Category Archives: CTL Tips

Getting your Canvas Gradebook ready for the End of the Semester

Whether you are getting your Canvas gradebook ready to use for final grade submission, hoping to give your students a clear and handy reference of how they are doing so far, or just have grades you want to get posted in Canvas, this is a good time to check and see if your Canvas gradebook is providing your students with the information you want them to see, and if you are using it to it’s fullest capabilities and as it was designed to work best.

A good first check is to make sure you have not left any assignments with due dates in the past ungraded.  Ungraded assignments (shown with a ‘-‘ dash) can cause misleading impressions of how well a student is doing for both the teacher and the student.  By default, ungraded assignments are NOT included in any assignment group total calculations or the total column, so you should enter a grade, even if it is a zero.  You can refer to Canvas Gradebook: Ungraded or Zeros? for more details and tips on this.

If you are planning to enter letter grades into your Canvas gradebook you will need to make sure you are using your own letter grade scheme used to translate those percentages into letter grades.  If you have not modified the default letter grade scheme installed as the course letter grades scheme to work with your Total column and also attached to the Final (Course Grade) assignment, it is probably not the same as yours.  See Enable, Create, and Edit Letter Grading Schemes in Canvas for more information.

Once you know your Canvas gradebook is calculating and displaying scores and grades accurately you may want to make sure your students can see those Assignment group totals and the Total column.  They are hidden by default so if you haven’t done anything to change that your students will not see them until you do.  See Totals in students’ grades summary hidden by default in Canvas Courses for more information and directions.

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.

New Interface for Adding People in Canvas

When manually adding a new user to a course, instructors can now benefit from an improved workflow process. This change clarifies how to manually enroll a user in a course and avoid unintentional enrollments. In addition to email address, users could always be added to a course by SIS ID or login ID, but the user window didn’t clearly show instructors how to use the alternative options. The enhanced workflow asks instructors to specifically select how they are adding a user: by email address, login ID, or SIS ID (login ID and SIS ID are the same here – everything before in their email address). For each search type, users can be entered manually into the search field, or multiple entries can be copied from a spreadsheet file.

An additional change to this process that we feel is a major improvement is that if an email address is entered, Canvas will search for that user among all Canvas users in the Michigan Tech system.  If Canvas is not able to find a match for that user, the instructor can add a name to associate with that email address and create a new user enrollment for the course. Once the user accepts the course invitation sent to that email address, the user would need to create a password, which will create an account for the user in Canvas.  This is how instructors enroll someone from outside of Michigan Tech into their Canvas course, but it also provides a safeguard against mistakenly enrolling a Michigan Tech user into a course if the email address is entered incorrectly.  You will now be notified that user was unable to be found in our system. You can find out more on Instructure’s How do I add users to a course? Canvas Instructor Guide.

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.

Totals in students’ grades summary hidden by default in Canvas Courses

The check box under the More Options link in Course Settings for “Hide totals in student grades summary” is checked by default.  This formerly just hid the scores and grades displayed in the Total column from students, but due to a product release change initiated by Instructure it now also causes the Assignment Group totals to be hidden.  Prior to this change even if you left the grades and scores in the Total column hidden from students, they could still see a current percentage score for each Assignment Group, giving them an easy way to quickly determine the percentage that would be displayed in the Total column anyway.

If you would like to display Assignment Group and Total scores and grades to your students, you will need to uncheck the box.  Directions for accessing it can be found at How do I hide totals in my students’ grade summaries?  Just be aware you are going there to “unhide” rather than hide these totals. While you are there, be sure to take a look at the other choices made for your Canvas course under the More Options link.  These default choices effect the behavior of discussions, announcements, and more, as well what grade information is displayed to students.

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.

New Options for Honorifics in NameCoach: Dr. and Prof.

Michigan Tech just recently added the NameCoach integration into Canvas.  This tool allows students, instructors, and TA’s to use the NameCoach Recorder to record an audio pronunciation of their names and select the pronouns, such as hers or him, and honorifics, such as Ms. or Mr., they wish to be used when referring to them.  The NameCaoch integration also provides the NameCoach Roster, where everyone can hear the recordings and see the selections made others in their class.

We received feedback from instructors and staff that they would like the options of ‘Dr.’ and ‘Prof.’ to be added to the list of choices on the honorifics menu.  We passed this request on to the folks at NameCoach and are happy to announce that ‘Dr.’ and ‘Prof.’ have now been added.  If you have already used the NameCoach Recorder and would like to update your honorific, simply click “Edit this NameGuide” in the NameCoach Recorder in any of your Canvas courses.  If you haven’t used NameCoach yet, be sure to check it out!

The NameCoach integration has been co-sponsored by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), who brings you the CTL Tip of the Week, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

Huskycast gets an update: Quizzes, Captions, and more!

