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A new report on the adoption and use of online learning systems, tools and applications within the vocational education and training (VET) sector provides valuable insight into eLearning adoption.


The recently-released 3rd Annual Australian Vocational eLearning Adoption Report '(AVEAR) 2019', surveyed 159 vocational professionals on eLearning usage and trends in the Australian VET sector. The report (now in its third year) collected data from contributors in November/December 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 outbreak) and looks into subjects such as the drivers for eLearning, user experience, video usage and blended learning.


To learn more, including downloading the report - click HERE


Roundtable discussion topics

  • COVID-19 - 2 months on, how is your organisation going?
  • Account Settings and Feature Options - how do you configure and manage these?
  • Best practices for Release Notes and staying up to date with the platform



  • Katherine - SEL Consulting, Canvas users for 6 months
  • Coby - Binnacle Training, Canvas users for 6 months
  • Megan - TABMA, Canvas users for 3 months
  • Natacha - Tocal College, Canvas users for 3 years, recently upping to 55,000 users!!
  • Anneka and Glynn - NCNZ, Canvas users for 3 years
  • Zo - Aspire 2 Intl, Canvas users for 2 years
  • Grace - ERA, Canvas users for 5 years
  • Sarah - Status Training, Canvas users for 1 year
  • Ryo - Instructure CSM, Priority Services Team Lead
  • Jacqui - Instructure, our new Global Product Manager for APAC!
  • Kerri - Works with many Canvas customers to help them get the most out of the system, Canvas user for several years
  • Renee - Melbourne based and works with a couple of Canvas users for 2 years
  • Damian - MRWED, Canvas users for 6 years


Meeting Recording Link:

May 2020 User Group Recording Link

Password: 1Z^0$61E


Meeting Minutes:

1) COVID-19 - 2 months on, how is your organisation going?



  • Doing several shorter webinars instead of face to face classes and this has worked better than expected!



  • Previously delivering 50/50 blended learning program, now nearly exclusively online and running several shorter sessions throughout their 'training day' and this has been really successful. 
  • Few assessments which have needed to be delayed, but otherwise running a really successful model



  • Delivering some previous F2F content online and also re-ordering delivery topics i.e. postponing manual handling to later
  • Less impacted by restrictions than other states and are having small student groups coming through onsite



  • As their programs run in schools, and many have been closed, having their programs on Canvas has made it so much easier to keep this afloat during COVID


2) How do people issue end of qual certificates?

Natacha at TOCAL asking for non-accred offerings.

MRWED does this manually through JR. 

TABMA working with JR to get the integration to auto-issue non-accred certificates.

Status using VT and when unit completion data from Canvas comes through, it shows 'QA' triggering this to be done as it occurs instead of full qual admin at the end.

Compliance reasons usually dictate that a person needs to QA and confirm this for accredited courses, but who knows in the future!



3) Account Settings and Feature Options - how do you configure and manage these?


MRWED and Kerri

  • Not really loving the New RCE
  • Image embedding, high volumes of page design are more cumbersome with the new tool, especially can't get images into global announcements
  • Newsletters and webinars are very helpful to keep in touch with what's coming up in the platform




Status and ERA

  • Using Blueprints and this has saved SO much time during COVID
  • Didn't know they needed it, but has been a life-saver


Aspire2 Intl

  • Using Microsoft Immersive Reader Tool and some tutors are loving it, especially English
  • Currently limited to Pages which would be great to be expanded
  • A very powerful resource
  • Megan also using this at TABMA and finding it really useful at this point



  • New Quizzes, enforced in Dec and only option as of July 2021
  • Partial grading is only available in multiple answer types which is problematic
  • Grading notes inclusion is awesome, but not file or picture capability
  • Linking resources/PDFs currently not available
  • Downloading resources and using a file upload requires Dropbox link as Files link/association
  • Free text/text only option from classic quizzes not available in New, only have 'Stimulus' which doesn't necessarily fit the use case of setting the scene with multiple evolving questions 
  • These concerns are currently being reviewed by the product team and Instructure team will keep you informed



4) Best practices for Release Notes and staying up to date with the platform



  • Some changes that are high impact either in the UI or functional change, importance of needing to communicate these without being via email that's then ignored or onerous, how do others manage this?
  • MRWED suggested to make this fun/whimsical, perhaps 
  • Kerri and Megan suggested a PD course which has Canvas training / Community resources and all ongoing changes. Works really well for seeing who's done what and having new staff resources in one place. Using Studio to screencast training and materials - does anyone else hear blog post???
  • Status meet every fortnight as a Dev team and she brings to the table the Canvas items they need to know and what they want to do better with




For those of you who integrate with the VETtrak, we've collated these resources to provide a one-stop-shop for you. 


Terminology Crossover

* - These elements must be created in Canvas before you sync


We also suggest reading the following article Considerations for Course Creation in Vocational Education and discussing this with your CSM to ensure you maximise both Canvas and VETTrak as much as possible.


Important Links / Guide

VETtrak Canvas LMS Integration - User Guide (attached)

VETtrak Support Centre - VETtrak – Help Centre 
VETtrak Community - Topics – Help Centre 


Instructional Videos





Require further assistance?

Reach out to the VETtrak via their website - VETtrak – Help Centre 


Roundtable discussion topics

  • COVID-19 and You!



