School of Health and Human Sciences

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Office of Educational Innovation and Design

Overview

Canvas is UNCG’s Learning Management System.  Like our Google Apps, it is frequently updated.  Fortunately, Canvas has excellent, specific, modularized documentation complete with annotated screen captures.  It is organized by function/tool.  Further, it is always up to date. To access this documentation, see the links below.
In addition to these links, we have created several “Tips” pages, which are listed in the menu above as sub-tabs under this one.

Canvas Documentation

Canvas Mobile Apps

For Instructors

Also see the Feature List for the Instructor Mobile Apps (pdf).
Here are some functions that are not available via the instructor mobile apps:

  • View Groups
  • Add Assignments
  • Add quizzes

For Students

Many students use their mobile devices to access Canvas. There are Canvas guides for students using the Canvas mobile app.

Also see a Feature List for the Student Mobile Apps (pdf).
Here are some functions that are not available via the student mobile apps:

  • View Peer Reviews (both in Assignments and Discussions)
  • View Collaborations

There is also a Canvas grading app for instructors.
https://guides.instructure.com/m/19294/l/296504-what-is-the-speedgrader-app

For details on its mobile app functionality, see this table of SpeedGrader Mobile Features.

New Semester Checklist

Note: Instructors may no longer add students to a course.  This is taken care of via the registrar.  You can however add a TA.

General Information

In the Canvas left navigation, click Courses, then All Courses.
Star the courses you wish to display, click to unstar any starred courses you wish to remove from the Dashboard.

Chrome is the preferred browser, with Firefox as a second choice. Do not use Internet Explorer or Safari.

Canvas supports the most current version of a browser or one version back.

To update your Chrome browser:

  • Click the 3 vertical dots  in the upper right hand corner.
  • Click Help.
  • Click About Google Chrome.
  • If there is an update available, it will automatically install.
    You will need to restart Chrome but your browser windows will restart without requiring you to login again.

To update your Firefox browser:

  • Click the hamburger iconhamburger in the upper right hand corner.
  • Click the question mark at the bottom.
  • Click About Firefox.
  • Click check for updates.

When your browser history/cache gets full, it will not access the latest version of a web page.
Clear your browser cache at least every two weeks.

To clear your browser cache in Chrome,

  • Click the 3 vertical dots  in the upper right of the browser.
  • Click History > History > Clear browsing data.

To clear your browser cache in Firefox (Version 58 and later),

  • Click the View history… icon  in the upper right of the browser.
  • Select History > Clear Recent History > Everything (in the drop down menu) > Clear Now.

Published/Unpublished/Concluded Course States

  • An Unpublished course is not available to students.
  • Students will not receive Announcements sent by the instructor.
  • Students will not receive Notifications about any changes made to a course in this state.
  • All course materials and activities that an instructor has made available are accessible to students.
  • A course may be Unpublished again until there is a graded student submission, but not after that.
  • Neither instructors nor students may participate (=add anything to the course, take quizzes, post discussions, etc) in a concluded course.
  • Instructors and students can view anything set to be available in the course.
    For example, students can view their grades and submissions.
  • Suggestion: make desired areas of the course unavailable.
  • An instructor must re-open a course to enroll another faculty member.
  • At UNCG, all courses from a semester are automatically concluded two weeks after semester commencement.

Course Settings

Warning! Under course settings on the right, clicking Reset Course Content will delete everything in your course. Do not do this unless you really want to.

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Navigation tab.
  3. The top set of links on this page are enabled. The links beneath “Drag items here to hide them from students” are disabled.
  4. To disable an enabled link, either
    1. click and drag it below “Drag items here to hide them from students” OR
    2. click its gear and select Disable.
  5. To enable a disabled link, either
    1. click and drag it above “Drag items here to hide them from students” OR
    2. click its gear and select Enable.

Note: commonly, disabled items will be grayed out in the instructor view. However, in a new course, course menu items which have nothing underneath them (for example, if you have sent no Announcements yet), will also display grayed out.

By default, students are unable to comment on Announcements. To turn this on:

  1. Click Settings
  2. Select Course Details tab.
  3. Scroll down, and at the bottom, click more options.
  4. At the bottom of the page, uncheck Disable comments on announcements.
  5. Click Update Course Details.
  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Navigation tab.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom.
  4. Click the gear next to WebEx and select Enable.
  5. Click Save.

The following course menu links are infrequently used. Disable these links so that students have less to deal with.

  • Outcomes
  • Files
  • Chat
  • Conferences
  • Collaborations
  • Attendance

If the following are not being used, disable these as well.

  • Modules
  • Pages
Note: students do NOT have access to course settings.

There are some default course settings that you may wish to modify. For example, students have the ability to create their own Discussion topics (as well as edit or delete their own posts) and create their own Canvas groups.
To disable these settings.

  1. Click Settings and then select the Course Details tab.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click more options.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and check or uncheck the desired settings.
  4. Click Update Course Details.

Student View

It is possible see what students see as well as do what they do by entering Student View.

  1. Click Settings.
  2. In the top right, click Student View.
    Your Canvas course should be framed with a very pink border.
  3. You are now logged into your course as “Test Student.” Each course has its own Test Student.
  4. To leave Student View, click Leave Student View in the bottom right.
    If you submit an assignment, post a discussion prompt, or take a quiz and do not want these to remain in the course, click Reset Student before clicking Leave Student View in the bottom right.

Notifications

  • Canvas has a variety of notifications that each instructor and student can set for delivery immediately, daily, weekly, or never.  Set Notification Preferences.
  • These settings apply to all courses.
  • Instructors cannot set notifications for the students in their courses.
  • The default setting for Announcements is immediately.  Suggestion: use Announcements to communicate with your class and, in the syllabus, tell students not to change that preference.
  • For details on notifications see the Canvas Notifications pdf.

Course Size Limits

  • Currently, courses are limited to 1 GB per.
  • This does not include videos that are made using Canvas tools in the rich text editor which Canvas houses elsewhere.
  • Because courses are limited in size and Canvas itself is not a video server, it is suggested that videos be uploaded to your UNCG user space and then linked into your course.
    • There is an added advantage for doing this as YouTube will try to automatically close caption your video. Closed captioning for video is required.

