions Comments. This ensures that students' comments about their submissions get to you.

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Page last modified: September 20, 2017