  • Sarah - Status
  • Kerri - VETNexus
  • Natacha and Aleisha - Tocal
  • Anneka - NCNZ
  • Casey - NCNZ
  • Zo - Aspire2 Intl.
  • Chris - Strawberry Solutions
  • Ruth and Tori - Instructure


Meeting Recording Link:

March 2020 User Group Recording Link


Meeting Minutes:


1) Contingency planning - how are you approaching the COVID-19 situation?


Status - Sarah

  • Online was going well with 2 quals and 500 enrolments...but now everything been turned upside down
  • Users are varying in digital literacy, proving somewhat of a challenge to support at times!
  • Trying to get as many resources online as possible, not pretty, but as many materials as possible
  • Only have 1 FT staff member plus Sarah who can upload content, trying to streamline permissions in the system
  • Prioritising session plans conversion to Pages into Canvas


Aspire2 International - Zo

  • Pushed back Term 2 start, and resuming Diplomas on April 27th --> to gain preparation time
  • Moving forward with tools staff are familiar with
  • Staff WFH, trying to ensure these members are equipped with required tech to deliver from home
  • Strong team working on distance delivery planning, with C level support to move on this
  • Priorities for near future:
    • Teacher training in selected tools
    • Zoom for lecture type and Teams for other conferencing areas
  • Strong foundation on Canvas already which has helped 


NCNZ - Anneka

  • Feeling very comfortable as were already delivering distance learning fully online
  • Mostly BAU, just WFH
  • Student welfare is priority i.e. extensions, maintaining normality
  • Last 6-12 months of the year had translated to required software etc so feeling strong
  • Strong use of Teams, loving it, biggest worry is running out of GIFs!


Strawberry Solutions - Chris

  • Trying to provide value adds, accelerating virtual classrooms, getting onboard to Canvas quickly
  • Offering help wherever they can provide it
  • Finding large market variation, some people are already online and sorted, some brand new and


Tocal - Aleisha

  • Cancelled many courses
  • Online Digital team of only 2, under the pump!!
  • Developed training resource on Canvas to help up-skill trainers quickly
  • Trying to promote as much online engagement as possible, building out this model
  • So many courses which are moving from F2F to online --> makes putting content up challenging as there’s no perfect substitute for F2F
  • Challenge is to create diverse offerings to manage their program content


2) Tips from NCNZ team and others

  • Don’t worry about getting everything perfect and pretty, get your content in so there’s something, and add layout, tools, videos etc upon second review
  • Keeping a consistent structure
  • Building from a word doc with how trainers want it to look, makes it easier to chunk and pull into course layout
  • Use Canvas Media tool to add content where possible
  • Consider the tools you have available to you before adding heaps of whiz bang things people need training on
  • Balancing synchronous and asynchronous delivery
  • Templates can make adding content so much easier to start with
  • Buddy system for staff who may get Canvas easily, and some who may find it difficult --> having them work together to alleviate some pressure for small online team
  • Streamline the Course Navigation to only what the students need
  • Think about how you can capitalise on Canvas features available to you like Discussions, Chat, Collaborations etc!


3) Virtual classroom tools / Conferencing

  • What is everyone using? Scenarios are varied from paper-based to online, or partially on board etc
  • Zo —> didn’t know what a shutdown would be like, so reviewed resources and delivery plans and which approach would lend itself best to align with this.
    • Using Canvas as centre of delivery ecosystem, larger courses adopting Zoom breakout rooms, integrates through an LTI, trialling this at the moment.
    • Zoom paying for a license, but Teams is free if you have O365. Leveraging off these two combined!
  • Sarah —> using Zoom a lot but not integrated at this point
  • Anneka and Casey —> Not using conferencing much as deliver more of authentic, some teachers have trialled Canvas Conferences but not many as yet
  • Chris —> Visual Classrooms, worth exploring in the apps area on Canvas courses  
  • Kerri —> Big Marker, easy to use, no download all browser based, not integrated with Canvas but a great tool!


4) Other native Canvas tools

Canvas Chat

  • Suit synchronous sessions
  • Configurable as an App through your CSM, just reach out!



Kerri's feedback from previous use:

  • Loved the group collaboration and ability to all contribute
  • Can be tricky if access is divided (i.e. some users have O365 and some have Google)
  • Found corporate environment often are locked out of Google, can be tricky
  • So can be very powerful if everyone has access, but be mindful of this for variety of clients
  • NCNZ may start exploring this, so will see how this goes!
  • Can use Canvas pages to have group collaborations, and can use versioning to see who’s added what to the page, important to have very clear instructions. Works well for simple collaborations



  • Canvas forums with gradable option
  • People can feel involved, create their own threads, ask questions
  • Check-ins, not necessarily assessed etc but teachers can post stimulus and then students move from there
  • NCNZ - use Discussions ALOT and have very good uptake and success
  • Sarah - anyone running rollout intake and using Discussion?
    • Kerri —> Does work well if you have a course cafe/social space where they can respond to questions for people who are further down the track compared to others. Kerris uses must reply before seeing responses to then open up existing chatter, this works regardless of how long ago others posted.
    • Tori —> Can have section specific discussions also. When you have a graded discussion, can’t specify to section.




Stay safe everyone and please, if you need help, reach out!!

We're in this together.

I was recently browsing Reddit (strike one) on company time (strike two) and came across a post by a user in /r/edtech who has uploaded their Emergency Remote Instruction course to Commons.


For those of us who are in situations where schools may undergo temporary closure I thought it might be a good resource to adapt (some content is US-specific) or at least be aware of. From the user's Reddit post, it is "Basically a resource with modules for Canvas, Google Apps, Zoom and emergency resources, along with some strategies and tips"


I can't find a direct URL to the course in Commons (if one exists) but searching for "Emergency Remote Instruction" or the creator Gretchen Schaefer will turn up only one result as of 12/3/20.

