Category Archives: eLearning News

Get a New Perspective in Canvas with Student View

Canvas has a Student View feature available to those enrolled as Teachers, TA’s, and Course Designers.  You can access the Student View button from the right sidebar menu of the Settings screen.  For directors, click on How do I access Student View?

Use Student View to see the course as if you were a student in the course. While in student view the teacher can turn in assignment submissions and see grades and course content as a student would.  “Test Student” cannot participate in discussions or be a member of a group. Student view also provides a Test Student in the grade book starting the first time you click on the Student View button.  You can use Test Student’s row in the grade book to enter sample grades and see their effect.

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.

Redesign for Better File Browsing in Canvas

Instructure has redesigned Files in Canvas for a more improved user experience. The new Files redesign allows users to view more details about their files, manage editing permissions, and preview files. In addition, Files is fully accessible for all keyboard users and screen readers. Files is now fully searchable by file name, is built with responsive design to adjust for browser scaling, and files can now be uploaded and previewed without the use of Flash. For each file, users can view and sort files by name, the date the file was created and modified, the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user), and the size of the file. Files can also be published and unpublished from within the Files tool.

Better File Browsing is currently a course-level feature option, meaning instructors, on a course-by-course basis, can enable it if they choose and must enable it to use it. You can refer back to Enabling Course Feature Options in Canvas for details and instruction. Also, there are lot’s more features and changes in the new Files. You can watch an eLearning screencast providing a video tour of, and instructions about, the new Files interface, and read more illustrated guides and documentation from Instructure on our Files 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.

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.

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 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 grades out of the Total column, unless you want to “tweak” them.

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

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. Your Fall 2014 Canvas courses currently 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 can use your own grading scheme, instead of the default one, as the course grading scheme, and with various grade columns and assignments, like the Final (Course Grade) Assignment and gradebook column.  Since instructors can now use the Total Column in their Canvas gradebook to submit final grades from CourseTools, having your own, accurate letter grading scheme in use is more important than ever.  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 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.

Spring 2015 Canvas Courses Available after Week 12

The new Canvas course shells for teaching Spring 2015 semester courses will become available after week 12. You should be able to access them over 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 will probably need to Customize your Courses drop-down menu to remove any courses from previous semesters, and possibly add some course to that menu too. 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.  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 2015 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 may just want some help or information.  You can Contact Support, or stop in to eLearning Walk-in Hours for Canvas Help.  And as always, for general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop first.  The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Michigan Tech.

Downloading Grades and Uploading Scores in your Canvas Gradebook

Your Canvas gradebook has a feature that allows you to both download your gradebook as a .csv file so you can work on it in a spreadsheet application like Excel, and then upload a .csv file with those scores back into your Canvas gradebook. You can access this feature from the gradebook options menu, which is the ‘gear’ symbol in the upper left corner of the Canvas gradebook. The options are listed as “Download Scores (.csv)” and “Upload Scores (from .csv).” You can read more detailed instructions for downloading your gradebook as a spreadsheet file at How do I download scores from the gradebook? Instructions for uploading a .csv file to your Canvas gradebook can be found at How to upload changes to the Gradebook?

Instructors can utilize this feature to take advantage of the capabilities of applications like Excel to more quickly and easily cut and paste grades, perform calculations using the features of a spreadsheet program, facilitate the process of importing grades or scores from other programs and sources, etc. It’s a good idea to start by downloading a .csv file of your Canvas gradebook and use that as your template to work in. Then when you upload that .csv file back into your Canvas gradebook it will contain the information it needs to synch the file and the gradebook together.

You can watch Downloading Grades and Uploading Scores in Canvas for a video demonstration of a simple download and upload of scores. 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.

Use Canvas Modules to deliver course content with precision

Modules allow you to organize your content to help control the flow of your course. They are used to organize course content by weeks, chapters, content type, or a different organizational structure that works for your course. With modules, you are essentially creating a one-directional linear flow of what you would like your students to do.

Each module can contain files, discussions, web links, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials that you would like to use. You can easily add items to your module that you have already created in the course, or create new content shells within the modules. Modules, and items within modules, can be easily organized using the drag and drop feature, and they can be published and unpublished individually or by module.

You can use Modules to:

  • Create prerequisite activities that students must complete before moving on in the course
  • Track student progress through a sequence of learning activities

Some of the features of modules you can use include:

  • Set Modules to be locked until a given date
  • Require students to move through a module in a sequential order
  • Set parameters that define when a module item is complete like “viewed the item,” “submitted the assignment,” “scored at least,” etc.
  • Require students to complete one module before accessing the next
  • View student progress in modules

You can check out the Canvas Instructor Guide’s Modules chapter to learn more about them, and visit this page to watch screencasts about using modules 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

Some Chrome users need to clear cache in order to view certain Canvas content

Instructure
Canvas Status Update
Some Chrome users need to clear cache in order to view certain Canvas contentSince the release Oct 18, we’ve seen reports from some Chrome users that they’re unable to view discussion responses, see a list of files in a course’s Files section, edit / view pages, etc. In every case reported to us so far, clearing browser cache once has solved the problem entirely, for all Canvas content. The issue only seems to affect some Chrome users, not all. It does not seem to matter which version of Chrome.  If you experience these symptoms (Chrome, can’t see certain content) try clearing your Chrome cache.

We’ve reported this problem to our engineering team. Ideally, they’ll be able to push a global fix—but we haven’t identified a root cause yet, and this might prove to be an issue that can’t be addressed for all users from here.

Thanks,

Canvas Support

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.