Author: lswanles

Color codes and icons

In the Canvas gradebook, there are several colors and icons that appear in the assignment columns. These are used as indicators to help you define the status of an assignment from a grading perspective. However, these colors and icons are not very helpful if you are not familiar with their meaning. So, if you have ever wondered what all the colors and icons mean in the Canvas gradebook, this blog post will help to introduce you to some of the more common colors and icons.

Color codes

The Canvas gradebook uses a set of default colors to identify the various submission stages of an assignment.

Canvas Gradebook colors
  • Blue(1) – Late submission
  • Red(2) – Missing submission
  • Green(3) – Resubmitted assignment
  • Orange(4) – Dropped grade
  • Yellow(5) – Excused assignment

Assignment Type Icons

The Visibility icon (which looks like an eyeball with a line through it) indicates that the grades for an assignment are hidden from students or the assignment is moderated if all cells are grayed out.

Visibility Icon

The Assignment icon (which looks like a piece of paper) indicates that an assignment submission needs to be graded.

Assignment Icon

The Red Warning icon indicates that the entered grade is not supported in the grading scheme.

Red Warning Icon

If you have a Turnitin Assignment, you will see a Turnitin score icon when the similarity report has returned a score. The color of this icon will depend upon the percentage score received.

Turnitin Icon

This is only an introduction to some of the more common colors and icons that will appear in the Canvas gradebook. For further details about color indicators and icons used in the Canvas gradebook, please reference the Canvas guide on Using the icons and colors in the Gradebook.

If you have further questions about the Canvas gradebook or any of our other institution-supported educational technologies, please feel free to email us at elearning@mtu.edu


Share your presentation as a virtual background in Zoom

Do you typically use Powerpoint slides to present to your audience during a Zoom meeting? Do you know that Zoom now allows you to make the slide presentation more engaging by imposing you video directly onto your screenshare?!

This feature is available on any Zoom Desktop Client for Windows or Mac using a version 5.2.0 or higher. As I write this blog, our institution is on version 5.6.4, so if you are working from an on-domain computer you should have access to this feature. If you are working from a personal computer, you may want to check for updates to your Zoom client to be sure you are using the latest version available.

Sharing a presentation as the background

Once you have your Powerpoint slides created and have started your Zoom meeting, you will want to select the ‘Share Screen‘ button on your meeting controls. Select ‘Advanced‘ at the top of the screen and then you should see an option to ‘Select Slides as Virtual Background‘.

Advanced setting Options

Now you can simply browse and open your Powerpoint Slide presentation file. If your video is ‘on’ by default in the Zoom meeting, your video will automatically be imposed on your screen share. You will see a toggle feature at the top of your meeting controls that will allow you to advance through your slides.

Recording the presentation

So, how will this look if you typically record your Zoom meetings? If you record the meeting locally and are on a Zoom client version 5.2.0 or higher, the video will be embedded on the slides in the recording. If you record to the cloud, the recording will capture the slides and video as a normal screen share recording.

Additional items to consider

  • Sounds, transitions and animations within slides are not supported.
  • If a participant joining the Zoom meeting is on a version below 5.2.0, the presentation will appear as a normal screen share of slides with the presenter video separate.
  • For full details about this Zoom feature, please reference this Zoom support article.

If you have further questions about Zoom meetings or any of our other institution-supported educational technology, please feel free to email us at elearning@mtu.edu


Direct Share in Canvas

As an instructor of a Canvas course, you have the ability to share any announcements, assignments, discussions, pages or quizzes that you have created with another Canvas user (who also has instructor status). The Canvas feature is known as Direct Share. To send the course content to another user, you simply click on the Options icon to the right of the content and select the ‘send to‘ option. Enter the user’s name to find their account and select send.

Send to option

How does the other person receive the content that was sent?

All shared content is sent to a user via their Canvas User account. If you open your user account, you will see an item in the list entitled, “Shared Content“. All content that has been shared with you will reside here until you decide to preview it, import it into one of your courses or delete the shared content. All three of these options are available when viewing the shared content in the ‘Received Content‘ page.

Canvas user account settings

Important items to note:

  • Any assets within the shared content (ex. images, files, etc.) will be included in the Direct Share feature.
  • If you delete content from the Received Content page (that you previously imported into your course), it will not be deleted from the course only from the Shared Content area of your user account.
  • Shared Content is only held in your account for a limited period of time and should be previewed or imported shortly after being received.