Stay safe!


[EDIT] Flipgrid, a tool referenced in the EMI course, looks awesome. In a nutshell it facilitates learning sessions by way of teachers sharing short video recordings which prompt responses from learners. It's free, integrates with Canvas and allows sharing to Microsoft Teams.



Roundtable discussion topics

  • Managing Content in Canvas - Blueprint, Commons, Import/Export, Course Duplicate, Direct Share
  • 3rd Party App and LTIs for Vocational Education



  • Sarah - Status
  • Damian - MRWED
  • Kerri - VETNexus
  • Natacha and Aleisha - Tocal
  • Anneka - NCNZ
  • Casey - NCNZ
  • Zo - Aspire2 Intl.
  • Chris - Strawberry Solutions


Meeting Recording Link:

February 2020 User Group Recording Link


Meeting Minutes:


1) Managing Content in Canvas - Blueprint, Commons, Import/Export, Course Duplicate, Direct Share

  • Group use a variety of methods, particularly Commons and Course Copy

  • Ruth demoed NEW Direct share feature - it is awesome! This can be used to quickly transact content (Quizzes, Assignments, Pages, Discussions) between other users in your instance or between Courses you work in.

  • Kerri using Blueprints with several clients who are Blueprinting master versions and then segregate cohorts within these via Sections in the child courses - working very well!
  • NCNZ tried Blueprint's but was not appropriate for them. Two models, semester based and rolling intake. When updating consistently, found there wasn't enough granularity in deciding which child courses were updated in the sync. Now use a Master Course Copy (duplication method), and import/export modules which need updates.
  • Commons - hugely powerful, however need to be mindful that the owner is whoever put the Course to Commons, which can be a risk as they are the master of this content (i.e. if they leave the organisation, the content will stop be updated etc). Recommended to have a generic eLearning or admin account be the owner of these Courses.
  • Course Link Validator! If you haven't already used it, please do. This tool provides a list of all broken links or issues existing in the Course, and directs you to exactly where these are located so you can fix before releasing content to the learners.


Just incase you need them, here are some resources on these content management options:



2) LTI Tools in VET

  • Quizlet - Zo: Trialing this for quiz activities inside their English faculty. Using this to help bridge the gap for students who aren't getting a qualification. Some specialized functionality beyond what Canvas Quizzes do - very user friendly.
  • Kahoot - Kerri: Uses this ALOT in face to face training, and can be 
  • Padlet: Kerri - Notepad into a page that student can use to doodle and write cool things and drop in videos, content etc. Can have a free account! Integrated using external tool in Canvas.
  • H5P - Kerri: is a free version, worth logging in and trialling before purchasing a license which integrates with Canvas. Kerri has done a sensational webinar on using H5P in Canvas - check it out!
  • Accredible - Chris: Can do microcredentials, but has used this for non-accredited Courses to generate certificate (as opposed to certification coming from SMS).
  • Badgr - Chris: suggests that these badging pathways need to be industry validated. Some industries have their own recognised microcredentialing pathways - shaping these badges to align with how you can value add for your students i.e. skills demonstration moreso than unit completion etc.
  • Classroom: - Zo: Trialling this as a tool to better communication with teachers and students. Will be based on AI data eventually, but currently have a synchronous (FB messenger type) and asynchronous (bells and whistles version of Canvas discussions) which is very interesting and Aspire 2 are helping them build this out before it goes live to the wider market. Feel that sometimes the ways Canvas offer for communication are a bit old school, where as tools like this
  • Google LTI - Chris: Using Google slides to present inside Canvas to enhance practical facilitation instead of using PowerPoint on local computers. Can also use other tools from the Google suite. Help keep content consistent across organisation 
  • DropThought, UniCheck, Turnitin, Youtube/Vimeo and others will be discussed next time!


Action Items:

  1. Please respond to User Group Meet-up Poll


  • Review Top 10 Areas of Priority


Roundtable discussion topics

  • Percentage scoring - Does this cause challenges for others?

  • Conferences / webinar tools in Canvas

  • Quality / version control of Course content
  • Zo's Discussion Item - Barriers to Stakeholder Adoption
  • Marita's Question - Atomic Assessments and MasteryConnect



  • Sarah - Status
  • Zo - Aspire2
  • Paul - Accellier Education
  • Anneka - NCNZ
  • Casey - NCNZ
  • Aleisha - Tocal
  • Ilana - Australian College of Event management
  • Halil - BSI
  • Damian - MRWED
  • Bobby - Tas Dept of Ed


Meeting Recording Link:

VE User Group Meeting - January '20


Meeting Minutes:

  • Review Top 10 Areas of Priority
    • Top 7 are currently noted, Ruth will be reaching out with template for how these use cases need to be further fleshed out by those who have put them forward - STAY TUNED! 