Tips

Click a link in one of the categories below to open that tip’s content. Click the link again to close it.

Chrome is the preferred browser, with Firefox as a second choice. Do not use Internet Explorer or Safari.
Canvas supports the most current version of a browser or one version back.

To update your Chrome browser:

  • Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon   in the upper right of the browser.
  • Click Help and then select About Google Chrome.
  • Chrome should automatically update if needed.
  • If it does update, click the Relaunch button to the right.

To update your Firefox browser:

  • Click the hamburger iconhamburger in the upper right hand corner.
  • Click the question mark at the bottom.
  • Click About Firefox.
  • Click check for updates.

When your browser history/cache gets full, it will not access the latest version of a web page.
Clear your browser cache at least every two weeks.

To clear your browser cache in Chrome (Version 63 and later),

  • Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon   in the upper right of the browser.
  • Click History > History > Clear browsing data.

To clear your browser cache in Firefox (Version 58 and later),

  • Click the View history… icon  in the upper right of the browser.
  • Select History > Clear Recent History > Everything (in the drop down menu) > Clear Now.

See the ITS Canvas Mobile Page for links to information specific to your device.

  • In the Canvas left navigation, click Courses, then All Courses.
  • Star the courses you wish to display, click any starred courses you wish to remove from the Dashboard.
Unpublished: students cannot view the course and will not receive any posted Announcements or Inbox messages from that course.

Publish:

  • To publish, go to Home and click the Publish button in the upper right.
  • A published course is available to students and they will receive Announcements and Inbox messages.
  • Once there is a graded item in a course, it cannot be unpublished.

Concluded: neither instructors nor students can participate  in the course.

  • ITS concludes courses three weeks after the semster ends
  • An instructor must re-open a course to enroll another faculty member.
  • An instructor can restrict students from viewing a course before or after the term dates OR disable course navigation links so that students cannot access them. If you do not do one of these, students will still be able to access submitted work and tests via Grades or Assignments if you allowed that access during the course.
  • Canvas has a variety of notifications that each instructor and student can set for delivery ASAP, daily, weekly, or never.  Set Notification Preferences.
  • These settings apply to all courses.
  • Instructors cannot set notifications for the students in their courses.
  • The default setting for Announcements is ASAP.  Suggestion: use Announcements to communicate with your class and, in the syllabus, tell students not to change that preference.
  • For details on notifications see the Canvas Notifications pdf.
  • Configure Navigation Bar
  • It is not possible to rename Canvas navigation links or add other course elements to the navigation bar.
  • Currently, each course is allotted 1 GB of space. If you get close to that limit, it may be a good idea to clean out your Files area.
  • In general, it is NOT a good idea to upload video directly to Canvas. It is better to upload it to your UNCG YouTube space and link it into Canvas.
    Uploading your video to YouTube enables closed captioning and prevents you from using all the space allotted to your course.

To copy content from a Canvas course into a new course

  1. Navigate to the new course
  2. Click Settings in the new course’s menu
  3. Over on the right, click Import Content into this Course.
  4. In the Content Type drop down, select Copy a Canvas Course.
  5. In the Search for a course box, find the course whose content you want to copy
  6. Next to Content, either select All content or Select or Select specific content.
    Next to Options, note – most people do not select this option as it just adjusts due dates.

If you select All Content,

  1. Click Import.
  2. When complete, either refresh your browser or click Home.

If you select Select specific content, Click Import.

  1. Under Current Jobs, click Select Content.
  2. Check the boxes to the left of the content you wish to copy.
    Note that it is possible to click the arrows and open up each content area to select just parts of it.
  3. Click Select Content.
  4. When complete, either refresh your browser or click Home.
  • Access Student View.
  • Each course has its own Test Student.
  • Instructors can still see materials that are unavailable to students.
  • If you do something graded as a Test Student and do not want it to skew your Grades, click Reset Student before clicking Leave Student View.
  • Instructors cannot add students to Canvas courses. The registrar does this.
  • Instructors can add fellow instructors and TAs.
  • All course guests must now get a UNCG ID in order to be enrolled. Use the Canvas account request form for someone who will be working in a course for a significant period of time, i.e. a preceptor or community partner.

It is not possible to add people to a concluded course. It is necessary to request access for someone via the Submitting Non-Instructor of Record Enrollment Requests OR to re-open the course. To re-open the course:

  1. Click Settings in the course menu.
  2. Click the Course Details Tab.
  3. Reset the course term end date to some time in the future.
  4. Check the box right below that says “Users can only participate in the course between these dates.”
  5. Scroll down and click Update Course Details.

To enroll someone

  1. Click People in the Course Menu.
  2. Click +People in the upper right.
  3. Enter the username, select the role, and click Next.
  4. Click Add Users. The added user will receive an email inviting them to join the course.

To conclude the course again

1. Click Settings.
2. In the Course Details tab, scroll down to the Term Ends text field.
3. Delete the date you set from the text field.
4. Uncheck the box next to “Students can only participate in the course between these dates.”
5. Scroll down and click Update Course Details.

See the link for the Request Canvas Organization form at the bottom of this page.

If a student has withdrawn from your course, you will still see that student listed under People and be able to check that student’s grades up to the point of withdrawal. This includes students whose course status is WF.

To find those students’ grades in the gradebook, click the gear in the upper right and select Show Inactive Enrollments.

Important: Withdrawn students cannot access the course at all. This means they can neither read nor participate.

Design and Content Tips

Important points

  • It is not possible to rename course menu items.
  • It IS possible to enable and disable them for students.
  • It is also possible to reorder them.
  • Finally, it is possible to add an external link to the course menu.
  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Navigation tab.
  3. The top set of links on this page are enabled. The links beneath “Drag items here to hide them from students” are disabled.
  4. To disable an enabled link, either
    1. click and drag it below “Drag items here to hide them from students” OR
    2. click its three vertical dots and select Disable.
  5. To enable a disabled link, either
    1. click and drag it above “Drag items here to hide them from students” OR
    2. click its three vertical dots and select Enable.

Note: commonly, disabled items will be grayed out in the instructor view. However, in a new course, course menu items that have nothing underneath them (for example, if you have sent no Announcements yet), will also display grayed out.

