As UW-Madison transitions from D2L and Moodle to Canvas, I've been hosting weekly Active Teaching Labs that feature:
It's been moderately successful with about ~15 coming each week. Afterward, we create a simple recap with takeaways and videos of the lab. I invite you to check them out on our home page, or YouTube playlist.
I've had instructors who want to sort the gradebook by sections, graduate level vs non graduate level, and by T.A.s assigned to students.
Consider using the Notes column in the gradebook to do this. Just add the section number, or T.A. or other criteria and click the column heading to quickly sort students into groups for easier management in the gradebook!
Here is a way to engage users with simple html code. Ask a question, let the user ponder the answer, click "Reveal th answer".
Here is the code I used:
<div class="hidden-desktop hidden-tablet hidden-phone" style="background-color: #d00000;">
<p style="color: white; padding: 1em;">The following content will not function in the mobile app. To access the interactive content, please login to Canvas using a web browser.</p>
</div><h2>Answer the following questions:</h2>
<h3 style="border-bottom: 1px solid black;">Q1</h3>
<p>Why is using Headers better than just increasing the text size?</p>
<p><span class="element_toggler btn btn-primary" role="button" aria-controls="group_2" aria-label="Toggler toggle list visibility" aria-expanded="false">Reveal the answer</span></p>
<div id="group_2" class="content-box" style="display: none;">Because screen readers use Header code to find topic headings and locate information.</div>
<h3 style="border-bottom: 1px solid black;">Q2</h3>
This works best with only 1 question on a Canvas page. If you have multiple questions you need to change the number for both the aira control and answer div id for each question to make the buttons open up separately.
You are welcome to copy and experiment with it.
Using Box at your university? It's a great way to manage files in one spot and have updates proliferate throughout all your courses.
Using Box with Canvas - YouTube
What do we do when faculty max out their file storage? We try to give them options such as storing large files in Box or the simple process of optimizing files (Word, PP, .pdf) to a fraction of their original size. I created a short video on how easy this is to do.
Also, I have to admit. I get confused when I look at the storage information in the Files area. What does it mean 0% of 471 MB used? I just copied a course over how can this be? The original course was almost at the limit and the new course is telling me 0% of our maximum used. What's going on?
Okay! So the files only count against quota the first time they are uploaded. Because the files were already in Canvas, they do not count against the quota in the second course. Way to go Canvas on managing duplicate files. I learned something new!
There is a setting in a Discussion Board to encourage students to not copy another post when they are supposed to be posting an original thought. You can select the option to "Users must post before seeing replies".
However, sometimes students will work around this requirement by posting something then deleting their post after reading what others have posted. You can change your course settings to keep students from doing this.
In the Course Settings - Course Details - scroll down to the "more options" link at the bottom of the page.
Uncheck the "Let students edit or delete their own discussion posts".
However, I'm a big fan of allowing students to edit posts. If they have a typo and can't edit their mistake, they may never feel comfortable posting again. Use this option only when needed.
It's possible to create private journals for students to post their thoughts in and share with the instructor. This works best for small classes. Here is how to do this in Canvas.
Want to quickly check all assignments in your course for Due Dates?
For any easy fix, just drag and drop the assignment on the proper date!
If you've linked to a file on your page just do the following.
The document will display in a Preview window without having to click on the link.
For more information check the Canvas Guide
Notification settings are ESSENTIAL
I've had individuals turn off Notifications for Conversations and wonder why their email stopped coming in. I've created the following tip on this.
One of the first things anyone using Canvas should do is to carefully check and consider all your personal settings in the Notifications (Links to an external site.) area. You'll find these options when you click on your Account - Notifications.
If you want email coming in to your Outlook account you need to leave the setting for Notifications on in Conversations. If set for "X Do not send me anything", email coming in from the course only appears in the Inbox area for you in Canvas.
Your default email is your primary university email address unless you've changed it in your Account settings. Copies of all course correspondence will go to this address unless you've turned the notifications OFF.
Carefully check all your Notification Settings at the start of each semester and adjust them as needed
We use both Canvas and Box here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and I've had faculty that want to integrate the two.
So, I created a video explaining how these two tools can be used together.
