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jbchilds
Community Member

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Colleagues and/or Vendors,

I need help.  I feel utterly lost.  This "Instructure Community" site is a maze and I cannot figure out where I am let alone where to go.

My school uses Canvas.  I had colleagues help me last year, but I know that I didn't even scratch the surface of what Canvas can do.  I feel anxious, sad, and frustrated because I don't know even the first step.  I have been teaching for twenty years.  I come from the time of pencils, paper, transparencies, stone knives, Clovis points, and bearskins.

Grateful for any help at all.  I mean it.  ANY help.

J Childs

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5 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
gnoack
Community Champion

Hi @jbchilds 

I've been there.  When I first needed to learn Canvas, I spent an hour each morning for two weeks just watching the tutorial videos linked on this page. 

Video Guide - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

I recommend you start with The Canvas Overview, then work through Assignments, Discussions, Files, Pages, Announcements, Course Home Page, Gradebook overview, Modules, People, quizzes, speedgrader, Course Settings, Courses: Creating and Management, and Rubrics.  The rest may or may not be pertinent to you.  This should give you a good overview. 

You might also try searching YouTube for "Getting Started with Canvas Instructure",  The Canvas LMS page might have some videos of value. CanvasLMS - YouTube

This next link will take you to a page with dozens of step-by-step tutorials.  You might find these helpful, too. 

Instructor Guide - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

I hope that helps. 

 

 

 

 

View solution in original post

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there, @jbchilds ...

I'm glad to see that you've already been getting some good tips and resources to help you get started creating a course for your students.  I'll also chime in with some tips and tricks that you might want to explore...

  • Within your school's Canvas environment, you might want to have a "sandbox" course set up for you.  A "sandbox" course is an empty course shell that you can get enrolled in that is basically your playground to try out things in Canvas and put any content that you want into this course.  It generally wouldn't have students in it.  If you are unable to create a course shell on your own, reach out to your school's local Canvas administrator to see if a "sandbox" course could be created for you.  Then, if you wanted, you could build some of your course content in your "sandbox" course, and then import (copy) that content into your actual course that will have students in it using this Guide: How do I copy content from another Canvas course u... - Instructure Community.
  • Another good resource for you to explore would be Set Up Your Canvas Course in 30 minutes or Less - Instructure Community.  This is a select set of video tutorials from the list that @gnoack provided to you.
  • There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube, and I've heard good things about the series of videos from Ashlee Espinosa.  👩‍💻 Canvas LMS Tutorials for Online Teaching - YouTube  You might want to start with videos #31 and #3 (though #3 looks more recent)...as those two are all about how to set up a Canvas course.
  • Do you have access to Canvas Commons?  (You would see a "Commons" button on the left hand side global navigation bar within your Canvas environment.  If so, there is a "Growing with Canvas for Instructors" course that could be imported into a course shell.  Or, your school's local Canvas admin may have already created a version of this "Growing with Canvas" course for you and other instructors at your school that you could go through.  That would be a question you'd have to talk with your Canvas admin about.

There are all kinds of people here that are ready and willing to help you get started...and hopefully these resources I've provided will be of some help to you as well.  Let us know if you have any other questions...good luck!

View solution in original post

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @jbchilds!

There's a lot that passion can fuel, and you seem the type of teacher whose HEART is completely into the things you do.  ♥

It definitely can feel overwhelming to start new (and/or more) when little is consistent. I'm happy you've found the Community! Like the other Community Members have said, we'll help you the best we can.

 

I wanted to share a few free opportunities with you --

1. Canvas Basics Badge - Canvas Network's course for getting you started! https://www.canvas.net/courses/canvas-basics-badge 

2. Growing with Canvas - Canvas Network's course that will help you grow with your use and adoption of Canvas! (It's also a great way to see how Modules can be used to organize content.) https://www.canvas.net/browse/cn-pd/courses/growing-with-canvas

3.  Panda Pros - This summer, Instruture is offering 25-minute consultations for any Canvas, Portfulium, or Mastery Connect customer. You can sign-up for 1:1 guidance! https://www.instructure.com/panda-pros 

 

I teach visual art in grades 9-12. While it's a little older of an age group than your group of learners, I am more than willing to bounce some ideas around. The biggest thing I can suggest is consistency. The stronger the pattern (visual, written, structure, etc...well, everything), the better they'll follow along and gain independence. It also makes it easier for you! (How do I duplicate a module item?) Please reach out! Collaboration is one of the most magical things about the Community. 