To reorder a link, either

  1. click and drag it to place it OR
  2. click its three vertical dots, select Move, select Before or After, and then select the desired menu item from the drop down. Click Move.
  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Navigation tab.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom.
  4. Click the three vertical dots next to WebEx and select Enable.
  5. Click Save.

When your new semester courses are built, their menus will have standard items enabled and disabled.  Disabling links you will not use makes your course cleaner and easier for students to navigate. The following are course menu items that many instructors do not use.

  • Outcomes
  • Conferences
  • Attendance
  • Chat

Other frequently disabled items:

  • Most instructors disable the Files area. Instructors prefer to control what documents students can view by linking them into a Module or a Page.
  • Many instructors are not using the Collaborate tool.
  • Instructors may or may not use the Syllabus tool.
  • If you are teaching a face-to-face course, you may not be using the following tools and may wish to disable them as well:
    • Discussions
    • Quizzes

If you have substantial course content residing elsewhere (in a Google Site or in WordPress) OR there is an important website associated with your course, you may wish to add it to the course menu so it is easily accessible wherever students are in the course. To do this

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Apps tab.
  3. Click the Redirect Tool.
  4. Click Add App.
  5. Under Name, provide the title of the Site to which you are linking.
  6. Under URL Redirect, enter the URL for the Site.
  7. Leave ‘Force open in new tab box checked.’
  8. Check ‘Show in Course Navigation’ box.
  9. Do not check the other boxes.
  10. Click Add App.
  11. Click Home. If the link does not display, refresh your browser.
    Note: sometimes it can take a couple of minutes for this link to display.
By default, a new course’s homepage is set to Recent Activity, also called the Course Stream. It is possible to change this so that it displays any of the following:

  • a Content Page you create
  • Modules list
  • Assignments list
  • Syllabus

The following important course functions are accessible only via the Homepage. These items display on the right.

  • Choose Course Home Page
  • View Course Stream (allows you to return to Recent Activity)
  • View Course Analytics

Create Home Page

  1. Click the Pages course menu link.
    If necessary, click View All Pages.
  2. Click +Page (upper right).
  3. Enter content in the page and click Save and Publish.
    Note: a Page must be Published in order to be set as the Front (Home) Page.

Set Home Page

  1. Click View All Pages.
  2. To the right of the desired Home Page, click its three vertical dots and select ‘Use as Front Page.’
  3. Click Home in the Course Menu.
  4. Click Choose Home Page on the right.
  5. Make sure that Pages Front Page is selected.
  6. Click Save.
  1. Click Choose Home Page.
  2. Select an option. Click Save.

Important: the Canvas Page to be used for the Home Page must be set to ‘Use as Front Page’ under the Pages course menu link.

These three course design options are most frequently used.

  1. Modules by week or content/activity type.
    1. This is often used by instructors teaching face-to-face because they give their instructions in class.
    2. Modules are also useful for controlling content delivery (e.g., timed release of materials).
    3. Modules may contain Canvas Pages as well.
      Example: Information & Communications Technology
      This course has a simple Modules design with the Modules view set as the Home Page. Note that there are Canvas Pages included in the Modules but there is no link to Pages in the course navigation.
  2. All Pages (like a website) with links to content and perhaps Online Discussions, Quizzes, and Assignments.
    1. This option is often used by instructors of online courses since they need to provide clear and detailed instructions and explanations and want to provide everything that students need to do for a week in one page.
    2. Also, Pages provides more options for displaying a variety of media in one page.
      Example: HEA 612 Home Page
  3. A combination of the above in which Modules forms the backbone and Pages are used within the Modules.
    1. This option allows you to leverage the advantages of both options above.
      Example: Art Appreciation
      This course has a course Home Page with links to both other Canvas Pages (e.g. About this course, Getting started, Course student orientation) and to Modules (1-12). In addition, there are other Canvas Pages that are linked into the course modules.

Modules

To set the date and time to release a module

  1. Click the vertical dots to the right of a module.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. Check the Lock Until box.
  4. Click the calendar icon, set the date and time and click Done.
  5. Click Update Module.
  1. To the right of the title of the module for which you wish to set a prerequisite, click the three vertical dots.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. Click + Add preprequisite.
  4. Select the prerequisite module from the drop down menu.
    Note that it is possible to add more than one prerequisite module.
  5. Click Update Module.

Requirements are set within a module and must be completed before a student can move to the next module.
It is possible to add as many requirements to module items as you wish.

There are five types of requirements, depending on the content or activity selected, that can be set.

  • View (an item)
  • Mark as done (students must mark the item done before proceeding)
  • Contribute to the page (post to Discussions or add something to a Canvas Page made available to students)
  • Submit an assignment
  • Score at least a certain amount (on a quiz)

To do this

  1. To the right of the module title, click the three vertical dots.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. Click + Add requirement.
  4. Either select the default “Students must complete all of these requirements” OR
    Student must complete one of these requirements.
  5. Selecting the latter enables setting requirements on individual module items.
    1. Select the item in the left drop down menu.
    2. Select the requirement type in the right drop down menu.
    3. To set another requirement, click + Add requirement.
  6. When finished adding requirements, click Update Module.

To force students to move through Module requirements in sequential order

  1. Click the three vertical dots to the right of the Module.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Click Add Requirement.
  4. Click the box next to Students must move through requirements in sequential order.
  5. Click Update Module.
    Note: it is possible to set multiple requirements.
  • Pages have to be published before they can be linked to other pages.
  • There is no way to set an access date for a Page. It must be manually Published.
  • If a Published Page is unpublished, any links to that Page will break and must be recreated.