  • Percentage scoring - Does this cause challenges for others?
    • Zo - looking for an up or down vote on whether students have demonstrated competency based on an outcome, could be achieved with percentages, but looking for other solutions.
    • Casey - use letter grades within assignments, but wanting totals to be displayed in another form not in percentages. Causes some difficulties in translating this data to SMS (Pivotal/Student360).
    • Damian - using JobReady SMS and moving towards integrating this with Canvas for enrolments/results passback etc. Finding this is not relying on the percentage information on grades which is helpful.
      • Workarounds:
        • They have removed 'Marks' from the Course navigation so learners don't see, and instead they rely on Module requirements which highlights their progress and whether or not they have achieved what is required for each item. This help de-emphasise the Total grade.
        • Use this URL - [instance][course number]/modules/progressions for them to view their progress - has been super well received!
    • Bobby - they have created their own markbook for Dept of Ed through internal custom work and this has been really powerful for them to ensure grading information is seen 
    • Option to view Total Grades as Percentage OR Points


  • Conferences / webinar tools in Canvas
    • Sarah - use nothing at the moment, but in deep investigation of what is possible! Feel native Conferences has some restrictions (can't use on mobile app and recordings only last 14 days). Currently exploring Zoom!
    • Zoom Integration Resources:
    • Ilana - they are using BBB/Canvas Conferences and are happy with it as a free product! Recognises there are limitations, but finding the 14 day cap is forcing people to watch before they expire and or attend live.
    • Bobby - using a BB product integrated with Canvas, as this supports the multi-session capability, but they also use BBB/Canvas Conferences for general classroom sessions which works well!
    • Paul - have previously used ClickMeeting, but finding with corporate customers there is more time wasting getting people into the meetings. Also currently exploring Zoom!
    • Anneka - being a fully online provider, they are very interested in webinar options but are sometimes limited with students using library computers etc who don't have control over what can be downloaded i.e. what softwares are possible without need for download? - suggested livestorm, crowdcast or joinme!


  • Quality / version control of Course content
    • Ilana - use O365, put all assessments from Canvas into a Word doc in SP which has built in version control tool. Team then QA and review outside of Canvas, then when complete they have a process to have this copied across to Canvas. Also find link validation practice is important to make sure content is still accurate. 
    • Aleisha - using Storyline tutorials in Courses which link to Files. When duplicating this to a new Course, finding they need to re-do the links to make this work. If Files could be hosted at subaccount level this would be really helpful to avoid this. Aleisha will create a feature idea on this and share with the User Group to vote up on and include in the Top Priority Areas!
      • Workarounds:
    • Sarah - issue for them is if they want to make a small change to a quiz question or a content item, this interferes with grades etc. They have setup an unpublished Course to house all ideas and updates to be included in the next iteration of the Course. Will provide feedback once they have implemented this!
    • Damian - Yammer used for the same purpose as what Sarah is describing.


  • Zo's Discussion Item - Barriers to Stakeholder Adoption
    • Zo overview: scenario at Aspire2 where morale could be improved across the board, but wanting to highlight they are supported to help with this. Understands when new system comes on, can be seen as 'another thing to learn'. How are others going about helping motivate team members? 
    • Anneka - providing templates helps them feel like they're not starting from scratch, helps reduce how much they are overwhelmed.
    • Tori - have a champion for Canvas, and also integrate it into PD schedule. They need to do PD to meet VET requirements as a trainer, so to fold it into this, it is something they need to do anyway and help them become excited as it's not just part of their day to day workload. Helps if teams feel they have a voice in how they use it and how they upskill.
    • Ruth - consider having users who are at all levels of digital skill as part of the Power Users, so it's not just those who are really confident with new systems, but people of all abilities. Include team members in discussion around setting training agendas - what do you need support with?
    • Anneka - been using for longer and have some more experience power users/buy-in, happy to have them assist with team buy-in!
    • Damian - including some positive story-telling around experiences using Canvas, hosting an event around Canvas for them to be able to drop in and have a chat.


  • Marita's Question - Atomic Assessments and MasteryConnect
    • Sarah - on the content side, use Adobe captivate and eLearning materials, TRS Australia for some course content, Catapult who they used previously in Moodle who have a strong integration with Canvas


  • Review Completed Institutional Profiles
  • Discuss Top 10 Areas of Priority
  • Schedule December/January Meet-up


Roundtable discussion topics

  • Managing a Rolling Intake Model
  • Managing Observations and Multiple Attempts



  • TasTAFE
  • Status Works
  • NCNZ
  • Aspire2
  • ACEM


Meeting Recording Link: VE User Group - Zoom 


Meeting Minutes:

1. Institutional Profiles Review

  • Interesting to see diversity in how people are using the platform, and to align with those who are developing in a similar way
  • Question!
    • For those fairly new to Canvas, could predicated barriers to adoption be included? 
    • For those with existing Canvas experience, could historical barriers be included?
    • Suggested best place may be a Discussion topic in the Group --> Zo to create this. 


2. Top 10 Areas of Priority

  • Already had some contributions to this - great work team!
  • TasTAFE --> No visibility of previous annotated submissions in Assignment feedback. Workaround has been to attach annotated PDF to Assignment comment. Managing rubrics for re-submissions as rubric information overrides, so cannot demonstrate pathway to competency in single assignment.
  • NCNZ --> Suspending a user account. Instead of having to update each enrolment, would be great to have ability to do this at the user level. Current workaround is to change email address so they cannot login, possibly include 'SUSPENDED' or similar to indicate clearly. SSO manages for some organisations, but those using Canvas credentials, this is not straightforward.


