Early Term Course Surveys in Canvas

Both the Provost and the University Senate (policy 505.1) advocate distributing an early term survey during the fourth or fifth week of the term to direct and improve instruction. This anonymous survey has traditionally been done on paper during class time, but it can also be done using Canvas.  Using Canvas saves class time, provides more legible feedback, and allows faculty to quickly see survey results and statistics.

The senate policy suggests two free response questions: “What about this course, or my teaching, is helping you to learn?” and “What could I change about this course, or my teaching, that would improve your learning?” Spring 2016 Canvas Courses contain a sample Early Term Survey for faculty to use as is, or modify and use. All you would have to do is publish the survey if you would like to use it as is. You can watch an eLearning screencast and look over the Canvas Instructor Guide’s Quizzes Chapter on our Early Term Surveys Canvas page, and faculty can stop by eLearning walk-in hours for help building surveys and quizzes in Canvas.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Canvas Assignment Group Totals are hidden along with Total Column

Your new, unedited Canvas courses created automatically each semester came by default with the option to “Hide totals in student grades summary” checked or enabled. This removed the scores in the Total column in your Canvas grade book from being displayed in previous semesters unless and until you, as the instructor of your course, chose to uncheck and disable this option so your students could see scores from your Total column.

“Hide totals in student grades summary” is still checked by default, but since a new product release initiated by Instructure in early January, having it checked also hides your Assignment Group column totals as well. Course instructors can view this option, along with others they may wish to know about and possibly modify, by clicking on Settings from their course navigation menu, and then the more options link at the bottom of their Course Details page. You can view more detailed directions at “How do I manage More Options in the Course Details tab?

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Canvas-iClicker Integration

Instructors using clickers in their classes this semester should make sure they are using the latest version of the iClicker software to take advantage of a more robust integration with Canvas. The latest version allows instructors to quickly sync student rosters and update student clicker registrations. Instructors can also quickly connect an iClicker class with Canvas by sharing their Canvas login credentials with iClicker. The software now allows the aggregation of session data (if desired) before uploading it to the Canvas grade book.

Make sure to download the latest version of iClicker software from the iClickers page of the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning’s website. This download package contains the custom Michigan Tech-Canvas integration files. An iClicker-Canvas software setup screencast and resources are also available.

Contact the Jackson CTL If you have questions about using clickers in your class, or if you need assistance setting up the software and integrating it with your Canvas course. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Respondus Test Bank Network Training

Respondus is offering a training webinar soon on how to create online exams from publisher test banks. The focus will be on Respondus 4 and the Respondus Test Bank Network — both of which Michigan Tech is licensed to use.  

respondus-logo-BG4CMSThis training session is offered twice a year and is always popular with faculty. Instructors come away with everything they need to save countless hours on exam preparation. Over 6,000 test banks from dozens of the leading publishers are available from the Respondus Test Bank Network.  There’s something for everyone!

  • Webinar:“Instructor Training: Using the Respondus Test Bank Network to Quickly Create Exams”Learn how to save time by creating online exams using official publisher test banks with Resondus 4.0. The session is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.
  • Wednesday, January 27, 3:00pm EST - Register
  • Thursday, January 28, 2:00pm EST - Register

Respondus 4.0 is available via our campus-wide license on all PC’s imaged by Michigan Tech I.T.  For more information whether Respondus is available on your machine, or can be, you can Contact Michigan Tech Support.

To Do List Links for Spring 2016 Canvas Courses

The new Canvas course shells for teaching Spring 2016 course are scheduled to be available by Thanksgiving break. Once the upcoming semester’s Canvas courses become available there are a few things many instructors and instructional staff often want or need to do in Canvas. We’ve included links to help you with a handful of them below.

You may want to Customize your Courses drop-down menu to add and remove courses from that menu both now and at the beginning of the new semester. Instructors at Michigan Tech can use the Combine Canvas Sections tool on the CourseTools page to combine two or more BANNER sections into one Canvas course. You’ll want to do this first before doing any building or importing, and be sure to choose “YES” to both of the options you are presented with when using the Combine Sections tool. Go to Combining Canvas Sections for directions. If you would like to copy the content in one of your previous Canvas courses into a new Spring 2016 Canvas course, you can do that too. See Copying Content from Another Canvas Course to find out how. If you would like to enroll a TA, additional instructors, etc. into your course, see Adding New Users to your Canvas Course. And finally, you will need to Publish your Canvas course in order for your students to be able to see and access it.  See How do I publish my course? for directions. You can also check out the new  Michigan Tech Course Set-Up Directory, on the temporary home page of all new Canvas courses created for Spring 2016 courses.