As you dive in, feel free to tag any of us using the @ symbol to bring us back into the conversation. 😊

Kristin

View solution in original post

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

@jbchilds  You might also want to sign up for the free 1:1 coaching available from the Panda Pros. Now that you have a collection of resources to get started, a Panda Pro might help you set up a structure to achieve your training goals—or work on a specific area of Canvas that might be particularly beneficial to you in your teaching (and learning!).

View solution in original post

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @jbchilds 

I fell your pain! I used to chisel my lessons on stone tablets until Moses took all the fun out of it, but I have been teaching online a very long time, and on computers even longer - can we say "floppy disks).

Some truly great folks, most of them old friends, have already offered you some great resources, so all I have left is advice, and being old, I am chock-full of that.

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE! simple is not just for the less intelligent or less learned. If anything, it becomes even more important the smarter we are and the more educated our students are. If you are challenged by Canvas, think how challenged many of your students are. You don't need to used every bell and whistle available, and you shouldn't - at least not until you are completely comfortable and understand the impact on your students.
  • Concentrate on Course Design and Structure: focus your learning on how content is organized and presented to students, the "flow" of learning in your classroom. Present clean and clear learning opportunities, with the navigation through your course as simple as possible. Learners need to know what they are learning, how they are going to learn it, and where they can find what they need at any time!
  • Interact with your students: In the traditional classroom, teachers spend all their time interacting with their students, and online teachers should too! Keeping mind that an online classroom is available to your students 24/7, nobody advocates that you also interact with your students 24/7. But check into your classrooms every day, at regular times, and talk to your students while you are in there.

To help you with your course design, I offer a little blog I put together for this community many years ago. It will be helpful: UDL for Module Design.

Keep in mind that the resources in this community will be invaluable, from the Canvas Guides, to Idea Conversations to this Question Forum area; we are all here to help! Although I will be the first to agree that the new platform for our community is not the easiest to use!

 

Good luck, and you know where to find me if you need more help!

Kelley

View solution in original post

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7 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Greetings! I'm sorry to hear that you feel so frustrated, but you have come to the right place to get help! 

To assist us with understanding how we can help, could you provide a little information into what you teach (subject, area, etc), what modality you will be teaching (traditional, hybrid, hyflex, online asynchronous, online synchronous, etc), and if there are any specific types of things you'd like to use Canvas for with your courses (grades, allowing students to submit assignments online, posting course content online for students, etc). The more information you provide, the better we will be able to get you going in the right direction and offer up the correct resources!

Have a great day! Kona

jbchilds
Community Member

Dear Ms. Kona,

The lifeboat arrives! Thank you!

I teach Geography and Creative Writing at Classen School of Advanced Studies Middle School, Grades 6, 7, and 8.  I am a veteran teacher but, of course, 2020 - 2021 turned guys like me into rookies.  Classen is the premiere Arts & Sciences magnet school in the Oklahoma City District and the most beautiful school in the whole world.  My classroom is full of Punks, Goths, Hippies, and other assorted freaks and they are all so precious.  I just want to do right by them and their potential.  Before I found Classen I was thinking of retiring in four years.  Now, I hope I can teach for at least another ten years.

All these younger teachers can do this stuff badaboom-badabing and here I am clicking-staring-clicking.

We hope to heaven that the kids get vaccinated and that the Delta destroyer can be stopped.  As the kids were leaving on the last day in May, I intoned in my best Edinburgh brogue, "Goh git yar shots!"

I would like, therefore, to think we will be in a traditional setting, but the hybrid is more likely.  As for that third thing?  I wouldn't know a "hyflex" if it slathered itself in maple syrup and slapped me in the [insert Madlibs body part here.]  Sorry, I'm part Canadian.

All that before the, etc?  Yes, please, all of it.  Like I said, I'd like to know what I can with modules, assignments, assessments, and grading would be a good start.  I think I need to get the basics before any fancy stuff like discussions, peer reviews, etc.

A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g will help!

So gratefully,

J

gnoack
Community Champion

Hi @jbchilds 

I've been there.  When I first needed to learn Canvas, I spent an hour each morning for two weeks just watching the tutorial videos linked on this page. 

Video Guide - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

I recommend you start with The Canvas Overview, then work through Assignments, Discussions, Files, Pages, Announcements, Course Home Page, Gradebook overview, Modules, People, quizzes, speedgrader, Course Settings, Courses: Creating and Management, and Rubrics.  The rest may or may not be pertinent to you.  This should give you a good overview. 

You might also try searching YouTube for "Getting Started with Canvas Instructure",  The Canvas LMS page might have some videos of value. CanvasLMS - YouTube

This next link will take you to a page with dozens of step-by-step tutorials.  You might find these helpful, too. 