Canvas records changes to course Pages and enables reversion to earlier versions. To access Page History

  • Click the three vertical dots next to Edit on the Page the history for which you wish to view.
  • Click View Page History.
  • In the right sidebar, the revisions are listed by date, time and author. Click to view one of them.
  • When you click a revision, that version displays in the main content area and a link to Restore this revision appears just below the version in the right sidebar.
  • If you decide to leave the Page as is, just click the X to close the Revision History and return to the Page.
  1. Edit the Page you wish to enable access for students.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click open the Options drop down.
  3. Select Teachers and students (can edit this page).
  4. Click Save and Publish (if not already published).
  5. To withdraw student access, repeat the process above and select Only teachers.
  • All uploaded files (no matter where they are uploaded) are deposited in Files. The underlying concept is that uploaded documents reside in Files and are linked into Canvas somewhere (Modules, Pages, Assignments, Discussions, Announcements, etc).  Thus, most instructors disable their Files area so students do not have access to it.
    Exception: instructors teaching small face-to-face seminar courses may wish to use the Files area as a repository for the documents they wish to share with students and not build out any other area of Canvas.
  • Unfortunately, Canvas organizes all folders, subfolders, and documents in alphabetical order and this cannot be changed.
    Tip: if you wish to create a files or folder listing by week and apply a descriptive folder or file name, start each file or folder title with 01 for the first, 02 for the second, and so forth.
    Example: 01 Introduction to the course

There are multiple ways to upload documents directly to files.

  • In a folder on your hard drive, in an external drive, or in the cloud, select a file (or multiple files) and drag and drop them into the right section of the Files area.  When you see ‘Drop Items to Upload in the Files space’, release your mouse and the files will upload.
  • In the Canvas Files area, click Upload (upper right), select the documents you wish to upload and click Open.
    Note: if you have a zip file of documents, you will be asked if you wish to expand (extract) the file. Say yes.
  • In general, it is NOT a good idea to upload video directly to Canvas. It is better to upload it to your UNCG YouTube space and link it into Canvas.
    Uploading your video to YouTube enables closed captioning and prevents you from using all the space allotted to your course.

    • UNCG is also running ARC, which enables both screencasting and upload of video to your course. It has a closed caption function with a relatively high level of accuracy. See one of your ITCs for help with ARC.

If you have a good number of documents to upload, you may want to organize them into folders. This is particularly helpful if you copy and update your documents from one semester to another. This can be done by creating folders and subfolders.

Create folder or subfolder

  1. In the left pane under Files, click the folder or subfolder into which you wish to add a (another) subfolder.
  2. In the upper right, click +Folder.
  3. Type a name and click Enter.

Move folders and files

  1. Click and drag files and subfolders into other folders or subfolders OR
  2. Mouse over a file or subfolder.
  3. Click the three vertical dots to its right and select Move.
  4. Select the desired location and click Move.
  1. Mouse over the folder or file and click the three vertical dots to its right.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Type in a new name and, while your cursor is still in the name field,  click Enter.
  1. Mouse over the folder or file and click the three vertical dots to its right.
  2. Select Download or Delete.
    Note: Downloading a folder will create a zip file.

By default, uploaded files and newly created folders and subfolders are Published (available).

To modify access,

  1. Click the green check next to the file or folder.
  2. Select Unpublish to make it invisible to students.
  3. Select Restricted Access and then select either
    • Only available to students with link. Not visible in student files.
    • Schedule student availability. Set availability dates and times.
  4. Click Update.

Notes:

  • Setting the access for a document in Files determines the access for that file if it is linked into a Module and vice-versa.
  • If a file is linked into a Page or other area of Canvas and then the access to that file is set to Unpublished under Files, students will get a message that the file is locked.

Communication Tips

  • Announcements will be sent immediately as a Notification email and will also display under Announcements.
  • Click the Announcements link in the course menu and then +Announcement.
  • Note that you can delay posting, by checking the box and, using the calendar icon, set a date and time.
  • The default setting in Notifications for Announcements is Notify me right away.  Suggestion: use Announcements to communicate with your class and, in the syllabus, tell students not to change that setting.
  • Canvas has a variety of Notifications that each instructor and student can set for delivery right away, daily, weekly, or never.  Set Notification Preferences.
  • These are global settings and apply to all courses.
  • Instructors cannot set Notifications for the students in their courses.
  • For details on notifications see the Canvas Notifications (pdf).
  • Inbox is a messaging system that can be used entirely within Canvas or, via Notifications, via iSpartan email (or any other email or texting contact method an instructor or student has set under Account > Settings).  It is best used when communicating with an individual student or subset of students. For whole class communications, use Announcements.
  • Instructors choose to use Canvas Inbox or bypass it and use iSpartan.
    • If instructors choose not to use Inbox,  this needs to be communicated explicitly to students so that they will not use it.
  • Click the Inbox icon in the bottom left of Canvas.
  • More on Canvas Conversations.

Discussions Tips

Important: By default, students have the ability to create their own discussion topics and edit and delete their own posts. They are not able to attach files to discussions. Many instructors would like to change this.  This is done at the course level and applies to all Discussions topics in a course.

  1. Click Discussions.
  2. Click the Gear (upper right).
  3. Under Student Settings, uncheck
    • Create discussion topics.
    • Edit and delete discussion topics.
  4. Under Student Settings, check Attach files to discussions.
  5. Click Save Settings.

Specific Discussion topic settings

By default, there is no threading in Discussion topics. To enable threaded replies to a topic

  1. Edit the Discussions topic.
  2. Under Options, check Allow threaded replies.
  3. Be sure to scroll down and click Save.

Sometimes instructors want students to post before being able to view what their classmates have posted.  To do this:

  1. Edit the Discussions topic.
  2. Under Options, check Users must post before seeing replies.
  3. Be sure to scroll down and click Save.
  1. Edit the Discussions topic.
  2. Under Options, check Graded and further down enter a number of points.
    Note that it is also possible to select the Grade display in formats other than points.
  3. Be sure to scroll down and click Save.
  1. Click the Discussion topic.
  2. Click the third vertical dots in the upper right.
  3. Select Speed Grader. (How to use SpeedGrader.)
  1. Click the Discussion topic.
  2. Click the three vertical dots in the upper right.
  3. Select Add Rubric. (How to create a Rubric)
  • Group Discussions sets up a separate discussion area for each group within the same Discussion Topic.
  • Students can only access their own group’s Discussion Topic.
  • When grading, all group members get the same grade unless an individual grade is overridden in the Gradebook.