3. Managing Rolling Intakes

  • TasTAFE --> enrolments are fairly easy to manage as they are provisioned and removed by the SMS. Challenge is managing course design to be appropriate for this model.
  • MRWED --> Open dates and content, move through at their own pace. Use discussions, but doesn't facilitate as rich discussion as they don't necessarily know each other/learn together
  • Worth reviewing Managing Rolling Enrolments for some initial ideas!
  • Status Works --> feel cohorts are being managed fairly well, but difficulty is not being able to maximise use of the calendar to help guide due dates. Considering PacePlans


4. Managing Observations/Multiple Attempts

  • TasTAFE --> Use multiple rubrics/assignments to manage multiple attempts. Find the app workflow is not as user friendly when out in the workplace on the go. Have been looking at other tools like iAuditor, so not yet found
  • Worth reviewing Observation Reports as an Assignment for some ideas!
  • ACEM --> Use Complete/Incomplete to show visibility of whether they've achieved competency or not. Students have been using filmed evidence but upload size is too restricted which causes long workaround to getting it into Canvas (i.e. OneDrive/link etc). Suggestion, to consider using Stream (as part of Microsoft package) for submissions, which is a workaround for file size issue and also losing original file from users account if they move on and remove this.
  • Aspire2 --> Ability to submit on behalf of a student, important for their English faculty, but a current limitation. This is on the product roadmap - yay!
  • NCNZ --> Difficulty of analytics/reporting available around resubmissions i.e. which assignments are needing more resubmissions etc to help direct efforts as needed.


Follow-up Actions:

  1. Complete the Ordering our Areas of Priority Poll

You may or may not have heard about Terms in Canvas.


This feature allows for managing course access in bulk, so you can set specific parameters (can be unique for Trainers vs Learners etc) that can be applied to whole groupings of courses. More info on how they work here!


Terms may immediately resonate to you as being more applicable to K12 or Universities, as these institutions have very structured academic calendars i.e. Term 1/2/3/4 (K12) or Semester/Trimester 1 & 2 (University). You may be wondering how these would be relevant to a sector which more often than not has rolling enrolments or intakes which are not bound by these parameters... 


However, Terms have a wide range of applications and can be REALLY useful for your organisation to manage your courses and user access. Below are some options which you could consider:


Option 1 - Terms which reflect your Validation Cycle or Versions

Managing your courses based on your validation cycle or versions allows you to align how this is reflected in Canvas with your internal mapping and business processes. It also provides visibility of version control across courses.


How might this look? Here's an example!

Say an organisation is delivering their first version of Cert III in X and Cert IV in X. The first delivery of those courses may be at different times, but they can still belong to the same Term - let's call it Version One Term by setting the Term runs FROM date to 'whenever'. The Term runs TO information can also be left as 'whenever' at this point as we don't know when new versions of the courses will be created yet.


Down the track, if the organisation decides to update content/resources/assessment tasks in line with their validation schedule, a change to the training package or simply self-motivated improvements/facelift for a Unit which is delivered in both courses, it would be important to differentiate what the courses looked like before this point, and from that point moving forwards. The courses could then be copied to create the updated versions and the original courses may then be referred to as 'Cert III in X - version 1' and 'Cert IV in X - version 1', while the new courses may become 'Cert III in X - version 2' and 'Cert IV in X - version 2'


Based on this, they would then decide on a decommission date for the original courses (in line with whenever the last intake completes the course), and would update the Version One Term with this end date to automatically end the courses at the specified time. The new courses would then be assigned to a new Term, Version Two Term which would manage the access for those courses moving forward, until the time the cycle repeats itself. 



Option 2 - Annual

If the above sounds a bit complicated, another more simplified option would be to have all courses delivered in each calendar year belong to an annual Term i.e. all courses delivered in 2019 would belong to 2019 Term. When the new year comes around, duplicated version of the courses which may or may not have any content changes are then assigned to the next annual Term. It is always best practice to decommission and relaunch courses each year / defined period to ensure you don't end up with a never ending list of students and sections inside the one course. This is especially important if changing content, so that you are able to demonstrate how these deliverables have progressed and who completed which version of the course. 



Why else are they useful?

Specific and Comparative Reporting

You are able to specify which Term you would like to review when pulling Account Reports inside your instance, which allows for more directed data insights and the option to compare data between Terms!


Account Analytics

This tool allows you to view a range of insights regarding your account, and can be filtered by Terms which makes reviewing targeted information a breeze.



Something to keep in mind...

If you don't choose to create your own Term structure, all courses will automatically belong to a Default TermThis has no defined access dates, and doesn't provide any structure or organisation in the way you manage your courses, nor the ability to filter reporting or analytics.


Whatever you decide, let us know how YOU use Terms! 

Now that you've set up your instance with Sub-accounts and Courses, how can you manage your enrolments? In Vocational Education, many organisations work with rolling enrolments, where students start their unit and qualification work across the year. If you're one of those organisations, we've outlined two options below to manage rolling enrolments.


As always, have a chat with your Customer Success Manager(CSM) to discuss whether these options could work for your organisation.


In Canvas, enrolments can be managed at different levels using Term dates, Course dates and Section dates. In the examples below, we'll be using Section dates to manage rolling enrolments by organising them into monthly intake cohorts. 


If you don't know about Sections, read about them here. You'll be able to set Section-specific Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions (Graded/ Ungraded) and Announcements. You can also set Section-specific assessment due dates, and also filter and sort by Section in the New Gradebook, SpeedGrader and New Analytics


We’ve detailed two ways to manage your rolling enrolments using Sections. The first option utilises .CSV files to create Sections in bulk. The second option utilises the user interface to create Sections; this second option is a slower process, but still functional for smaller numbers of Sections.