The Panopto-Huskycast video platform has some new features available to instructors who use video in their courses.  You can now add short embedded quizzes directly in the video to serve as comprehension checks and support student mastery of content. Presentation slides can now be added and modified within the online editor.  Finally, auto-generated captions can now be added to videos.  After editing these captions for accuracy your videos will then be fully accessible for all your students.  These new Panopto-Huskycast features are demonstrated in this short screencast.

Video can be a powerful tool to support students and these new features make the Panopto-Huskycast video platform a valuable resource.  The January, 2017 issue of The Teaching Professor provides good information and resources on effective pedagogical uses of video (Are the Videos in Your Courses Promoting Learning?, pg.5).  If you didn’t receive The Teaching Professor and would like a copy please contact the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

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.

No Need for Request to Enable Canvas Roll Call Attendance tool

The Canvas Roll Call Attendance tool is now available for instructors to enable in their Canvas courses without the need to make a special request.  Now you can simply enable it on your Course Tools Navigation menu.  Visit our Roll Call Attendance Tool page for directions and video demonstrations.

A new feature rolled out last September to the Canvas Roll Call Attendance tool allows students to view their attendance as part of the Attendance assignment submission details page. Students can access Attendance submission details from the Grades page too.  Submission details display attendance statistics in the course. Students can view the total number of days they were graded on attendance in the attendance graph.  They can view the specific number of days they have been late, absent, and on time within the total. Students can view the date and day of the week they were marked late or absent below the graph.  The first time students access the submission details they will be asked to authorize the app for their account.

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.

To Do List Links for new Spring 2017 Canvas Courses

The new Canvas course shells for teaching Spring 2017 course are scheduled to be available by Thanksgiving break.  Once the upcoming semester’s Canvas course shells 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 2017 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 William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Fall 2017 Week Zero Canvas Workshops

The three part introductory series of Canvas Workshops, Canvas 101: Introduction to Canvas; Pages & Modules in Canvas; and Assignments & Grades in Canvas will be offered on Wednesday and Thursday of Week Zero after Winter Break.  This series will introduce instructors and instructional staff to Canvas and give the basic skills and knowledge they will need to begin building courses in Canvas.

We will also be offering an introductory demonstration of the new TurnItIn® LTI interface in Canvas on Wednesday of Week Zero.  This workshop will give those who use TurnItIn® in Canvas a chance to see the new TurnItIn® interface in Canvas and even begin adding TurnItIn® to their Canvas assignments if they wish.  You can read more about the upcoming upgrade to TurnItIn® in Canvas in Turnitin® Integration in Canvas to be Upgraded over Winter Break.

All the workshops will be conducted in computer teaching labs so participants can build along during instruction or try things out if desired.  Attendees can also bring their own device.  All four of the workshops are scheduled on January 4 or 5, 2017, and you can visit the CTL’s Events and Workshops page to register or find out more.

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.

Submit 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 enter 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 by choosing ‘final_grade’ from the Change Canvas Grade Book Column menu (click here for directions), so there’s no longer any need to copy scores out of the Total column, unless you want to “tweak” them.

Instructors can contact support, access online guides and tutorials, get hours and location for eLearning Walk-In Hours, and access eLearning’s Grade Submission Information & Resources page for information and instructions on Canvas One Stop. Instructors and instructional staff can also attend one of the two grade submission workshops this week and next. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Turnitin® Integration in Canvas to be Upgraded over Winter Break

Michigan Tech has a contract with TurnItIn® to use their service. TurnItIn’s OriginalityCheck® helps instructors check students’ work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against their text comparison database.  When a file is submitted, TurnItIn (Tii) shows how much of the student’s paper matches content from their databases so instructors can quickly understand how much of the paper is unoriginal.

Turnitin’s integration into the Canvas Assignments tool has been modernized to comply with the current industry standard for these types of integrations: Learning Tools Interoperability, or LTI.  This means TurnItIn will stop supporting our current Canvas-Tii integration at the end of 2016 and Michigan Tech will need to switch over to their new LTI integration.  Read TurnItIn’s official statement covering the change to see the full explanation about how and why this change was initiated by them.

There will not be in gap in user access to Tii in Canvas, but there will be some noticeable interface changes once we make the switch.  The new Canvas-Tii LTI integration makes Tii function as an external tool in Canvas, requiring instructors to choose External Tool as the submission type when creating and editing Assignments in Canvas.  You can watch Tii’s short videos How Instructors Create a Turnitin LTI Assignment and How Students Submit a Document to see these user interface changes first-hand.  The new LTI integration provides for full and easy access to TurnItIn’s additional full suite tools: GradeMark®PeerMarkTurnItIn Rubrics, and their Feeback Studio, along with OriginalityCheck®.  Instructure’s Canvas Guides have already been updated so that instructions for using Tii in Canvas describe using the new LTI integration. You can see How do I enable TurnItIn for an Assignment? for an additional look at what’s to come.

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.