Del Helms

Tuesday Teaching Tip #8

Blog Post created by Del Helms on Nov 8, 2017

Happy National Distance Learning Week!  Yes… there is such a thing!  It ranks right up there with National Polka Dot Day (January 22nd) and National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend’s Day (January 11th) as my favorite holidays.  Only in America!

On to more serious things…

In discussions with the DELTA Team last week one of the issues that the Help Desk asked that I address is the Dashboard area in Canvas and how to access courses from previous semesters.  One of the challenges expressed by instructors based upon the number of Help Desk tickets submitted has been how to locate courses from previous semesters.  “The course just disappeared.”  “Where did my course go?” 
I communicated I would give it my best effort to explain how to access courses no longer visible in the Dashboard.


When users log into Canvas they encounter the Dashboard.  The courses listed in the Dashboard are the most recently added courses and the courses that an instructor has identified as a ‘Favorite’.  Please see: How Do I customize my Courses list as an instructor? for additional details about putting courses in your Dashboard.  As an FYI, courses that are moved from the Dashboard are listed in the All Courses link within the Global Navigation Menu area of Canvas.

This information will be VERY Important in the coming weeks as registration for the Spring 2018 semester is set to begin November 27th.  The start of a registration period coincides when your next semester courses become available to you.  Look for your Spring 2018 courses to be available right around Thanksgiving—yes, that is also a holiday! 
Your Fall 2017 courses will remain available to you indefinitely.  How long is indefinitely?  A really long time.  Because our contract with Canvas is different than our previous contract with Blackboard, we are uncertain of our long-term storage capabilities in Canvas, but currently it appears as if courses will not need to be archived and removed from your All Courses list.  Please know, you will be notified far in advance, if this situation changes.  I love ambiguous terms like indefinitely and far J    

FREE Canvas Training

Course Design Considerations: November 9th at 12:30pm

Assignments: November 10th at 8:30am

Course Basics: November 10th at 1pm

Leveraging Modules: November 13th at 2:30pm


You need an account to attend the Canvas Training webinars.  To set up your FREE account go to: Canvas Training and follow the directions provided.

Getting Help with Canvas

Weekday Canvas Support (951) 487-3767

Weekdays Only: M-TH 8am - 5:30pm F 8am-12pm PST   

After Hours Canvas Support Hotline: (877) 891-6965

Nights/Weekends/Holidays Only, M-TH 6pm - 8am Friday after 12pm PST Sat/Sun all hours

or you can submit a help request to

Canvas Lexicon

One final area I wish to address, if you made it this far, is to assist you with learning more about the terminology associated with Canvas.  I know for years many of you were used to the terminology used by Blackboard. As you have learned there are some subtle differences between the terminology used in Blackboard and the terminology Canvas uses.  For example, Tests in Blackboard are called Quizzes in Canvas, and Pools in Blackboard are called Question Banks.  There are many other differences.  To assist you with the terminology used in Canvas I am providing a link to Canvas Terminology.  Knowing the language of Canvas will make it easier to search for immediate answers in the Canvas Guides.


Have a great week and celebrate National Distance Learning Week responsibly.