Category: Training

Canvas Introductory Workshop Series offered the next four weeks

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will be offering the three-part Canvas Introductory Workshop series for instructors and instructional staff over the next four weeks.  The three workshops in the series are:

  • Canvas 101: Introduction to Canvas
  • Pages & Modules in Canvas
  • Assignments & Grades in Canvas

The series gives instructors and others who will be building Canvas courses the basic information necessary to create a basic Canvas course. Each workshop is conducted in a 50-minute block between five minutes after and five minutes before the hour, and offers attendees an opportunity to work hands-on in Canvas during the workshop.  Participants are encouraged to take Canvas 101 first, and then take the next two workshops as they fit your schedule after.

Those interested in attending can find out more and register on the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)‘s website. For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

New User Interface coming to Canvas this Summer, part II

As we pointed out previously, a new, modernized user interface (UI) for Canvas is coming to Michigan Tech on June 25, 2016. Instructure provided attendees of InstructureCON the very first look at the new Canvas UI last summer.  Since then some institutions chose to adopt the new UI as soon as possible, others switched over to it very recently, while many others, including us, chose to wait until closer to the end of the adoption window in order to allow time for the new UI to get tested and receive it’s first round of improvements and bug fixes.  The new Canvas UI is intended to provide users with a cleaner and more contemporary interface that enhances the look and feel of Canvas and improves navigation and scalability.

We’ve put out these Tech Today articles now to ensure everyone has a chance to find out about the new Canvas UI and get a first look at it before the end of spring semester.  Michigan Tech-specific user guides and video tutorials, along with Instructor guides from Instructure, are available on our New UI First Look Resources 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.

To Do List Links for Summer 2016 Canvas Courses

The new Canvas course shells for teaching Summer 2016 course are now available. 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 may want to Customize your Courses drop-down menu to add and remove courses from that menu both now and at the beginning of the new semester. 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. You’ll want to do this first before doing any building or importing, and be sure to choose “YES” to both of the options you are presented with when using the Combine Sections tool. 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 Summer 2016 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 can also check out the new  Michigan Tech Course Set-Up Directory, on the temporary home page of all new Canvas courses created for Summer 2016 courses.

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 face-to-face 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).

New User Interface coming to Canvas this Summer

A new, modernized user interface (UI) for Canvas is coming this summer.  First debuted by Instructure last summer, the new UI is cleaner and more contemporary and is designed to provide an updated look and feel and improved navigation.  “The refreshed Canvas user interface makes it even more intuitive and easier for teachers and students to use,” said Jared Stein, Vice President of Research and Education at Instructure.

The change to the new Canvas UI will take place at Michigan Tech on June 25, 2016 in between summer session tracks A and B. Michigan Tech users should not fear any substantial changes in their Canvas workflows, and instead just expect a change in the way things look.  The global navigation menu has a new appearance and is located on the left side of the page instead of the top, and the user dashboard will also have a different look featuring dynamic course cards.

More Michigan Tech-specific user documentation and tutorials will become available in the near future so users here can get a chance to see the new Ui and learn more about it before the end of Spring Semester.  Visit our New UI First Look Resources page for current videos and user guides from Instructure demonstrating the new Canvas UI.

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.

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. If you haven’t made any changes yet, your Canvas courses will 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 may want to be able to use your own grading scheme, instead of the default one, as a course grading scheme, with various grade columns and assignments, or with the Final (Course Grade) Assignment and gradebook column.  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.

Instructure implements Enhancements to Analytics Graphs



Graph Enhancements

Account, course, and user analytics graphs have been improved for accessibility and readability; changes do not affect current functionality.

The Activity by Date graphs show the number of page views and participation activity by date. The graphs have been changed to display light and dark bars for contrast instead of bars with similar brightness. Specific participations and page views can be viewed by hovering over the date.

In the Courses page, all explanatory text that was shown to the left side of each graph has been replaced with a summary key directly above the graph. Additionally, because the page includes breadcrumb text, the course name at the top of the page has also been removed for redundancy.


The Submissions graphs use different colors and shapes to distinguish missing, late, and on-time assignment submissions. Specific percentages for each submission status can be viewed by hovering over the assignment. The Courses page shows submissions for all students; the users page shows the submissions for each individual student, as well as future assignments that are not due yet.

Courses Page


Users Page


The Grades graphs have a more simplified Y axis with fewer point lines only displayed on the left side of the graph. The percentile color has also been updated for better accessibility contrast. The users page shows individual performance for each and whether the student received a good, fair, or poor grade.

Courses Page


 Users Page


In the Courses page, the individual student graph at the end of the page has been replaced with numerical data. Submission data is identified individually as the number of assignments that were on time, late, or missing. Data also includes the student’s current score in the course. The page views, participations, and current score columns can be filtered in ascending or descending order.


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 Assignment Group Totals are hidden along with Total Column

Your new, unedited Canvas courses created automatically each semester came by default with the option to “Hide totals in student grades summary” checked or enabled. This removed the scores in the Total column in your Canvas grade book from being displayed in previous semesters unless and until you, as the instructor of your course, chose to uncheck and disable this option so your students could see scores from your Total column.

“Hide totals in student grades summary” is still checked by default, but since a new product release initiated by Instructure in early January, having it checked also hides your Assignment Group column totals as well. Course instructors can view this option, along with others they may wish to know about and possibly modify, by clicking on Settings from their course navigation menu, and then the more options link at the bottom of their Course Details page. You can view more detailed directions at “How do I manage More Options in the Course Details tab?

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-iClicker Integration

Instructors using clickers in their classes this semester should make sure they are using the latest version of the iClicker software to take advantage of a more robust integration with Canvas. The latest version allows instructors to quickly sync student rosters and update student clicker registrations. Instructors can also quickly connect an iClicker class with Canvas by sharing their Canvas login credentials with iClicker. The software now allows the aggregation of session data (if desired) before uploading it to the Canvas grade book.

Make sure to download the latest version of iClicker software from the iClickers page of the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning’s website. This download package contains the custom Michigan Tech-Canvas integration files. An iClicker-Canvas software setup screencast and resources are also available.

Contact the Jackson CTL If you have questions about using clickers in your class, or if you need assistance setting up the software and integrating it with your Canvas course. 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.

Respondus Test Bank Network Training

Respondus is offering a training webinar soon on how to create online exams from publisher test banks. The focus will be on Respondus 4 and the Respondus Test Bank Network — both of which Michigan Tech is licensed to use.  

respondus-logo-BG4CMSThis training session is offered twice a year and is always popular with faculty. Instructors come away with everything they need to save countless hours on exam preparation. Over 6,000 test banks from dozens of the leading publishers are available from the Respondus Test Bank Network.  There’s something for everyone!

  • Webinar:“Instructor Training: Using the Respondus Test Bank Network to Quickly Create Exams”Learn how to save time by creating online exams using official publisher test banks with Resondus 4.0. The session is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.
  • Wednesday, January 27, 3:00pm EST – Register
  • Thursday, January 28, 2:00pm EST – Register

Respondus 4.0 is available via our campus-wide license on all PC’s imaged by Michigan Tech I.T.  For more information whether Respondus is available on your machine, or can be, you can Contact Michigan Tech Support.

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

Information and instructions can be accessed on eLearning’s Grade Submission Information & Resources page. Instructors and instructional staff can also attend one of the two grade submission workshops, and as always, 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 William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).