Option One - CSV for Bulk Section Creation


Step 1: Design the Sections.CSV (Choosing the Headers)


Compulsory Headers

These are the headings that are compulsory and must be pre-filled prior to uploading the Sections.CSV as a SIS Import

  • section_id:  This is a unique identifier used to create Sections within a Course. This identifier must not change for the Section, and must be globally unique. In the user interface, this is called the SIS ID.
  • course_id:  This is the unique identifier of the course where the Section will be added or deleted (added in Courses.csv).
  • name:  This is the name of the Section. Sections are ordered alphabetically by name.
  • status:  This is how you can create or remove a Section within a Course. Mark as ‘active’ to create a Section or ‘deleted’ to remove an existing Section.


Optional Headers

  • start_date:  This is the date the section begins. The format should be in ISO 8601: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ (The T may be replaced with a space).
  • end_date:  This is the date the section ends. The format should be in ISO 8601: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ (The T may be replaced with a space). By default, user access is cut off at midnight on your indicated end date, meaning the previous day is the last full day that users have access to the section. Best practice is to set your end date to the day after the section ends.











UI_Name_for Section





You can also view an example of a Sections.CSV from your Provisioning Report.


Recommendation: If you are using Sections to manage your Start/ End Dates for your students enrolment, we recommend that you just use YYYY-MM-DD and that you don’t include the times. By default if selects Midnight, but if you decide to use custom time you need to ensure you utilise the correct format which includes the timezones. 

Step 2: Fill in Columns

  1. Add a Section SIS ID:
    • Define a SIS ID Protocol/ Naming Convention
    • A Section_ID must be unique and different to every other Section_ID. If you have a Student Information System (SIS/SMS), use the unique Course Occurence Number as the Section_ID as you will never duplicate the use of that number. 
  2. Fill in all remaining compulsory columns.











UI_Name_for Section






July Intake BSB51915






Step 3: Export to .CSV


Recommendation: Use Google Sheets if possible. This is because Microsoft Excel is known to add random spaces/ characters that cause problems with the upload. If you used Microsoft Excel to export the .CSV and it comes up with an error message, try Google Sheets before reaching out to Canvas Support.  


Step 4: SIS Import (How to/ What not to)


  1. Upload the .CSV to Canvas via the SIS Import Function
  2. DO NOT click the toggles for the Batch/ UI options unless you have discussed these options with your CSM
  3. Click ‘Process Data’


Recommendation: Always run a test in your TEST Environment to ensure you are happy with the effects caused by the SIS Import. 




Option Two - User Interface


Step 1: Create a Course for an occurrence

Read about some options here about what you should set as a Course.


Step 2: Create a Section for every monthly cohort 

  1. Access Sections in the Course Settings. 
  2. Add a Section for Each Month - this can help you to break your rolling enrolments into starting months. This means that students who enrol at the beginning of the month and students who enrol at the end of the month will be included in the same Section intake.  


Step 3: Edit the Section Details (SIS ID and Start/ End Dates)

  1. Click the Name of the Section and ‘Edit Section’ on the right-hand side to start editing the details for the Course Section.
  2. Add a Section SIS ID:
    • Define a SIS ID Protocol/ Naming Convention
    • A Section_ID must be unique and different to every other Section_ID. If you have a Student Information System (SIS/SMS), use the unique Course Occurence Number as the Section_ID as you will never duplicate the use of that number. 
  1. Set a Start Date - Use the first of the month as the Start Date
  2. Set an End Date -  Choose a date that corresponds to the length of time the students should be enrolled in the Course. For example, if the student has 1 year to complete the Course, the Start Date is Apr 1, 2018 and the End Date is Apr 1, 2019
  3. Tick ‘Users can only Participate in the Course Between these Dates’ - read more about why you might ‘Limit Section Privileges’ here:
  4. Click ‘Update Section’ to save your changes.





Candice Lim.

Learning through practice and simulation is an essential aspect of the development of expertise in the workplace. Competency Based Training is designed to allow the learner to demonstrate their ability to do something as such; RTO’s need a way to assess and record the evidence of that assessment. 


A Direct Observation (otherwise known as a Observation Report) is an assessment of a student made in real time in the workplace or in a simulated off-the-job situation that reflects the workplace. This is evidence that must be observed or witnessed by the assessor themselves. 


As such, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could do these assessments on-the-go? This blog will help you to move away from the days of print, write, scan and into the future of electronic-based reporting.


Step 1 - Define the Observation Outcomes

Step 2 - Import the Outcomes

Step 3 - Create the Assignment

Step 4 - Create the Rubric

Step 5 - Use your Device to Assess on the Go!


Step One - Define the Observation Outcomes

As part of the development of an Observation Report in Canvas, it is important that you are able to clearly articulate what outcomes the student is required to achieve. Once you have a defined set of outcomes, it is time to create those outcomes inside of Canvas;

1. Go to the Root Account Admin Navigation and select ‘Outcomes’,

2. Develop a folder structure which will support the input of multiple types of Outcomes (see sample below),


3. Create each Outcome that you wish to place into the Observation Report (see example below),


4. Once all Outcomes have been added, return to the Canvas Course that is being worked on.



Step Two - Import the Outcomes

  1. In your Canvas Course, select ‘Outcomes’ on the Course Navigation,
  2. Import the Outcomes into the Canvas Course (see example below).



Step Three - Create the Assignment

1. In your Canvas Course, select Assignmentson the Course Navigation,

2. Select ‘+’ an Assignment:

  1. Enter a Title and Description,
  2. Display Mark As: Percentage,
  3. Submission Type: No Submission.


3. Select ‘Save.



Step Four - Create the Rubric

1. Select ‘+ Rubric’,

  1. Add an appropriate title to ensure it is unique,
  2. Import the Outcomes that were created and imported into the Canvas Course,
  3. Select ‘Use this Rubric for Assignment Grading’ click ‘Create Rubric’. 