If you would like to learn more about the Direct Share feature or managing your Canvas user account settings, please feel free to contact us at elearning@mtu.edu


Speedgrader’s latest feature!

Here is some great news for instructors who would like to be able to hand back an assignment (within Canvas) to a student and allow them to revise their work and resubmit. The feature is known as Submission Reassignment and it basically allows the instructor to reassign an assignment (with a due date) back to an individual student and ask them to redo their submission. When an assignment is set up for Submission Reassignment, a ‘Reassign Assignment‘ button will be visible under the comments box in Speedgrader.

Speedgrader view

Example for using Reassign

A great example of where Submission Reassignment works especially well is a written assignment. Written assignments often go through varied levels of revisions before reaching the final draft. For some students that may only be two revisions for others it may be four revisions. The Submission Reassignment would allow the instructor to give feedback on areas to improve on and hand back the submission so that the student could see the comments. Students can then apply the necessary revisions and resubmit a revised version to the same assignment. This feature is certainly not limited to written assignments but could be used on basically any assignment as long as the Assignment type is defined as an online assignment with a designated due date within Canvas.

Items to keep in mind when using Reassign

  • Reassign Assignment is not available for External Tools, on paper or no submission type assignments…only online!
  • The number of submission attempts allowed needs to be defined in the assignment details and needs to be greater than 1.
  • This feature is only available for assignments with defined due dates.
  • The Reassign Assignment button will be ‘grayed out’ until the instructor provides comments in Speedgrader.

If you would like to learn more about Submission Reassignment or have additional questions about using Speedgrader, you are welcome to contact elearning@mtu.edu


iClicker Cloud Polling Question Types

Over the course of the past year, many instructors have incorporated iClicker Cloud into their online or remote learning environments as a way to engage students in the course content. Students are able to respond to questions via their mobile device, tablet or laptop using the mobile/website application known as REEF.

The ability for students to answer questions via a mobile device, tablet or laptop, opens up the opportunity for instructors to ask varied question types during the polling session. An instructor is no longer limited to just asking multiple choice type questions! iClicker Cloud offers the options of multiple answer, short answer, numeric and target type questions.

iClicker question types

Question Types

  • Multiple Answer – A multiple answer question type engages the student in evaluating each response for correctness or incorrectness instead of simply finding the single ‘best’ answer in a multiple choice type question. Multiple Answer questions allow for a maximum span of six responses (A-F) to choice from. The Results Chart will show number of responses that are correct, partially correct and incorrect.
  • Short Answer – A short answer question type allows the instructor to ask an open-ended question. Students have the ability to enter up to a 140 character response. The Results Chart will group identical answers together. The instructor has the option to ‘star’ the best response. If the responses are one or two word phrases, the instructor also has the option to display this as a Word Cloud.
  • Numeric – The numeric question type allows students to respond with up to an eight digit (plus decimal point) answer. Just like the short answer, identical answers will be grouped together in the Results chart and the instructor can ‘star’ the best answer.
  • Target – A target question type allows the instructor to provide an image to the student. The student would touch or click (based on device capability) on the appropriate portion of the image to answer the question. Students using any type of iClicker remote will not be able to respond to this question type.

Anonymous Polling

iClicker Cloud also allows an instructor to ask any of the question types listed above in Anonymous mode. To switch to anonymous mode, select the menu icon and turn Anonymous to ‘on’. The toolbar background will turn black to indicate Anonymous mode. *Performance points can NOT be given during Anonymous mode.

Anonymous mode in iClicker Cloud

Additional support for iClicker Cloud

If you have further questions or would like additional support in using iClicker Cloud, feel free to reach out to the elearning team at elearning@mtu.edu or contact the CTL at 487-3000.


Regrade Option for a quiz question

Have you ever written and published a quiz only to find out later that you had an incorrect answer marked on a multiple choice question or your students have pointed out that the True/False question should have been True not False!

Now that all (or most of) the students have taken the quiz how do you go back and update the quiz question to reflect the correct answer??

Canvas offers a Regrade Option for Multiple Choice, True/False and Multiple Answer type questions. The Regrade Option will become available when you change the question to reflect the correct answer. Canvas will present you with a Regrade Option box that offers four regrade options based on your situation.

