Category Archives: eLearning News

To Do List Links for Fall 2014 Canvas Courses

Your new Canvas course shells for teaching Fall 2014 semester courses are ready to be used.  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 Fall 2014 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, and the best place to start is Canvas One Stop .  From there you can Contact Support, find out about eLearning Walk-in Hours for Canvas 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) at Michigan Tech.

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  It allows instructors to hide access to course content by making it published or unpublished.  The unpublished feature is available in assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, and modules.  Unpublished course content is not visible to students and is excluded from course grade calculations.  Draft state has also added significant new user-interface elements in Canvas. Draft State features are available to ALL instructors teaching Track A courses this summer.

To enable Draft State in your course click on the “settings” tab in the left navigation.  Then click the “feature options” tab at the top of the page, and click the “on” button for the Draft State feature.

Draft State will be a part of core Canvas at the beginning of Track B summer courses on June 30, 2014.

Additional information and comprehensive screencast

Draft State screen

Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) Winners Announced

This spring semester the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning hosted an “explosive” program intended to showcase the most effective and user-friendly Canvas Courses at Michigan Tech.  The second-annual C-4 competition focused on Canvas courses that are intuitive and easy to navigate, feature good course design, provide convenient access to information and materials students need, and offer resources and activities that help students succeed in the class. Canvas courses were nominated almost entirely by students, but other faculty and chairs were eligible to nominate spring term courses for C-4 too.

Congratulations to this year’s C4 winners:

  • Lauren Bowen (HU3151)
  • Paul Charlesworth (CH1150)
  • James DeClerck (MEEM3502)
  • Timothy Havens (CS5821)
  • Kalen Larson (FA3650)
  • Michele Loughead (BUS1100)
  • Gordon Parker (MEEM4700)
  • Judith Perlinger (UN5100)
  • Joe Wagenbrenner (FW4370)

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.

Upcoming Canvas LIVE Web Sessions

There is a new topic Join us for Canvas LIVE! February 2013 in forum ‘Community Activities and Announcements’

  • Mobile Series: Canvas Mobile 2.0 for iPad, Android, iPhone

    Join the Canvas Mobile Product Team for a closer look at Mobile 2.0 features. Discover the new Dashboard, Grade Peek, Course and Global Notifications, Course Home Pages, Modules, Quizzes, and External Apps.

    Facilitator: Jordan Dayton and Canvas Mobile Team
    All (Instructors, Course designers, Admins, Support)


    Thursday, February 13, 2013 at 9am MST
    Thursday, February 13, 2013 at 1pm MST


    A Tour of the Canvas Conference Tool (BigBlueButton)

    Ever used the conference tool in Canvas? Want to try? This session will give participants a tour of the Conference button in Canvas and offer tips and suggestions on best ways to leverage conferences in your courses.

    Facilitator: Jordan Dayton, Instructure with Frederick Dixon from BigBlueButton
    Audience: All (Instructors, Course designers, Admins, Support)
    Level: Introductory


    Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9am MST
    Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 1pm MST



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Update from Canvas: Brief (five-minute) maintenance event on Thursday, 12/19/13

Canvas Status Update
Brief (five-minute) maintenance event scheduled for Thursday, 12/19 between 2:30 AM and 3:00 AM Eastern Time

Instructure will conduct a very brief (<15 minutes) preventative maintenance event between 2:30 AM and 3:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, 12/19/13 in order to apply critical upgrades to Canvas.  Users will be unable to access or use Canvas during the event.

Turnitin Maintenance on Saturday, December 21st


Scheduled Maintenance on December 21st

Service Announcement


Turnitin service may be intermittently unavailable during a scheduled maintenance period on Saturday, December 21st, 2013, from 7 to 11 AM U.S. Pacific Time (click for local time). An announcement will appear for users within Turnitin in advance of when the system will be unavailable for this scheduled maintenance.

Instructors are encouraged to modify assignment due dates either before or at least several hours after the scheduled maintenance window.

Thank you for working with us as we improve Turnitin.


The Turnitin Team

Stay Updated at All Times

Providing a fast, reliable and secure service is something that Turnitin takes seriously. Stay current with Turnitin’s system status, performance, security, and scheduled maintenance updates via the Turnitin System Status page or via Twitter at@TurnitinStatus.

If you’d like to receive these updates via email, please sign up for the Service Alerts mailing list.

CanvasLIVE! webinar this month: Assignments

Thursday, 9/26/2013

Join the Canvas Community Team for a CanvasLIVE! webinar this month. Our primary topic is ASSIGNMENTS.

CanvasLIVE is a free webinar series designed to give Canvas users additional training and an opportunity to share their knowledge with the community. Each session includes a brief tutorial on a Canvas tool or feature, focused demonstration, and a short Q&A with Canvas experts. Join us to learn something new and share your ideas and best practices with other Canvas users.

Find the schedule, more info, and register here:

Respondus 4.0 Training Webinars: March 27 & 28

We’re holding training webinars for creating content in Respondus 4.0 at the end of the month, and I hope you’ll join us.

These free sessions are only 45 minutes long and are a great opportunity for those who are new to Respondus 4.0. They are also perfect for someone who has used the software before but wants a refresher.

Webinar: Creating Content with Respondus 4.0 (45 minutes)

- Wednesday, March 27th at 2 p.m. ET - Register

- Thursday, March 28th at 4 p.m. ET - Register (Repeat Session)

The sessions will cover the following:

  • Overview of Respondus 4.0
  • Using the Import Wizard to bring in questions from other sources, including formatting tips for Word files
  • Copying items from other Respondus files from the Edit Tab
  • Accessing publisher test banks through the Respondus Test Bank Network
  • Using the Retrieval Tab to reuse and/or edit assessments already in your LMS
  • A chance to ask questions

Space is limited so I recommend signing up soon! Feel free to forward this invitation to instructors, instructional designers, or other support contacts who use or are interested in using Respondus 4.0

Instructure Releases Canvas for Android

Students can now access Canvas courses from their Android devices

Instructure has released a new Canvas Android app, “Canvas for Android,” which enables mobile access to the Canvas learning platform from Android devices. Faculty and students can download the app for free from the Google Play store.

“The Canvas for Android app is designed to make it easy for faculty and students to stay connected to their courses, including courses from their institution or the Canvas Network,” said Brian Whitmer, co-founder and chief product officer at Instructure. “We’ve always pushed information to Android devices through our email and text messaging notification feature, but now users can participate in their courses through a native app designed specifically for learning.”

Canvas for Android provides an elegant way for students to access their Canvas To-Do list, Assignments, Calendar, Grades and more. It also enables them to read and compose messages using Canvas Conversations, a secure, built-in messaging system that connects participants in a course.

Since the initial launch of Canvas, Instructure has demonstrated its commitment to native apps for mobile devices. In 2011, the company released SpeedGrader for iPad, a powerful mobile grading app, and Canvas for iOS, an iPhone and iPad app with course functionality for students and instructors. With the release of Canvas for Android, Instructure is taking the first of many steps to bring a native Canvas experience to Android users.

“We recognize that the modern learner is mobile, and we believe a native mobile experience is critical to the learning experience,” said Devlin Daley, co-founder and chief technology officer at Instructure. “We didn’t decide after the fact to build mobile apps because it was a hip thing to do. We made an intentional decision to include mobile apps from the start – at no extra charge.”

To learn more, visit the Canvas for Android page in the Google Play store.