While the local authentication to our system here is specific to us, the following instructions could be helpful to anyone. These instructions include:
I like to use FlamingText. It's quick, simple, and there is no need to register or signup.
There are several reasons why your iframe embed code may not work in your Canvas page. It depends on if the site owner has restricted this embedding option.
Let’s look at a few of these reasons.
http and https
Any URL with the address of just http will not display within your page with the iframe code. This is because this site is considered to have insecure content.
The X-Frame options set to SAME ORIGIN is not something you can work around. It is a rule that is set by the site owner to prevent their content from being framed on another website. The same-origin policy restricts how a document or script loaded from one origin can interact with a resource from another origin. It is a critical security mechanism for isolating potentially malicious documents.
Google doesn’t allow iframe embedding.
I tried to embed the Google page in my Canvas page. I used the following code in my html editor:
<p><iframe style="border: 0;" src="https://www.google.com/" width="600" height="450" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>
When viewing the page, it came up blank. I just got my title “iframe linking to Google”.
On my Mac in Firefox I used the CMD/CNTRL shift J to bring up the console display as shown below:
Here, I was able to see that X-Frame was indeed blocking my iFrame code from working. Check your own browser and platform for seeing this code.
How do I know if my iframe content will display?
First, only a secure site starting with https will work as iframe code. If you want to refer to a link starting with http, you the link tool and have the link open in a new tab or window.
If you want to dig into html code, potential problems can be analyzed using the inspect element function of your browser on their page. Or, by viewing the console error when a page that is iFramed is not showing. Here you might see the X-Frame issues as I did above.
Whenever possible, get the embed code from the site that you want to use in the iFrame. For example, in Google Maps, you can get the embed code from the maps menu. Just look for the embed/share code.
In YouTube and Box there is an area where you can get the embed code for folders or documents. Once you have the embed code, paste into the html area of the page editor.
Perhaps you need to stay current on discussion board posts in just one class so you've set your notifications to immediate notifications or even a daily summery.
While you can't control which course you get notifications from, you can control notifications from discussion board posts that you don't need notifications from.
Simply click the "Unsubscribe" icon next to any discussion board post you don't want notifications coming from. Do this for any discussion board post where notifications aren't needed.
CROSSPOSTED. Updates will appear at Teaching with Canvas blog.
~ ~ ~
I wanted to write a post to express my admiration for the way Canvas handled the AWS-related outage that took the Canvas system down for a chunk of the day on Tuesday, February 28. If you look at their Status page, you will see how diligent they were in updating us at regular intervals, acknowledging our need to know: there were 18 detailed, helpful updates over the course of the outage. There's even an RSS feed for the page, which of course makes me happy (I am the Empress of RSS).
So, THANK YOU to all the people at Canvas who managed that event yesterday: it looks like you did a great job of coping with the problem behind the scenes, and I really appreciated the clear, steady communication throughout!
Below are two observations that came to mind:
1. Twitter is powerful. The communications from our own IT were not so good, but I really benefited from my Twitter network. I only found out about the incredibly useful Canvas Status page because friends at Twitter shared that URL when I tweeted about the outage. Instead of the generic "OU IT technicians are working with the vendor" message, it would have been great if our IT had shared the Canvas Status page with us in the alert message; that's clearly where we needed to go for information.
2. It's risky to put all your eggs in one basket. I sometimes get pushback from people who tell me I should be using the LMS for everything; my response is simply that I choose the right tools for my needs, and the LMS does not meet my needs, so my class operates as a series of blogs, wikis, and websites outside the LMS (my own blogs and wikis, and my students' blogs and websites), plus our class Twitter. As a result of this distributed system, it's usually pretty easy to ride out any outage that comes along. If one area of the class is unavailable, we can always get by with the other areas.
So, because I do not rely exclusively on Canvas messaging (I have all my students' emails in a spreadsheet), I was able to contact the students about the outage, and because I do my class announcements in a blog, I was able to update the blog throughout the outage, and my students could get updates there too while they continued doing their regular work for the class.
And of course Growth Mindset Cat has some advice about variety: Play with many different toys. Variety is how you grow. :-)