Canvas Regrade Option
  1. Award points for both corrected and previously correct answers – This option should be used for Multiple Choice questions where you determine that the question was written with more than one answer that would be accepted as correct. Please note: this option is not available for a Multiple Answer type question.
  2. Only award points for the correct answer -use this option when you have marked an incorrect answer as the correct answer and would like points to reflect the correct answer.
  3. Give everyone full credit for this question – In some instances, the answer options on a question may have written in such a way that it created confusion or misinterpretation for the student and you prefer to give everyone credit towards the question.
  4. Update question without regrading – This option will allow you to update your question to the correct answer but will not change the points earned by students who have already taken the quiz.

Regrade Option not available for the following quiz question changes

If you are making any of the changes listed below, it is recommended that you moderate the quiz and allow students who have taken the quiz an additional attempt in order to see the updated version of the quiz.

  • The Regrade Option is not available when you are adding or removing a question from a quiz.
  • Adding or deleting answers from a question will disable the Regrade option from being available.
  • Changing the points value of a question does not enable the Regrade Option.

One last note….the Regrade Option does not apply to questions linked to question banks!

Reach out to us!

If you would like to learn more about Canvas quizzes or other features available within the Canvas learning management system, feel free to email us at elearning@mtu.edu


Editing a Video

We have all been busy lately making recordings -whether its pre-recording a lecture from your office or recording a live Zoom class session. Afterwards, we upload these recordings into the appropriate Panopto-Huskycast course folder for students to view.

Have you ever gone back and reviewed the video only to realize that the first couple minutes of the recording consisted of you still getting prepared to start your lecture or maybe the last couple minutes consisted of addressing some students’ personal questions….wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly trim those unnecessary beginning or endings off of your recordings? Panopto-Huskycast provides a video editor within your video library which will allow you to quickly trim a section of content from your video.

Panopto Editor

Edit mode in Panopto

Login to Huskycast.mtu.edu with your Canvas credentials and find a video in your video library that you would like to edit. Hover your mouse over the video, you will notice some additional options appear including ‘Edit’. Click on ‘edit’ and the video will then open into the Panopto Editor. At the bottom of the editor, you will see a separate row for each stream captured in the video. A stream can be defined as a separate section in the editor for each video, audio or presentation content you recorded.

Panopto Editor video streams

Cut Tool

You will notice a scissors in the upper left corner just above the video streams. This is known as the cut tool and is used to trim content from the video. Let’s say you wanted to trim off the first two minutes and 14secs of your video. You would play the video and pause it after two minutes and 14 seconds. You will notice a red vertical line in the stream designating this point in the video. Next, click on the scissors. You will notice a dark gray line at the beginning and ending of the video stream. Click and drag the dark gray line at the beginning of the stream until it meets up with the red vertical line.

Select ‘Apply’ in the upper right corner of the screen when you have your edits defined. This will apply the changes. As a side note, the Panopto Editor is non-destructive…you can always add those cuts back in if you ever need to or happen to cut out the wrong content!

Additional Resources

How to edit a video

How to trim a video in the editor (including steps on trimming an individual stream)

If you would like additional support with managing your Panopto-Huskycast recordings, contact us at elearning@mtu.edu.


Learning from each other – Peer Review Assignments

To strengthen students’ written work, instructors will spend a great deal of time providing detailed feedback in the hopes that students will apply the suggestions to their next written assignment. Unfortunately, many instructors feel that their efforts to provide feedback is being overlooked or not appreciated by the students.

What if an instructor could reduce the burden of providing all the detailed feedback YET increase students engagement in the review process? Maybe even strengthen their writing skills and assessment skills in the process…

Peer Review Assignments

Think about the possibility of having students review each others work and provide each other feedback. If you read through the body of literature, you will find many supporting arguments which state that peer review in the feedback process provides many benefits to students learning.

Benefits of Peer Review

  • Ability to become more aware of alternative perspectives on a topic.
  • Lifelong learning skills in how to effectively assess another person’s work.
  • Building self-assessment of their work by benchmarking themselves against their peers.
  • Critical thinking and diplomacy skills.