As an instructor, to embed an image you have created into a post, you will need to first upload it to your course Files area or to your Files area under your Account.  Students will need to upload their images in the Files area under their Account. Then,

  1. Click the desired discussion topic
  2. Click Reply to start a post.
  3. Click the Embed image icon  which is the fifth icon from the left in the second row in the rich content editor.
  4. Select the Canvas tab.
  5. Select a picture either under Course Files or My Files (for instructors) or under My Files (for students).
  6. In the Alt text box, provide a meaningful description.
  7. Click Update.
  8. Finish your post and click Post Reply.

Note: click the Flickr tab to upload a pretty image that is Creative Commons licensed and thus legal to use.

Note: when you upload images that do not add meaning to the content, check the Decorative Image box so the image will disregarded by screenreaders.

Important: A Published Discussion that is linked into an Unpublished Module will be unavailable to students even via the Discussions area.

Groups Tips

By default, students are able to create their own groups in Canvas.  To disable this:

  1. Click Settings
  2. Select Course Details tab.
  3. Scroll down, and at the bottom, click More Options.
  4. At the bottom of the page, uncheck Let students organize their own groups.
  5. Scroll down and click Update Course Details.

Set up groups under the People course menu link.
In the upper right, click +Group Set.
How do I set up a new Group Set?

Assessment Tips

New Course Grade Analytics LTI

Canvas Analytics Instructor Guides

  • Enable under Settings > Navigation tab.
  • Analytics menu link is viewable only to those with administrator, instructor, TA, or Designer access.
  • Updated every 24 hours; last time the data were updated is displayed on the page.
  • Course Grade is the first feature in the new Analytics Beta.
  • Average course grade is displayed in an interactive chart.
  • Comparison Filters:  compare average course grade with a specific section, student or assignment. Additional filters display in different colors and the menu (three vertical dots) provides chart display options (data table, display shapes, and download table as CSV).
  • Tab Filters: filter data by total students, those with missing submissions, those with late submissions.
  • Assignment Type Filters: default is to display all assignments; can filter by type (assignments, discussions, quizzes)
  • Card Data Details: click data point in graph to display average grade, missing submissions, late submissions, and grade distribution for an assignment.
  • Student Table: a student table displays below the chart or data table (whichever view is selected). It displays student name, average grade, percentage of assignments submitted on time, last interaction, and last activity time. Table columns can be sorted and number of students viewable in a page can be adjusted (5, 20, 50, ALL).
  • Download Table as .csv file.
  • Can message students whose grades fit a set grade percent range, percent of assignments missing, or percent of assignments submitted late.

New Gradebook  (Implemented 12/7/2018)

  • Updated, but still familiar, interface with more filters, such as filtering by assignment group or module.
  • Important: unpublished assignments display by default; to undo this, click View and uncheck Unpublished Assignments.
  • Ability to set and thus automate implementation of Late and Missing Policies.
    • Applies to all gradebook items. Cannot be set to a single graded item.
    • Does not apply to No Submission items.
  • To enable new Gradebook, go to Settings > Feature Options > click on New Gradebook. (pre 12/7/18)

New Grade Post Policies

Canvas Gradebook allow instructors to hide and unhide grades.  These policies can be applied to individual assignments or an entire course. Instead of manually muting or unmuting grades for an assignment, instructors can set a grade post policy to automatically hide or unhide as needed.

The new Grade Post Policies feature replaces the Mute Assignment feature.

To learn how to use the new Grade Post Policies feature, please see:

More information

Current Gradebook

  • ALL graded items display under Assignments. (Discussion and quiz items will also display in their respective areas.)
  • Configuration of the gradebook is determined by the organization of the graded items under Assignments.
  • A graded item must be Published in order for its column to display for students in the gradebook.
  • Any published graded items (quizzes, assignments, or graded discussions) that are linked into unpublished Modules are not available to students.

Important: click a link in one of the categories below to open that tip’s content. Click the link again to close it.

General Assessment Tips

  1. To enable weighting
    1. Click the gear in the upper right
    2. Check the box next to Weight final grade based on assignment groups.
    3. Ignore the Assignments percentage column for now.
    4. Click Save.
  2. Weighting grades is done by creating Assignment Groups.
    1. Click + in the upper right.
    2. Type a name for your Assignment Group and click save.
    3. Create as many Assignment Groups for weighting as you need.
  3. If you have already created assignments, you can drag and drop those assignments into their appropriate group.
  4. When you are finished creating your Groups, click the gear in the upper right and assign each group its weight.

To drop the lowest grade(s) from a group of graded items

  1. Create an Assignment Group per above and add the pertinent graded items to that group.
  2. Click the gear to the right of that Assignment Group and select Edit.
  3. Select number of scores to ignore for each student.
  4. Click Save.

Assignments

Assignments are created and display only under the Assignments course menu link. Unlike graded Discussions and Quizzes, they do not have a separate menu link.

To provide grades for an item with no student online submission, create a No Submission assignment.

  1. Click Create Assignment.
  2. In the Submission Type drop down, select No Submission.
  3. Be sure to Publish the assignment item so the column displays in the gradebook.
  4. Enter student grades in that column in the gradebook.
  • Use SpeedGrader in Chrome to grade student submissions.
  • To access SpeedGrader, click the assignment link under Assignments.
  • In the upper right, click SpeedGrader.

To allow a student or a subset of students to submit an assignment that has already closed in Canvas

  1. Edit the Assignment.
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom and click +Add.
  3. Click in the Assign to box and select students.
  4. Set the Available from and until fields and click Save.
  • After an assignment is created and saved, click the +Rubric link in the bottom left.
  • Create a rubric. (Scroll towards the bottom of the page to see how to create a new rubric after creating an assignment.)
  1. In the Assignments view, click the assignment.
  2. On the right under SpeedGrader, click Download Submissions.
  3. Canvas will create a zip file. This may take a little time depending on the number and size of submissions.
  4. When the zip file is created, there will be a link that says “Click here to download.”
  5. Click the link to download.
  6. Navigate to the zip file. Right click it and select Extract All.
  7. Comment and grade student files.
  8. Save each file but do NOT change the file names!
    Note: if you change the filenames, Canvas will not know how to redistribute the graded files appropriately.

For more details, see: How do I download all student submissions for an assignment?