***If it asks you to ‘Change’ or ‘Leave Different’ select ‘Change’. This will ensure that when the assessor grades using the Rubric, it will auto-calculate a grade out of 100%. 



Step Five - Use your Device to Assess on the Go! 

How should you structure your Canvas Courses in your instance if you're in Vocational Education?


There are already multiple guides outlining the hierarchical structure within Canvas (here) and information about Canvas Courses. The purpose of this blog is to provide a VET perspective of how you could apply your system hierarchy in Canvas. 


Previously we posted about how you might want to organise your Canvas Account - now the next step is deciding how you will want to organise your Courses that works for your organisation. Courses can be used to differentiate qualifications, skill sets, units of competency or clusters.


If you have an integration with a Student Information System (SIS), take a look at how or if it maps to Canvas. If it does, then you’re set! Your SIS will map your system hierarchy to the Canvas Course structure.


If you don’t have a SIS or if your SIS does not map to Canvas Courses, consider your existing system hierarchy within your organisation. How can you mimic how your organisation is already set up within Canvas? We’ve outlined some models below to help you get started.


As always, have a chat with your Customer Success Manager to discuss which options could work for your organisation.




Qualification as a Canvas Course

When Qualifications are organised into Courses, Units would be organised into Modules. 



  • Reduced administration, as students are enrolled into one location
  • One location for trainer to manage
  • Easy to cluster Units and build progression pathways
  • Trainers can not easily be split between Units (Modules)
  • Amount of content in the Modules page may intimidate the student and potentially decrease engagement




Skill Set as a Canvas Course

Similar to the example above, Skill Sets can also be organised into Courses, and Units organised into Modules.



  • Reduced administration, as students are enrolled into one location
  • One location for trainer to manage
  • Easy to cluster Units and build progression pathways
  • Trainers can not easily be split between Units (Modules)




Unit of Competency as a Canvas Course

This option results in smaller Courses that contain the learning activities for the Unit organised in Modules.



  • Allows for greater flexibility if the RTO allows for a choice in Elective Units (if there aren’t defined learning pathways dictated by the RTO)
  • Smaller more manageable chunks of content/ assessment
  • Can limit Unit access (1 by 1)
  • Additional administrative tasks as each student has to be enrolled in every elective
  • SIS integration may not allow for this model




Cluster (Multitude of Units) as a Canvas Course*

Combine multiple Units together to cluster learning activities and assessments. 



  • Allows for greater flexibility if the RTO allows for a choice in Elective Units (if there aren’t defined learning pathways dictated by the RTO)
  • Smaller more manageable chunks of content/ assessment
  • Can limit Unit access (1 by 1)
  • Learning activities can be clustered to reduce the risk of over-assessment and progress through assessment tasks more organically to allow greater connection
  • Additional administrative tasks as each student has to be enrolled in every elective
  • SIS integration may not allow for this model



If you've already hit the ground running with your Courses, how does your organisation set it up and what are the pros and cons that you've encountered?


If you're just starting out, how would you like to set it up? What are the pros and cons that you feel are most important when organising your Canvas Courses?

Ready for the next step?

Take a look at the next part in this mini-series, Managing Rolling Enrolments.



Candice Lim.

There are already multiple guides outlining the hierarchical structure within Canvas (here). The purpose of this blog is to provide a VET perspective of how you could apply your system hierarchy in Canvas.


How should you structure your Canvas Sub-accounts within your VET instance?


Sub-accounts can be used to differentiate departments, locations, training packages, qualifications, and industry sponsor or partner models. Consider your existing system hierarchy within your organisation.


How can you mimic how your organisation is already set up within Canvas? We’ve outlined some models below to help you get started!




Location or Region as a Sub-Account

This is for you if you want to separate sub-accounts for different locations or regions within your organisation.




Training Package as a Sub-Account

This is for you if your organisation offers multiple training packages. 



Qualification as a Sub-Account

This is for you if you offer a single training package and want account analytics at the qualification level.




Industry Sponsor or Partner as a Sub-Account

This is for you if you work with industry sponsors or partners and want to add co-branding.



How do you organise your Canvas account structure?

Ready for the next step?

Take a look at the next part in this mini-series, Considerations for Course Creation.




Candice Lim.

There are multiple grading options in Canvas for Vocational Education and we’ve documented just a few that you may want to try out! Have a chat with your Customer Success Manager to determine which option may be best for your organisation.


  • Option 1 - Complete/ Incomplete
  • Option 2 - Rubric with Competency Standing
  • Option 3 - Rubric with Multiple Outcomes and % Marker


Option 1 - Complete/ Incomplete 

The simplest of them all. The assessment is either complete or incomplete.




  • Clear distinct message that the assessment is ‘Complete’ or ‘Incomplete’
  • Simple option for Faculty to apply a Mark
  • Cannot have more than one marking criteria
  • Lack of marking criteria may lead to inconsistent marking
  • All marking criteria would need to be stored external to the assessment


Steps to set it up:

  1. Create an Assignment,
  2. Change ‘Display Mark As’ to reference ‘Complete/Incomplete’.


Option 2 - Rubric with Competency Standing

Add a rubric with an outcome to your assessment so you can run a report on competency standing.




