All posts by agschult

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.


Individual View available in the Canvas Gradebook

The Gradebook Individual View allows instructors to assess one student and one assignment at a time. Complete with all features in the Gradebook, this gradebook view is fully accessible to screen readers and improves the accessibility functionality.

In the Gradebook, access Individual View by clicking the Switch to Individual View link. Unlike the standard Gradebook, Individual View does not take up the entire Canvas window and shows the Course Navigation menu. Like all Gradebook tabs, Individual View is persistent and will always display when it is the last Gradebook last accessed by an instructor. To leave Individual View, click the Switch to Default Gradebook link.

Individual View contains all the global settings found in the standard Gradebook. Instructors can sort by section and assignments and set any preferred settings options. Selecting a student and individual assignment will populate the correlating Grading, Student Information, and Assignment Information. Any global settings selected previously will also be applied. Instructors can make changes to this information including grades and comments as they can in the standard Gradebook. View another student or assignment by clicking their respective Next or Previous buttons.

You can take a look at our Gradebook Individual View page. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Michigan Tech. For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop .


Canvas by Instructure introduces the MagicMarker App

Canvas by Instructure introduced the MagicMarker app this summer as an efficient and effective way of recording the mastery of learning outcomes in your classroom. As learning outcomes become a more common form of assessment in the classroom, teachers must have a good way to collect valuable outcome mastery information and focus on their students, not on the task of collecting the data. As you effortlessly swipe on the screen, MagicMarker is recording, calculating, tabulating, and reporting all this information for you. By the time you sit down and look at your Canvas Gradebook, MagicMarker will have already updated it with the latest mastery information.
For face-to-face assessments that require a visual inspection or evaluation of individual performance (like research posters, group work in class, and class presentations), teachers lose time—and more importantly, they lose the context—when they assess work in class and transfer assessments to the gradebook later. With MagicMarker, you can assess student competency and understanding related to specific learning objectives or outcomes on-the-spot using your mobile device. Your assessments are instantly transferred to your Canvas Gradebook, ensuring that nothing is lost in translation.
You can check out the MagicMarker (iOS) 1.0 Release Notes to read more about it, see illustrations of it’s functions and features, and link to Download the MagicMarker app in the iTunes store. You can also read more about MagicMarker in the Canvas blog post Eliminating Lossy Learning in the Classroom. For another way to check our MagicMarker you can join in on the CanvasLive webinar Mobile Series: It’s a Kind of MagicMarker! on Tuesday, October 28, at 12 noon. Recordings of this will be available after the event from the same website.

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.


Discussion Boards: More Impact with Less E-mail!

Instructors traditionally use online Discussion Boards to help

determine student understanding, support peer learning,

and encourage participation, particularly among students who are least likely to

contribute to classroom discussion.

While Discussion Boards are well suited for use in classes heavy in debate

and explorative topics, instructors can also use Discussion Boards to manage

student questions, potentially reducing instructional time dedicated to answering

email. If students are encouraged to post questions to a course question and

answer Discussion Board, the whole class can benefit from both the posted

question and the instructor’s response. This is especially helpful for issues like

course navigation, technical support, or peer feedback on projects. With the right

incentives, you may even find students in your class willing to answer questions

and direct others to online resources. Research has shown that this question

articulation and peer interaction benefits both the questioner and the responder!

As a Discussion Board’s content grows, students gain access to resources

and help 24 hours per day, and the instructor gains insight into typical student

struggles and outside resources that students are using to address them.

Students may need small incentives like a single redeemed homework point for

each post or a minimum posting requirement during the term to motivate them to

use a Discussion Board. An instructor may also copy early emails anonymously

to the Discussion Board and respond there – then reply to the students’ email

directing the student to the Discussion Board for his/her response (and for future

use!). Once students start posting, many will find it so useful they’ll need no

incentives!

Canvas contains a built-in threaded discussion tool in every course,

which includes the ability to post images, equations, audio clips, and even

video. Instructors teaching problem-based courses may find that the free,

seamlessly embeddable Piazza discussion tool, which features a non-threaded

answer format and a robust LaTeX equation editor, works even better.

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 Canvas Feature: Expanded Results Restrictions in “Quizzes”

Instructors can select a new quiz option that lets students view the quiz results only once after each attempt. This option is also designed for instructors who require students to complete quizzes within proctored environments and want to limit quiz result views within that location. To enable this option for a quiz, select the Only Once After Each Attempt checkbox. Students will only be able to view the results immediately after they have completed the quiz. Once they navigate away from the quiz or refresh the page, students will see a message explaining that quiz results are protected and can no longer be viewed.

