5 Things to Easily Get Your Canvas Class Going

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You need to move some of your schooling online quickly, but you’re not sure where to start with teachers to help them feel comfortable? The Learning Services Team at Instructure has created this list of 5 Things to Easily Get Your Canvas Class Going! 

Thing 1: Know How to Connect with Students 

  • Provide updates and information through Announcements. Canvas Guide | Video 
  • Send individual messages to students through Conversations in the Canvas Inbox Canvas Guide 
  • Give feedback and grade student work through the SpeedGrader Canvas Guide | Video
  • Use Conferences to setup live video sessions with students Canvas Guide | Video

Thing 2: Use Modules

  • Modules are going to be your main organizational tool. Use a Daily Module structure or a Weekly Module structure and include everything you want students to see/do in there! Mad About Modules Resource | Canvas Guide | Video

Thing 3: Have Students Submit Online Through Canvas

  • Discussions will allow students to respond to you and one another Canvas Guide | Video
  • Quizzes can be used for quick checks, homework assignments, quizzes and even tests Canvas Guide | Video
  • Assignments can be used for anything you dream up. Use the Submission type of “Online.” Canvas Guide | Video

Thing 4: Limit the Course Navigation

Limiting the course navigation in your course so it’s easy for your students to find what they need!  Canvas Guide 
Our suggestion is only enable the following to start:

  • Home
  • Announcements
  • Modules
  • Grades

Add Conferences, if you plan to have live video sessions with students.

Thing 5: Set Modules as Your Home Page

Set your Home Page to Modules. It’s probably already set this way. That is the easiest for students to manage at first. Canvas Guide Some other things to consider:

Huge thanks goes to the awesome members of the Learning and Strategy Consulting team who brainstormed this list: bfirestone@instructure.com‌, lauren.fox@instructure.com‌, and mlattke@instructure.com‌!

About the Author
Canvas Consultant. Eighteen years in public school education - brick and mortar, online, and school administration. I love adopting animals, vacationing by the water, and college basketball. ______ At my heart - I am a teacher. When I was hired for my first English teaching job, in an inner city school district, the secretary gave me a set of keys and a map for how to get to my new classroom. When I unlocked the door I was met with an abundance of light from a large bank of windows highlighting the freshly waxed floors, rows of tables and chairs, and empty bookshelves. No textbooks, no supplies, no nothing. Surely this had to be a mistake? I quickly found out it was not. I also quickly found out that I can handle just about anything. Cutting my teeth in that room, in that district, with those students was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am resilient. I solve problems. I think on my feet. I am not afraid of challenges. And, at my heart, I am a teacher. This has served me well throughout my many transitions in my career. I found myself interviewing for a teaching position at cyber charter school in December 2004. I had, up to that point, made exactly one PowerPoint. Just like that, I was the only English teacher for this brand new cyber charter school. Everything was online, I taught every grade from 7 through 12, and I was in love with what technology could do for these students. I have seen it tear down walls between students and teachers, build students up who previously had no hope, and provide tremendous opportunities for children, teachers, and parents. That position allowed me to stretch in ways that I never imagined. In addition to teaching students I had the opportunity to also I design professional development for teachers who were on the cutting edge of education. I also project managed a change to a new learning management system. I know the power of educational technology, the importance of a teacher, the ability to reach through a computer screen and grab a student’s heart for learning - no matter his or her age.