Archives—September 2014

Canvas Gradebook: Ungraded or Zeros?

It’s important for faculty to understand how the Canvas gradebook treats ungraded assignments. By default, ungraded assignments are NOT included in any assignment total calculations. This means that when assignments are left as “ungraded” (shown with a ‘-‘ dash), they are treated as if they never happened. At first glance, this may seem problematic, but Canvas is really designed to allow faculty to enter assignments well ahead of when grades exist. Many faculty members enter assignments for the whole semester right at the start, which builds a nice calendar and set of reminders for students as due dates approach. Not including upcoming ungraded assignments is done by design, but Canvas assumes that for any past assignments some score will be entered – even if that score is zero.

Some of you may have noticed an option called “Treat ungraded as zeros” on the Gradebook Options menu (gear tool) in your gradebook. It should be emphasized that while choosing this option does show the INSTRUCTOR how things would look if all ungraded assignments were zeros, it does NOT “stick” when you leave the gradebook, or affect what is seen by students. It’s therefore important to actually enter a zero grade when a student doesn’t complete an assignment, rather than to leave it ungraded.

For large classes where missed assignments are common, there is a short cut. In the dropdown list of any gradebook column, you can use the “Set Default Grade” option to enter zeros for any ungraded assignments. (See How do I set a default grade for an Assignment? via the link below) Best practice, then, is to make sure that zeros get entered along with other scores, leaving no “ungraded” dashes once an assignment is complete in your course. You can watch an eLearning screencast for a video demonstration, link to directions for setting a default grade, and see where to access your Gradebook Options Menu on this page.

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.

GRADEBOOK OPTIONS MENU, JACKSON CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING (CTL)


Notification and Communications Preferences in Canvas

You and your students can control the destination and frequency of the notifications Canvas sends out to you.  Canvas pushes out notifications for a wide variety of activities and events that occur in a Canvas course.  Your notifications will come to your @mtu.edu email address right away by default, but you can edit how often these notifications come to you, and choose to get them somewhere else, like a text to your mobile phone, a tweet on Twitter, a message in Facebook or LinkedIn, etc.

NotifPrefsWith the explosion of social media and mobile electronic devices, we live in an increasingly connected world. Canvas understands that, and gives you a wide variety of communication options to keep you connected to your courses and your students.  Notification Preferences allow you to select how and when you want to be notified when various events occur within your course. This same functionality is extended to students, so they’ll be notified whenever there is a change in a due date, an updated assignment, or a message sent from within Canvas. You can access written documentation and information and watch the eLearning screencasts on eLearning’s Notifications and Communication Preferences page.

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 Draft State Features Now Available

Canvas has implemented a new Draft State feature set that allows instructors to publish or unpublish course content.  It allows instructors to hide access to course content by making it published or unpublished.  The unpublished feature is available in assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, and modules.  Unpublished course content is not visible to students and is excluded from course grade calculations. Imported content previously published in another Canvas course will be in the Published state in the new, destination course.  New assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, and modules created by instructors will be in the Unpublished state until the grey cloud is clicked to publish it.

Draft state has also added significant new user-interface elements in Canvas. One of the most noticeable of these is the new interface for the Pages tool.  When clicking on Pages from the course tools menu users will be taken to the Front Page of the course as before, but they will also have a View All Pages link in the upper left corner.  This will open a list of all the pages in the course, and allow instructors to publish or unpublish, edit the name, and designate which page is the course Front Page right from there.  Check out this link for

 Additional information and comprehensive screencast

Draft State screen