Canvas Peer Review Assignments

A Canvas Peer Review Assignment allows students to provide feedback on another student’s assignment submission. Setting up an assignment for peer review is fairly simple within Canvas. One of the options when setting up a new assignment is to designate it as a Peer Review assignment. You can select to manually or automatically assign the peer reviews. There is an option to set up the peer reviews to be anonymous or you can include a rubric for the reviewer to complete as the peer review. Peer reviews can not be used with External Tool Assignments.

Peer Review options in Assignments

Students will see a list of peer reviews assigned to them within the assignment. Based on how the assignment submission is designated, the student could annotate the document, add a comment in the comment field or complete the included rubric. A student reviewing another student’s assignment would need to leave at least one comment in order for the review to be considered complete.

Students will see their peers’ reviews in the right sidebar of the Canvas course under Recent Feedback. A student can simply click on the assignment title to access the feedback.

If you would like to learn more about using Peer Review Assignments in Canvas, feel free to contact us at elearning@mtu.edu


Assignment Feature in iClicker Cloud

Do you currently use iClicker Cloud to poll students during class?…do you wish you could poll students outside of class….say after a chapter reading to gauge their level of understanding of the content?

With iClicker Cloud’s new asynchronous Assignment feature you can create low-stakes assessments that can be completed outside of class and at a student’s own pace.

Examples of when to use iClicker Cloud Assignment

  • Before class – gauge students’ understanding or preparedness for upcoming lectures, chapter readings or homework understanding.
  • During class – for small group activities.
  • After class – to support homework activities.

Setting up iClicker Cloud Assignments

Within the iClicker Cloud Instructor Website, you can create questions for the iClicker Cloud Assignment.

  1. Create your lecture slides as you normally do. Include a slide for each iClicker question. iClicker Cloud Assignment supports Multiple Choice, Short Answer and Target question types.
  2. Extract your iClicker question slides from the main presentation. A separate file that contains only question slides can be used in an iClicker Cloud Assignment.
  3. Export the question slides file as a PDF.
  4. Go to the iClicker Cloud Instructor Website and create the assignment.
  5. Add the assignment details and upload the PDF that contains the question slides.
  6. Format the Assignment. The assignment has now been added to your “Assignments” page where you are able to manage, edit, view grades and export grades to your LMS.
  7. Based on the release date that you set for the assignment, students will now be able to see the assignment(s).
  8. Scores from completed assignments can be manually uploaded into Canvas.

Student access to Assignments

Be sure to let your students know that you are now using Assignments in iClicker. A student can complete the assignment by finding the instructor’s course in their list of courses and selecting Assignments from the menu. Here is a helpful guide to provide your students on Accessing an Assignment in iClicker Reef.

If you have questions about using iClicker Cloud Assignments, Canvas, Zoom or Huskycast, feel free to contact us at elearning@mtu.edu


Uploading a file in Canvas for an Assessment

Throughout the semester, the elearning team addresses lots of great questions on various ways that one can leverage Canvas for student assessment. One question we often address is, “What is the best way to have students upload a pdf of their handwritten work they did for a quiz?

Courtesy of Pexels

Great Question!…in order to answer this, we need to first consider the following:

  • Do you want to be able to annotate the pdfs within Canvas? Do you prefer to download the pdfs, annotate w/ an external tool and re-upload into Canvas?
  • Do you use Respondus Lockdown Browser for your quiz?
  • Is it a timed quiz?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, we recommend that you…

Offer an Assignment directly after the Quiz for file submission

Why?….

Due to some limitations with Canvas Quizzes a preview of the pdf in Speedgrader is not available nor does Canvas Quizzes offer the ability to re-upload submissions! Using Respondus LockDown Browser may limit students ability to create a pdf and a timed quiz may not allow sufficient time for a student to scan and upload the file. Frustrating…I know… but the workaround of offering an assignment directly after students complete the quiz will resolve these frustrations! To do this….

Adding a ‘File Upload’ question type to the end of a Canvas Quiz

If you happened to answer No to any or all of the questions stated above, you can simply define the last question on your quiz as a ‘file upload‘ question type. This will allow students to upload their pdf as the final step in completing the exam. As a word of caution though…you will still need to download each submission from Speedgrader in order to review and grade the file.

Remember, in either case, students will need some time to scan their handwritten document, convert it into a pdf and upload it.

If you have an idea for a future blog topic that you would like us to address or just need additional support with Canvas, Zoom or Huskycast, please email elearning@mtu.edu