  • Can run an Account/ Sub-Account Level Report on Outcomes
  • Score is automatically assigned in a Rubric, saving clicks and time on administrative tasks
  • Can use ‘Non-Scoring Rubrics’
  • Cannot have more than one Outcome in a Rubric
  • Lack of marking criteria may lead to inconsistent marking
  • All marking criteria would need to be stored external to the assessment

Steps to set it up:

  1. At the Account/ Sub-Account level,
    1. Create an Outcome (i.e. Competency Standing)
    2. Create a Rubric importing the Outcome
  2. At the Course level,
    1. In the Assignment, choose to ‘Display Mark As’...
      1. Percentage - This will show either ‘0%’ or ‘100%’ to the student
      2. Complete/ Incomplete - This will show either a ‘Tick’ or a ‘Cross’ to the student
    2. Find and add the Rubric into the Assignment you have created and select the Toggle that allows ‘Use this Rubric for Assignment Grading’ (it may request you to ‘Change’ or ‘Leave Different’ once you save, please click ‘Change’)


Option 3 - Rubric with Multiple Outcomes and % Marker

Add a rubric with multiple outcomes to your assessment to reflect marking matrices and get it all captured in a report.




  • Can run an Account/ Sub-Account Level Report on Outcomes
  • Can benchmark student responses with multiple outcomes
  • Supplemental marking matrix (on paper or somewhere else online) no longer needed
  • Provides feedback on which aspects are ‘Satisfactory’ and which are ‘Not Yet Satisfactory’
  • Auto-calculates the total score based on the Outcomes
  • Can use ‘Non-Scoring Rubrics’
  • Cannot use ‘Complete/Incomplete’ in the ‘Display Grade as’ because if there are multiple Outcomes, the completion of any one outcome will mark the assessment as ‘Complete’
  • Can take time to create effective and meaningful Outcomes/ Rubrics. 


Steps to set it up:

  1. At the Account/ Sub-Account level,
    1. Create Outcomes 
    2. Create a Rubric importing the Outcomes
  2. At the Course level,
    1. In the Assignment, choose to ‘Display Mark As’ to ‘Percentage’,
    2. Find and add the Rubric into the Assignment you have created and select the Toggle that allows ‘Use this Rubric for Assignment Grading’ (it may request you to ‘Change’ or ‘Leave Different’ once you save, please click ‘Change’)



Amelia Hayson & Candice Lim.

Online learning in Vocational Education is becoming a growing trend in the RTO Space. With the ever-growing demands being placed on RTO's to support quality student outcomes, we need to find betters ways to achieve this without being 100% reliant on the face to face training model. We need to innovate new ways to develop simple processes that help us identify when we feel a student is at risk of being disengaged and dropping out. 

This blog is designed to help get you thinking about what you can introduce at your institution to help inform your faculty and support your learners. Here are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling...


Introduce an Attempts Policy

One of the cool things about Quizzes, is that you can limit the number of attempts available to students. 'But competency based training means they have the ability to continue to attempt until they get it right' right? 


Well, think of it this way; by limiting the number of attempts to 2-3, you can identify if a learner is struggling to complete the quiz. Learner doesn't complete in three attempts? Than we need to ask an important question, why? 


This is a great opportunity for the trainer to engage the learner and determine what support structures can be put in place to support the learner through their learning and assessment pathways. 



Understanding Student Analytics

Sometimes those students who struggle are the quiet ones in the corner. It’s easy to forget they’re there, but it is so important that we keep an eye out for them. Let’s engage them before we lose them. 


Activity Compared to Class

First things first, let’s take a quick look at the Student Context Card. By comparing an overview of the students participation against the other students in their cohort who can at least indicate if they’re engaged. It is not meant to be an exact comparison but at least it’s an opportunity to encourage us to dig a little deeper. 


Student Analytics

Want to know where a students strengths and weaknesses lie? Check out the Student Analytics (SA). SA show you how well the learner is doing in a particular course. The ability to:


View Activity by Date

The ability to see when a student is viewing and participating can help us to determine whether a student is actively engaged in their course. If they are continually viewing and never participating it is a great opportunity to reach out and confirm their understanding of the learning content. We shouldn’t assume it is due to a lack of confidence and it’s a great way to trigger a conversation with the learner. 


View Submissions

Students assignments always late or missing? The Submissions Graph shows the status of each submission for each learner be it On Time, Late, Missing or due in the Future. 


If you have due dates on your content, than this is a good opportunity to determine trends or discover outliers. Does the student normally submit on time? Yes, well why was their last two assignments late? Again, another great way to trigger a discussion with the learner as to why their performance may be slipping. Keeping in mind it could be that the quality of content begins to drop or issues with their personal lives. Remember, be sensitive!


View Grades 

This graph shows the median, high and low scores for each assignment. We talked about comparing the students activity against other learners, why not their grades? 


There is always room for improvement. A student is sitting below the average continually on their submissions? Let’s reach out and see how we can help them reach the benchmark needed to be successful in their learning. 


Something else to consider, if a student is performing well, maybe consider a buddy system designed to encourage learners to support each other. 



Final thoughts..

Learning isn’t supposed to be easy, we are supposed to challenge our learners and help them build core competencies in their chosen industries. The best way to do this, is to make sure we are aware of those who may need additional support, or who are at risk of dropping out. 


By having a better understanding of the kinds of data available inside of Canvas and how it can interpreted, we can give our trainers and assessors the tools they need to be successful in their own role of helping learners attain success. 



Amelia Hayson