Note: Do NOT change the student file names! If you do, Canvas will not know how to redistribute the graded files appropriate.

  1. Zip the files again. To do this,
    1. Go up a directory level where you can view the folder that contains the graded student submissions.
    2. Right click the folder and select Send To > Compressed file. This will create the zip file on the same directory level.
    3. In Canvas, click into the Assignments view, and click the assignment again.
    4. To the right under SpeedGrader, click Re-Upload Submissions.
    5. Click Choose File, navigate to the new zip file, select, and click Open.
    6. In Canvas click Upload Files. Canvas will automatically redistribute the correct graded files to each student.

For more details, see: How do I upload all student submissions for an assignment?

Quizzes/Surveys

  • Often a textbook publisher will have a test bank that comes in a format or with a software that enables direct upload to Canvas.
    • Consider consulting your ITC before trying to deal with this yourself.  It’s quite likely that we can save you significant time.
    • Note: please check questions in the test banks first. Not all questions are of good quality. Further, you may want to use a subset of question types (for example, for totally automatic grading, you may wish to omit short answer and essay).
  • If you are creating your own quizzes, please consult your ITC. You will be given an easy format in which to put your questions. Then the ITC can easily upload these to your course for you.
  • Instructions for randomizing questions.
  • Currently, the only way to randomize questions in a quiz is to pull those questions from a question bank.  However,  you may either inherit a quiz for which there is no corresponding bank or have created a quiz manually in Canvas which will not generate a corresponding bank.  There is a three-part workaround for this: export the quiz, import it back in as a question bank, and create a new quiz drawing questions from the question bank. This sounds complex, but it goes pretty quickly.
    See Create Canvas Quiz with Questions in Randomized Order (3:57).
  1. Under the Quizzes course menu link, click the link for the quiz.
  2. To the right, click Moderate This Quiz.
    Note: the quiz must be published in order for you to see this link.
  3. Click the pencil to the right of a student’s name.
    1. Type the number of minutes in the Extra time on every attempt box.
    2. Click Save.
  4. To change this for multiple students
    1. Check the boxes to the left of their names.
    2. At the bottom of the student list, click Change the Extensions for (X) Selected Students.
    3. Click Save.

NOTE: it is necessary to do this for each quiz individually.

  1. Under the Quizzes course menu link, click the link for the quiz.
  2. To the right, click Moderate This Quiz.
    Note: the quiz must be published in order for you to see this link.
  3. Click the pencil to the right of a student’s name.
    1. Type the number of attempts in the Extra Attempts box.
    2. If the quiz is set for one attempt, check the Manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt.
      Note: even if the quiz is closed, this will allow this student only to enter it again.
    3. Click Save.
  4. To change this for multiple students
    1. Check the boxes to the left of their names.
    2. At the bottom of the student list, click Change the Extensions for (X) Selected Students
      1. Type the number of attempts in the Extra Attempts box.
      2. If the quiz is set for one attempt, check the Manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt.
        Note: even if the quiz is closed, this will allow these students only to enter it again.
    3. Click Save.

By default, students are able to view their responses as well as the correct answers immediately after the submit their quiz. To disable one or more of these

  1. Edit the quiz.
  2. Under Options, uncheck Let Students See Their Quiz Responses.
  3. Under Options, uncheck Let Students See The Correct Answers.

Note: if Let Students See The Correct Answers is selected, then Let Students See Their Quiz Responses is automatically selected. This means that students would be able to share their answers but would not know which were correct until the date and time the correct answers were made available.

To do this

  1. Edit the quiz.
  2. Under Options, set a date and time in the Show Correct Answers at box.
    Important: because a student can enter the quiz up to 1 minute before the Available Until date and time, it is a good idea to set the Show Correct Answers date and time for the Availability Until date and time plus the time allotted for students to take the quiz.
  • Sometimes, you will find that the wrong correct answer is selected. The answer can be changed and all submitted quiz grades automatically updated IF the questions are multiple choice, multiple answer, or true/false.
    • This will not work for quiz questions drawn from a question bank.
    • It is not possible to add or delete answer choices from a question and use the regrade feature.
    • Regrade details.
  • Quiz statistics displays summary statistics as well as a graphic display of question breakdown.
  • In addition, it is possible to generate excel files for student as well as item analyses.

To access quiz statistics

  • Click the link to a Published quiz.
  • In the upper right, there will be a link for Quiz Statistics as soon as there are student submissions for the quiz.
  • Details on limitations and calculations for Canvas Quiz Item Analysis (pdf).

Note: quiz statistics will not work for quizzes of over 200 questions OR that have greater than 1,000 attempts.

  • A student’s quiz log displays the times and actions that a student took during a quiz.
  • Currently (August 2016) the quiz log is a beta feature.

To enable the Quiz Log feature in your course

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click the Feature Options tab (top right).
  3. Click the X next to Quiz Log to turn the option on and green.

To view the log for a quiz

  1. Click a quiz and go to the SpeedGrader.
  2. Select a student.
  3. In the upper right, click View Log.
  • It is never possible to view individual student survey responses. If you do wish to do this, create a zero-point quiz.
  • An ungraded survey will not create a column in the grade book; however, the Survey Statistics link will appear above the Moderate Survey link as soon as there are submissions.
  • A graded survey will create a column in the gradebook. It is also possible to grant points or just leave it at a zero. In either case, you will know that a student completed the survey. The Survey Statistics link will appear per above.

You may wish to copy a quiz or quizzes from one course section to another. Or, you may wish to copy a quiz within a course and then modify it, while keeping a copy of the original.
This video clip demonstrates how to do this.

Copy quiz within or across courses (2:47)

Gradebook

Configuration of the gradebook is controlled by the Assignments Course menu link. See the top of this page for further information.

Important: to ensure an accurate final grade at the end of a semester, be sure to change any grade cells with hyphens to 0.

By default, the final grade column displays in percent. If you are not weighting grades, you may wish to change that display to points.

  1. Click Grades in the course menu.
  2. Mouse over the Total column and select Switch to Points.
  • Total score column counts unsubmitted and ungraded assignment items as zero.
  • Current grade column ignores unsubmitted and ungraded assignments.
  • Any Assignment Groups created under the Assignment menu (for weighting grades, dropping grades, or just for organization) will display as subtotal columns in the gradebook.
  • It is not possible to delete these columns or to manipulate them in any way.

