Month: September 2012

Surveying Your Students 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 distributions for optional multiple choice questions.

The senate policy suggests two free response questions (What is good about this course?  How could it be better?), but instructors can create a survey in Canvas (link to screencast) that includes a variety of specific multiple choice and essay (free response) questions. These surveys can be anonymous, and Canvas allows points to be awarded (or not) to students who participate by using “graded” or “ungraded” surveys.  Faculty should feel free to stop by eLearning walk-in hours in Library 223 from 10-Noon and 1-4 PM Monday through Friday for assistance beyond the screencast linked above.  For more information or more general help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, visit Canvas One Stop.

Customize your Courses List

You can and should customize the courses displayed on your Courses list and user dashboard in Canvas.  Canvas displays up to twelve courses in the Courses menu on the Global Navigation bar on the left, and as course cards on your User Dashboard. This allows Canvas users to disregard any other courses not on your active course list.  Once users have more than twelve courses, they may customize that menu to choose which courses will display on it and as course cards, allowing you to then ignore any other courses that get pushed back to your All Courses  list and only use your courses list and user dashboard.   The All Courses link is at the bottom of your Courses list.  Once you have selected it, you can click the star next to a course to add or remove the course from your list of active Courses.  You can access the written guide online at How do I customize my Courses drop-down menu?  You can also see all your courses by clicking on Courses Tab on the left, then the All Courses link. For more information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, visit the Canvas One Stop page.

Tom Freeman
eLearning@Michigan Tech

New Workshop: Using i<Clickers in Your Classroom

i>clicker is a classroom response system that is used widely in higher education.
The i>clicker system is designed to keep students focused on learning, not the technology, and to support active pedagogical approaches, such as Mazur’s Peer Instruction. i>clickers are now supported through the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Center staff are offering a new workshop to help instructors use this technology in their classrooms.  After attending this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Download i<clicker software and adjust i>clicker settings
  • Draw from pedagogical best practices for i>clicker use as a means to enhance learning and engagement
  • Guide students to register, setup and use i>clicker remotes
  • Download i>clicker data into Excel and Canvas

Notification Preferences

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 email address right away by default, but you 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.

With 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 about Notifications in Canvas and how to adjust them on the Notification Preferences page, or watch the eLearning Video guide: Canvas Settings and Notifications.  For more information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, visit the Canvas One Stop page

eLearning Workshops for Fall Semester

eLearning staff in the Center for Teaching and Learning is offering introductory and advanced workshops throughout 2012 and beyond to help you use the Canvas learning management system and other education technologies effectively to support instruction.

Workshops scheduled for the next two weeks are listed below. Tom Freeman, Jeff Toorongian and Jeannie DeClerck will lead these eLearning sessions. Register at to receive information about location.

Each workshop will include approximately 45 minutes of instruction with time afterwards for additional questions.  We also have walk-in hours from 10-noon and 1 to 4pm on Monday through Friday. Bring your questions to one of our eLearning offices, located in Library 223, 230, 231 and 232.

Tuesday, Sep 18, from 10-11am

The purpose of this workshop is to help instructors start using their migrated Blackboard content within Canvas as quickly and easily as possible. In this hands-on workshop, participants will:

  • Locate migrated courses in Canvas that contain Blackboard content
  • Find Blackboard content within their Canvas migrated courses
  • Learn how certain types of Blackboard course content are converted into Canvas course content
  • Import Blackboard content from within a Canvas migrated course into a new Canvas course
  • Begin linking files and other content to pages and modules within their Canvas course

Tuesday, Sep 18, from 2-3pm
Wednesday, Sep 26, from 10-11 am

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Log into Canvas and set profile and notifications
  • Navigate Canvas interface
  • Set home page, upload a file and post a syllabus
  • Create a basic page, module and assignment

Wednesday, Sep 19, from 2-3pm
Thursday, Sep 27, from 10-11 am

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Build the grade book by building assignments
  • Establish assignment group structure
  • Build basic assignments
  • Use Canvas grading features

Friday, Sept. 14, from 10-11 am
Wednesday, Sep 26, from 2-3 pm

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Build a course structure using pages and/or modules
  • Build modules and different kinds of pages
  • Upload and organize files

Wednesday, Sep 19, from 10-11am

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Build basic graded and ungraded quizzes and surveys
  • Create different types of basic questions
  • Add questions from question banks
  • Use question groups and question banks to customize quizzes

Tuesday, Sep 25, from 2-3 pm

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Download iclicker software and adjust iclicker settings
  • Draw from pedagogical best practices for iclicker use as a means to enhance learning and engagement
  • Guide students to register, setup and use iclicker remotes
  • Download iclicker data into Excel and Canvas