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Using Canvas

Designing Your Canvas Course

If you are enrolled in a course as an instructor, the Course Home Page is the first page students see when they open the course. The Home Page also helps students understand how they can navigate through the course. You can customize the Home Page to create a specific workflow for your students.

To learn more about the Canvas Home Page click here.

You can change your Course Home Page to reflect one of five layout options: the Recent Activity Dashboard, Pages Front Page, the Course Modules, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus. Learn about Course Home Page options clicking here.

As an instructor, you can control which links appear in Course Navigation. By default, all links are enabled for all courses. Please note that links cannot be renamed.

Links to sections that don't have any content and that students cannot create content for will not be shown to students and will be faded for your view. For example, if there are no learning outcomes set for the course, you will see the faded Outcomes link, but students will not see the link at all. Configured External Apps may create additional Course Navigation links. Learn more by clicking here.

You can add a URL link to your Modules.

Note: When you link to an external URL in a module, the content is embedded in an iFrame for easy viewing. An iFrame embeds another browser window inside the current window. However, some sites have disabled embedding and require users to open the content in a new window, so if possible add your external URL with https:// so it loads for students as a secure page. Find out more by clicking here.

The Syllabus in Canvas makes it easy to communicate to your students exactly what will be required of them throughout the course in chronological order. You can also set the syllabus as your course home page.

You can choose to make your syllabus public so that people who aren't enrolled in your course can view more information about the course. A public syllabus can be viewed as part of a private course when you send a link to a student, or if the course is listed in the public course index. Learn more by clicking here

Editing the Syllabus allows you to link files, images, other course content in your Syllabus Description by uploading them using the Content Selector. Learn more by clicking here.

Canvas lets you embed video content within a Page. Learn more by clicking here.

Files are where you upload course files, syllabi, readings, or other documents. As an instructor, you can lock the folders so students cannot access your files. Files can be placed in Modules, Assignments, or Pages. Files and folders are put in alphabetical order and cannot be rearranged.

Canvas users will find access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different places:

  • Personal files, located in each user's profile (students, teachers, and TAs)—View a video about personal files
  • Course files, located in each course (students, teachers, and TAs unless files are locked by the teacher)—View a video about Course Files
  • Group files, located in each group (students and teachers who are enrolled in groups)

You can find out more about Files by clicking here.

Users can edit permissions for files, including setting the state of the file (published or unpublished), make files available to students who have the link, or schedule availability dates for the files.

When the link restriction is set (only available to students with the link), the file can only be viewed if they are given the link to the file. However, this option only allows files to be hidden from students in Course Files. This functionality is not valid outside of the Files feature. For instance, if a file with a link restriction is added to a Module or Assignment, the file can always be viewed by students.

When the student availability date restriction is set, students can view the name and information for the file. In addition to Course Files, files with an availability date restriction can be viewed anywhere in Canvas (such as when the file is added to Modules or Assignments), but the file will be locked and they cannot view the actual file until the specified date. Please note that this option does not apply to media files; students can always view media files regardless of availability dates, but they cannot download the files.

Note: You can also restrict a file or folder as part of setting usage rights for files or setting usage rights for folders.

Learn more about locking files and folders by clicking here.

As an instructor, you can control which links appear in Course Navigation. By default, all links are enabled for all courses. Please note that links cannot be renamed.

Links to sections that don't have any content and that students cannot create content for will not be shown to students and will be faded for your view. For example, if there are no learning outcomes set for the course, you will see the faded Outcomes link, but students will not see the link at all. Configured External Apps may create additional Course Navigation links.

Learn more by clicking here.

You can import ZIP files to Canvas through Files or Course Settings.

Through Course Settings, you must upload the ZIP file to an existing folder in Files. You cannot create new folders through the Course Import Tool.

If you do not know how to create a ZIP file, please consult your computer operating system's user guide.

Note: If you are using Usage Rights, you must set the file usage rights before the files can be published.

Learn more by clicking here.

Student View allows you to see the course as a student views it and create a Test Student for your course. You can activate Student View in your Course Settings. Learn more by clicking here.

If you have permission to publish your course, you can publish your course in the Course Home Page sidebar or in the Course Setup Checklist.

Notes:

  • Publishing a course is a course permission. If you cannot publish your course, your institution has restricted this feature.
  • A course will not be available to students until published.

Learn more by clicking here.

 

Assignments in Canvas

Assignments include Quizzes, graded Discussions, and online submissions (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.) Assignments in Canvas can be used to challenge students' understanding and help assess competency by using a variety of media. The Assignments page will show your students all of the Assignments that will be expected of them and how many points each is worth.

Assignments can be assigned to everyone in the course or differentiated by section or user.

Learn more by clicking here.

You can create assignments on the Assignments page. You can create an assignment shell, which is a placeholder for an assignment within an assignment group, or you can create an entire assignment with all the assignment details at the same time. Learn more here.

You lock an assignment in much the same manner as you lock any other file or folder in Canvas.

Simply navigate to the assignment you want to lock (under Assignments in the navigation menu). Then in the upper right corner, click on Edit Assignment.

To learn more about locking elements in Canvas click here.

You can create Assignment shells from the Calendar. Assignment shells are placeholders for the Assignment until you fill in the Assignment details. You can create varied due date Assignment shells via the Calendar too. Learn more by clicking here.

You can add your own questions to your quizzes. You can create various types of quiz questions. Individual questions can also be added to question groups.

Learn how to create an online quiz by clicking here.

Learn more about quizzes in general by clicking here.

A peer review assignment enables students to provide feedback on another student's assignment submission. Peer reviews are a tool that allows communication between students and can help students master the concepts of a course and learn from each other. Peer reviews can be assigned to show student names or display anonymously. Learn more by clicking here.

You can enable Turnitin as part of a new Canvas assignment. Turnitin is enabled on a per-assignment basis in Canvas. Turnitin uses your user role for authentication and uses your Canvas account to create and manage assignments.

Information on Enabling Turnitin can be found here.

Information about Managing Turnitin assignments can be found here.

Information about Changing Turnitin assignments can be found here.

More information about Turnitin and Canvas can be found here at Turnitin.com.

 

Grading and Responding to Work

Once you add assignment groups and add weights, you can change the weights via the Gradebook. Learn more here.

You can weight final grades based on the Assignment Groups weights. Learn more here.

As an instructor, SpeedGrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and even URLs as assignment submissions. Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.

To find out more about SpeedGrader click here.

General topics on SpeedGrader can be found here.

The SpeedGrader app for your iPad can be found on the iTunes store at this link.

 

Canvas App Center

Located in Account and Course Settings, the App Center is your gateway to powerful teaching tools that are easily integrated into a Canvas Account or Canvas Course. Find out more about the App Center by clicking here.

Find general topics covering External Apps (LTI) by clicking here.

The App Center is your gateway to powerful teaching tools that are easily integrated into a Canvas Account or Canvas Course. When you add a tool at the account-level, the tool will be available to all the courses in the account or sub-account. Find out more by clicking here.