It is possible to exempt a student from a graded item with it affecting his/her final grade.

  1. Click in the grade cell.
  2. Type EX.
  3. Click Enter.

You may wish to delay releasing grades for an item until you have completed the grading. To do this you can “mute” the graded item.

  1. Mouse over the gradebook column.
  2. Click the down arrow and click Mute Assignment.

To release (unmute) the assignment

  1. Mouse over the gradebook column.
  2. Click the down arrow and click Unmute Assignment.

There may be times when you want to give all or almost all students the same grade for completion of a No Submission graded item.  An example of this might be engaging in a class discussion or handing in a worksheet. Instead of clicking in each grade cell, it is possible to set a default grade for a column.

  1. Mouse over the gradebook column.
  2. Select Default Grade.
  3. Type the grade in the box.
  4. Click Set Default Grade.
  5. If there are students who will not get this credit, scroll down and modify the grade in their grade cell.

Clicking the Export button in the upper right of the Gradebook will enable you to download it in CSV format.

Important to know:

  • The downloaded read only Current and Total scores reflect their behavior in Canvas. That is, the Total score treats unsubmitted gradebook items as zero whereas the Current score ignores unsubmitted items.
  • If you have added a Notes column to the gradebook, it will not be downloaded.
  • Complete/incomplete assignments are shown as full or no credit (e.g. 5 or 0).
  • For details, see How do I download scores from the Gradebook?

Click the Import button in the upper right of the Gradebook will enable you to upload your CSV file back to Canvas.

Important to know:

  • Any changes made directly in the read-only subtotal columns will be ignored by Canvas.
    • However, changes made in individual scores will be reflected in those subtotal columns.
  • You can create new assignment columns in the CSV file. They will upload to the Assignments group, No Submission, and Published.  This is a great way to add multiple No Submission assignments.  It’s also an effective way to do However, if you want those assignments in a different Assignment group and/or set to Online Submission, this is likely not a time saver.
  • For details, see How do I upload changes to the Gradebook?

Turnitin

Two Options for Turnitin

As of Fall semester 2018, there will be two Turnitin tools:

  • Canvas Plagiarism Detection Framework – which integrates the plagiarism function and report into Canvas Assignments and SpeedGrader tools.
  • Turnitin   – which is what we have been using the last two years.

In a nutshell, if you use and like Feedback Studio, you may want to stay with Turnitin . Otherwise, you will want to switch to the Canvas Plagiarism Detection Framework, which is simpler and easier to use.

Tip:  To check a paper that was not submitted through Canvas, use the Direct Submit instructions.

Canvas Plagiarism Detection Framework

Advantages

  • All grading work is done in Speedgrader.
  • Students can see grade, originality report, and feedback created in Speedgrader under My Grades. Not necessary to click View Feedback link to get to Feedback Studio.
  • Supports group assignments.
  • Students can upload more than one file.

Video instructions to get started

Canvas Plagiarism Framework documentation by Turnitin

Turnitin LTI

Link to Turnitin Documentation for LTI

Turnitin Feedback Studio Walkthrough (2:57) – useful introductory overview.
In addition to plagiarism detection, it includes extensive grading functions (commenting, use of pre-existing comments and the ability to create and save new comments) as well as its own rubrics tool and peer review function.
There are also limitations (see below).

Getting Started Handouts

Options for using Canvas Assignments with Turnitin

  • Create a Turnitin assignment using the plagiarism function only. Use Canvas SpeedGrader to grade.
    Students will be able to view their grade, originality report, and feedback via Grades.
  • Create a Turnitin assignment and use it for both its plagiarism function and for grading.  Grades applied via Turnitin will display in the Canvas gradebook.
    Important! Students can view only their  grade via Grades.  They must click the Assignment in order to access originality report and any instructor feedback.  Clicking View Feedback displays the Speedgrader view instead.

Note: Peer Review can be done either using Canvas Peer Review or Turnitin Feedback Studio.
A rubric can created in either tool and applied to their respective Peer Review functions.

For Instructors

Turnitin Assignment Creation

Turnitin Similarity Reports (=plagiarism reports)

Turnitin Grading Interface and Navigation

Turnitin Commenting Tools

  • Instructor Commenting Tools (6:01) Explains quick marks (Turnitin pre-made comments), bubble comments (manually created by the instructor), and inline text (also created by the instructor).  See also the text instructions with screen shots.
  • Quickmark Manager enables instructors to
    • create, edit, or delete new QuickMark sets and/or comments within already existing sets
    • copy QuickMarks to other sets.
    • download / upload QuickMark sets to share with other instructors.
  • Rubrics and Scoring Assignments enables you to
    • create a standard, qualitative, or custom rubric
    • export / upload rubrics to share with other instructors

Turnitin Peer Review (PeerMark)

For Students:

Tips

  • Do not set an Until date in the Canvas Assignment as it will prevent students from viewing their feedback in Turnitin.
  • Do set a Feedback date under Settings in the Turnitin view of the assignment.
  • When a student clicks on an assignment, suggest that s/he click the link for the Turnitin assignment in the Assignment Dashboard. Opening this displays all of the dates set, number of points, as well as any further instructions you have typed directly into the Turnitin settings.
  • Turnitin has an optional setting to enable grammar checking using ETS® e-rater® technology if you have students with writing challenges. When enabled, this tool will automatically mark these errors in student papers. To view these errors, click on the ETS service layer. Note that instructors can dismiss (delete) any ETS comments they wish.
  • After a student submits an assignment, s/he can download and save the digital receipt to keep a record of the submission.  To the right of the upload and download buttons, they can click the Digital Receipt icon digitalreceipt.

