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Community Contributor

Things to avoid doing!

We are all using (and mostly loving, I'm sure) Canvas, but sometimes there are things we try to do that we really shouldn't be doing "that way."

As there is always more to learn, I was hoping that you would share with me the things that you've tried to do in Canvas that you realized later didn't work out as you had planned, and better yet, the solutions you found that worked better!


14 Replies
Community Contributor

I so related to this post!

On the adding zeros, I might also add that anytime you see an icon in your gradebook, that means the item is manually graded. Until it is manually graded the student and instructor grade will be different. Instructors see the student's grade as if they received a zero for each manually graded item, student sees their grade as if the assignment hasn't been submitted. This can be a big problem if the grades have been posted to transcripts.

Roll call- we set the assignment to ungraded to remove from the gradebook.

Not using the front page as a home page, I am so glad someone agrees. We recently found one of our online courses that had been changed by the instructor to go to the front page. Then from there, they had all assignments linked from an introduction page for each unit. I'm sure the instructor thought this would make it easier for students, but in reality it made the course inaccessible from a mobile device, and about as non-ada compliant as you could get.

We have set all of our online and hybrid courses with the same links available- syllabus, grades, home, announcements, and two redirects that we created- instructor sheet and help and resources. I think the students appreciate knowing what to expect in an online course, and when all of the links are view-able it can be overwhelming.

Reset- I don't really like that this is available to instructors, and we have had a couple accidentally push the button thinking we wouldn't have it available if they could cause harm. But it is nice that we can always run a report to find recently reset courses and then restore it if need be. We have had to do that a time or two.

Community Contributor

We did have a problem with copying content and yes it was a big mess. What we discovered was that when content is copied into a course it becomes unique to that course with a specific item id for each item. If you copy the exact same content into the same course, it will have the same item id the second time, and over write the first time. Let's just say it's best not to copy items:) We had a problem with items that got stuck in the queue when importing. We went ahead and began the import again. As we were migrating from another LMS at the time, this problem occurred many times. At some point whatever was causing the stuck queue became unstuck, and all of those items imported over what was there. This happened approximately 2 months into the semester. So make a note, if an item EVER gets stuck in the queue don't import again, call Canvas!

Community Participant

I'd like to add to item number 1 about keeping things hidden (which is so true!) that if you think you are going to use something later, just go ahead and disable it now. It is like a new present for the students when you add a navigational link to a new content area, but dead links and content areas are just confusing.

I had students asking me about "broken links" in someone else's course last year but what it turned out to be was "Pages" was disabled for students and the students were clicking on unavailable items and getting redirected to the Course "Front Page." Several of them had gone to the computing center's help desk, but Canvas was so newly deployed that they were having a hard time getting a straight answer.  The subject came up because they were thanking me for putting a link to Canvas help on my front page of my course, so I've kept doing it ever since.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @jen ‌ thanks for this brilliant list you have begun. I will be referring to it as I get my head around using Canvas.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @jen ,

We are giving the Canvas Admins area a little bit of love (especially questions that are really, really old) and just want to check in with you.  This will also bring this question new attention. 


Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.