This option has no effect on instructors, who can always view student results. Additionally, this option may not be appropriate for quizzes that require manual grading, such as essay questions, where students would require additional views to see the updated results.
Notes:
• The Only Once After Each Attempt option is independent of the Let Students See The Correct Answers option. If both checkboxes are selected, students can only view both their own responses and the correct answers one time. If the Let Students See The Correct Answers option is deselected, students will only be able to view their own responses one time.
• As the Only Once option shows quiz results immediately after a student submits the quiz, the Only Once option will override any show or hide dates or times, so those fields are grayed out and are not available as part of that option. If an instructor wants to show or hide correct answers on any specific date or time, the Only Once option should not be selected.
For further information about how this new feature works with “Moderate this Quiz,” along with pictures and directions to help illustrate how to enable it, refer to Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Limited Quiz Result Views for Students.

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 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)


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.


Tips on Submitting Grades this Semester

A side effect of entering letter grades in the Final (Course Grade) column in
Canvas has been causing some instructors problems or concern after submitting
grades via Canvas. The Final (Course Grade) column uses a letter grade
scheme to match numbers between 0 and 100 with letter grades. When
numbers are entered into this column the matching letter grade for that range
is also displayed. The default letter grade scheme attached to that column will
display an AB if an 89.5 is entered, for example. If a letter is entered first though,
Canvas will display that and also automatically display the highest possible
numerical score in that letter grade’s range. The default letter grade scheme
attached to that column will display a 91.9 if an AB is entered, for example. This
has sometimes resulted in students contacting instructors to inquire about being
so very close to the next letter grade, when in fact they may have earned that AB
in our example with a numerical score of 88.2.
If you are hoping to avoid this, you have a variety of options. You can always
choose to submit grades via Banner Self Service and just enter letter grades
there. You now can also submit grades via Canvas and CourseTools from
your Canvas gradebook’s Total column too. This means if you have your
Canvas gradebook functioning properly and up to date, and your Total column
is already displaying the correct letter grade for your students, you can just go
to CourseTools and choose that column to submit grades from. It is not the
default column, so you will need to click on the Change Canvas Grade Book
Column button in the beginning and select “final_grade”, then click the Save
Changes button in the grade wizard. Finally, if you need to ‘tweak’ some grades
or don’t have grades ready in Canvas but want to use Canvas for final grade
submission, you can enter the appropriate numerical score in the Final (Course
Grade) column and the letter grade for that number from the grade scheme
you are using will be displayed and can be used for final grade submission via
CourseTools.
For more information and directions about grade schemes, refer to our Enable,
Create, and Edit Letter Grading Schemes in Canvas page to access an
eLearning screencast, Instructure Guides, and more. For more information and
help with grade submission go to our Electronic Grade Submission Information
& Resources page. And as always, you can contact support, get online help,
and utilize our eLearning Walk-In Hours for Canvas help, all available on Canvas
One Stop. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for
Teaching and Learning (CTL).

A side effect of entering letter grades in the Final (Course Grade) column in
Canvas has been causing some instructors problems or concern after submitting
grades via Canvas. The Final (Course Grade) column uses a letter grade
scheme to match numbers between 0 and 100 with letter grades. When
numbers are entered into this column the matching letter grade for that range
is also displayed. The default letter grade scheme attached to that column will
display an AB if an 89.5 is entered, for example. If a letter is entered first though,
Canvas will display that and also automatically display the highest possible
numerical score in that letter grade’s range. The default letter grade scheme
attached to that column will display a 91.9 if an AB is entered, for example. This
has sometimes resulted in students contacting instructors to inquire about being
so very close to the next letter grade, when in fact they may have earned that AB
in our example with a numerical score of 88.2.
If you are hoping to avoid this, you have a variety of options. You can always
choose to submit grades via Banner Self Service and just enter letter grades
there. You now can also submit grades via Canvas and CourseTools from
your Canvas gradebook’s Total column too. This means if you have your
Canvas gradebook functioning properly and up to date, and your Total column
is already displaying the correct letter grade for your students, you can just go
to CourseTools and choose that column to submit grades from. It is not the
default column, so you will need to click on the Change Canvas Grade Book
Column button in the beginning and select “final_grade”, then click the Save
Changes button in the grade wizard. Finally, if you need to ‘tweak’ some grades
or don’t have grades ready in Canvas but want to use Canvas for final grade
submission, you can enter the appropriate numerical score in the Final (Course
Grade) column and the letter grade for that number from the grade scheme
you are using will be displayed and can be used for final grade submission via
CourseTools.
For more information and directions about grade schemes, refer to our Enable,
Create, and Edit Letter Grading Schemes in Canvas page to access an
eLearning screencast, Instructure Guides, and more. For more information and
help with grade submission go to our Electronic Grade Submission Information
& Resources page. And as always, you can contact support, get online help,
and utilize our eLearning Walk-In Hours for Canvas help, all available on Canvas
One Stop. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for
Teaching and Learning (CTL).