Limitations:

  • Turnitin does not support Canvas group assignments.
  • Students can only submit one file.
  • Students may resubmit a file if one of the two following options is set under the Turnitin assignment Settings > Optional Settings > Originality Report Generation and resubmissions
      • Generate reports immediately (resubmissions are allowed until due date)
      • Generate reports on due date (resubmissions are allowed until due date)
        It may take up to 24 hours for a new similarity report to generate.
  • By default, students cannot submit Turnitin assignments after the Due Date. To allow this, change this setting under Optional Settings. Note: Turnitin does not notify instructors that an assignment submission is late.
  • It is not possible to restrict student submission file types.*
  • Turnitin will not accept scores with decimal points.
  • To use a Canvas Assignment rubric for a Turnitin assignment, it is necessary to create and save a non-Turnitin assignment, create or add a Canvas rubric to it, then edit the Canvas Assignment again and set it up for Turnitin.
  • It is not possible to set more than one due date. It is not possible to set another due date (differentiated due dates) for a student late submission.
  • Canvas student view does not work in Turnitin.

*Turnitin supports the following files types: Text, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, Postscript, PDF, RTF, HTML, WordPerfect, Hangul, and OpenOffice.

Canvas Studio

Instructors can record or upload media and add questions to the timeline for students to address.  Studio enables text commenting and replies along the timeline of embedded audio and video.  Students can comment on the timeline.   Replies to comments do not display on the timeline but do display along with the timeline comments in threaded format below it.  If required, students can upload videos or audios to Canvas Assignments or Discussions for instructor feedback via commenting on the timeline.

Why use Studio?

  • Precision of commenting on the media timeline is like creating marginalia in print.
  • Upload, screencast, or record with webcam, and close caption media with one tool all in one place. (No need to use Screencast-o-matic or other additional tool, upload to YouTube and then link into your Canvas course.)
  • No time limit (though we recommend no more than 5-8 minutes per video).
  • Closed captioning is 85% correct. Corrections are easily made.
  • Studio, though a plugin, is built by Canvas.
  • Embedded self-assessed quizzing is coming.

Canvas and Studio

The Canvas and Guide contains multiple brief descriptively-titled  how-tos with screenshots.
See bottom of page for links to student instructions.

Notes

  • As of December 2019, Studio has moved from pilot to campus-wide implementation.
  • Studio is a standard feature in your course.
  • It is possible to add YouTube videos; however, any closed captions in the original video are disabled in Studio.
    See Closed Caption section below for awkward workaround for users.
  • Tech limitations

Use Cases

Instructor-provided Media

  • Instructors provide prompts at specific points on the timeline. Students respond to those prompts.
  • Students comment and/or ask questions on the timeline.

Student-provided Media

  • Students upload media to a Canvas Assignment; instructors provide feedback on the timeline.
  • Students upload media to a Canvas Assignment; other students peer review on the timeline.
  • Students upload media to a Discussion post; other students comment in discussions.

Handouts

  • Insights (Analysis of viewer usage) from the Canvas Instructor Guide
    Limitations:

    • If a user “skims,” as in listens to pieces of a video or audio the first time, this is recorded in Insights. No subsequent views are recorded. Thus, an instructor cannot really know whether that user returned and listened to the entire media file.
    • Further, it is not possible to tell if part of a video or audio was listened to repeatedly.
  • Closed Captions in Studio
  • Solutions for Closed Captioning Issues
  • Making YouTube Captions Appear in the Studio Media Player – an awkward workaround for the fact that closed captions for YouTube videos are not otherwise functional within Studio.

Student Instructions

Respondus

Creating questions one-by-one in Canvas can be time-consuming. Respondus enables the upload of whole quizzes and question banks to Canvas at one time, making it a significant time saver.  Important: Respondus is a Windows only application.
Important: Respondus does not work with Quizzes.Next.  Workaround: use it to upload to Quizzes and then migrate the quiz to Quizzes.Next.  Please see your ITC for information.

  • If you wish to upload a moderate number of quizzes, we ask you to format the questions a specific way and then we will upload the quizzes or banks to your Canvas course for you.
  • If you plan to use a large number of quizzes and wish to learn to use Respondus yourself, we would be glad to show you how.

Here are instructions for creating a questions file for upload to Respondus and then to Canvas.

Lockdown Browser / Respondus Monitor

As of February 2020, Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor were made available in all Canvas courses. The two parts are combined into the Lockdown Browser plugin, which can be added to the Navigation area by going to Settings –> Navigation –> Lockdown Browser

  • Lockdown browser is a plugin for your Quizzes and Exams. When a Student takes a Quiz with Lockdown Browser they are “locked in” to the Quiz. They will be unable to open another browser window – or do anything else on their computer – until they hit Submit in the Quiz.  Depending om your settings, they are able to leave the Quiz before submission, but must provide a reason for closing the Quiz.
  • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
  • Browser menu and toolbar options are removed, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Prevents access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops
  • Printing and screen capture functions are disabled
  • Copying and pasting anything to or from an assessment is prevented
  • Right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and task switching are disabled
  • Assessments that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers.

Information for Faculty

Lockdown Browser Overview Video for Canvas Link

How to Use Lockdown Browser for Faculty Video Link

Lockdown Browser Quick Start

Information for Students

NOTE: UNC Greensboro has it’s own unique link for Lockdown Browser / Respondus Monitor.   Students MUST download it from a Quiz that has it enabled in order to get to the correct instance. 

Link to the Student Guide for Lockdown Browser

Respondus Monitor

An additional feature included with Lockdown Browser is Respondus Monitor.  Respondus Monitor uses the student’s webcam to create a recording of the student’s behavior while they are taking the test.

  • Students use a webcam to record themselves during an exam.
  • A “startup sequence” guides them through requirements selected by the instructor, such as showing identification or making a short video of the exam environment.
  • Only the instructor can review video recordings and the results of the proctoring session.
  • Powerful analytics are used to detect suspicious behaviors during an exam session. Video segments with potential exam violations are flagged for the instructor, with an overall risk level assigned to the exam session.

Link to Respondus Monitor Resources for Faculty

Link to the Student Guide for Respondus Monitor

UDOIT

UDOIT is the Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool,  which can help faculty identify accessibility issues in Canvas course content. With the click of a button, UDOIT scans a course, generates a report, and provides resources on how to address common accessibility issues.

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Files
  • Pages
  • Syllabus
  • Module URLs

UDOIT is added to the Navigation area and run from there.  For more information, follow this link to the UDOIT help document