You may just want some help or information, and the best place to start is Canvas One Stop.  From there you can Contact Support, find out about eLearning Walk-in Hours for face-to-face help, get quick links to online help resources, and more. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Submitting Grades via Banner or Canvas and Coursetools

Instructors have two choices for submitting grades. They can be submitted electronically either via Canvas and CourseTools, or via Banner Self Service.  Banner Self Service is the simpler of the two systems. Instructors can simply type their grades directly into BanWeb, click submit, and be finished.

Grade submission through Canvas requires just a couple more steps. It is often most beneficial for larger classes, and for courses where grades are already entered in Canvas or another spreadsheet program.  Grades need to be entered or uploaded in Canvas first, and then extracted from Canvas and submitted to Banner using the Grade Wizard on “Coursetools.” Those who have the correct letter grades for their students in their Canvas Total column can choose that column in the first step of the Grade Wizard, so there’s no longer any need to copy scores out of the Total column, unless you want to “tweak” them.

Information and instructions can be accessed on eLearning’s Grade Submission Information & Resources page. Instructors and instructional staff can also attend one of the two grade submission workshops, and as always, can contact support, get online help, and utilize our eLearning Walk-In Hours for Canvas help, all available on Canvas One Stop. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Revised Front Page in upcoming Spring 2016 Canvas Courses

A change has been made to the Front Page that will be used to create the new Canvas courses for Spring semester 2016.  This change has been implemented in order to provide a more resource-rich tool for instructors to utilize when starting to build their new courses for the upcoming semester.

It is important to note that this new front page is just a resource and cannot be used as the front page students will see in their Canvas course unless you delete all the content on it first.  Instructors will find the new front page simply contains links to help them pursue whichever home page option they choose before deleting the content on that page or simply deleting that page.  Many, if not most, instructors never actually used the current Front Page template because they simply used the Front Page they imported from one of their other Canvas courses, or used modules or the assignment list as their course home page.  Links to help instructors pursue any of those options can be found on the new course Front Page. Also, those who wish to use the front page template that contained the instructor information table will still be able to access and use it.  A link to a new resource we have created called the Michigan Tech Course Set-Up Directory can also be found on the new Front Page.  Follow the link to take a look at a copy of the New Front Page for Canvas Courses, and try out the resources on there that you might use, in advance of new Spring 2016 course creation.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Enable, Create, and Edit Letter Grading Schemes in Canvas

Canvas uses Letter Grade Schemes to associate letter grades with a certain percentage range, and those ranges can be chosen and managed by instructors. If you haven’t made any changes yet, your Canvas courses will have a Default Final Column Grade Scheme enabled to work with the Total Column in your gradebook. This is known as the course grading scheme. The Default Final Column Grade Scheme is also attached to the “Final (Course Grade)” Assignment and gradebook column.

You can find out how to enable or not enable a course grading scheme on the page linked below, so you can choose whether or not your Total column also displays letter grades along with percentages. You can also find out how to hide or reveal the Total column from your students there. You may want to be able to use your own grading scheme, instead of the default one, as a course grading scheme, with various grade columns and assignments, or with the Final (Course Grade) Assignment and gradebook column. For more information and directions, refer to our Enable, Create, and Edit Letter Grading Schemes in Canvas page to access an eLearning screencast, Instructure Guides, and more.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Differentiated Assignments by Individual in Canvas

In Assignments, instructors now have the flexibility to differentiate assignments between individual students and select which students are required to complete specific tasks. When creating or editing an assignment, instructors can specify whether the assignment should be for everyone in the course, for specific sections, or for select individual students. Only the section(s) or student(s) specified in the assignment details can view the assignment. Varied due date functionality remains available for each assignment. This feature can also be used with the existing ability to create an assignment by section. If the assignment is not created for everyone, Canvas will notify the assignment creator that course sections have not been added to the assignment.

When instructors view their Gradebook, assignment grade cells are grayed out for students who have not been included in the assignment. Assignments that are not assigned to a student are not factored into the student’s overall grades, and cannot be seen by those students on the assignment list or accessed from other links. On the student grades page, students can only view assignments that are assigned to them, either individually or as part of a course section.

Follow the link to access an illustrated guide to Differentiated Assignments by Individual. You may also want to check out our previous tip on Varied Due Dates in Assignmentsto find out more about using them in conjunction with differentiated assignments.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Enabling Course Feature Options in Canvas

Canvas is continually creating new features and changing or modifying others every three weeks as part of Instructure’s attempts to continually improve the user experience. The majority of improvements and changes simply become part of Canvas as part of their regular release cycle. However, some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term and will be placed in your Course Settings as a Feature Option. This allows the instructor to be able to learn about these features at their own pace by enabling or not enabling the new feature. After a specified period of time, Feature Options will become standard features in Canvas.

We’ll be discussing new features you can choose to enable or not In future weekly tips. You can find out how to enable available new features in your Canvas course at How do I manage new features for my course? You may also want to check out What Feature Options are currently available for my Canvas course? to find out more about course feature options in Canvas.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.