Instructor Guide - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

I hope that helps. 

 

 

 

 

View solution in original post

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there, @jbchilds ...

I'm glad to see that you've already been getting some good tips and resources to help you get started creating a course for your students.  I'll also chime in with some tips and tricks that you might want to explore...

  • Within your school's Canvas environment, you might want to have a "sandbox" course set up for you.  A "sandbox" course is an empty course shell that you can get enrolled in that is basically your playground to try out things in Canvas and put any content that you want into this course.  It generally wouldn't have students in it.  If you are unable to create a course shell on your own, reach out to your school's local Canvas administrator to see if a "sandbox" course could be created for you.  Then, if you wanted, you could build some of your course content in your "sandbox" course, and then import (copy) that content into your actual course that will have students in it using this Guide: How do I copy content from another Canvas course u... - Instructure Community.
  • Another good resource for you to explore would be Set Up Your Canvas Course in 30 minutes or Less - Instructure Community.  This is a select set of video tutorials from the list that @gnoack provided to you.
  • There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube, and I've heard good things about the series of videos from Ashlee Espinosa.  👩‍💻 Canvas LMS Tutorials for Online Teaching - YouTube  You might want to start with videos #31 and #3 (though #3 looks more recent)...as those two are all about how to set up a Canvas course.
  • Do you have access to Canvas Commons?  (You would see a "Commons" button on the left hand side global navigation bar within your Canvas environment.  If so, there is a "Growing with Canvas for Instructors" course that could be imported into a course shell.  Or, your school's local Canvas admin may have already created a version of this "Growing with Canvas" course for you and other instructors at your school that you could go through.  That would be a question you'd have to talk with your Canvas admin about.

There are all kinds of people here that are ready and willing to help you get started...and hopefully these resources I've provided will be of some help to you as well.  Let us know if you have any other questions...good luck!

View solution in original post

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @jbchilds!

There's a lot that passion can fuel, and you seem the type of teacher whose HEART is completely into the things you do.  ♥

It definitely can feel overwhelming to start new (and/or more) when little is consistent. I'm happy you've found the Community! Like the other Community Members have said, we'll help you the best we can.

 

I wanted to share a few free opportunities with you --

1. Canvas Basics Badge - Canvas Network's course for getting you started! https://www.canvas.net/courses/canvas-basics-badge 

2. Growing with Canvas - Canvas Network's course that will help you grow with your use and adoption of Canvas! (It's also a great way to see how Modules can be used to organize content.) https://www.canvas.net/browse/cn-pd/courses/growing-with-canvas

3.  Panda Pros - This summer, Instruture is offering 25-minute consultations for any Canvas, Portfulium, or Mastery Connect customer. You can sign-up for 1:1 guidance! https://www.instructure.com/panda-pros 

 

I teach visual art in grades 9-12. While it's a little older of an age group than your group of learners, I am more than willing to bounce some ideas around. The biggest thing I can suggest is consistency. The stronger the pattern (visual, written, structure, etc...well, everything), the better they'll follow along and gain independence. It also makes it easier for you! (How do I duplicate a module item?) Please reach out! Collaboration is one of the most magical things about the Community. 

As you dive in, feel free to tag any of us using the @ symbol to bring us back into the conversation. 😊

Kristin

View solution in original post

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

@jbchilds  You might also want to sign up for the free 1:1 coaching available from the Panda Pros. Now that you have a collection of resources to get started, a Panda Pro might help you set up a structure to achieve your training goals—or work on a specific area of Canvas that might be particularly beneficial to you in your teaching (and learning!).

View solution in original post

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @jbchilds 

I fell your pain! I used to chisel my lessons on stone tablets until Moses took all the fun out of it, but I have been teaching online a very long time, and on computers even longer - can we say "floppy disks).

Some truly great folks, most of them old friends, have already offered you some great resources, so all I have left is advice, and being old, I am chock-full of that.

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE! simple is not just for the less intelligent or less learned. If anything, it becomes even more important the smarter we are and the more educated our students are. If you are challenged by Canvas, think how challenged many of your students are. You don't need to used every bell and whistle available, and you shouldn't - at least not until you are completely comfortable and understand the impact on your students.
  • Concentrate on Course Design and Structure: focus your learning on how content is organized and presented to students, the "flow" of learning in your classroom. Present clean and clear learning opportunities, with the navigation through your course as simple as possible. Learners need to know what they are learning, how they are going to learn it, and where they can find what they need at any time!
  • Interact with your students: In the traditional classroom, teachers spend all their time interacting with their students, and online teachers should too! Keeping mind that an online classroom is available to your students 24/7, nobody advocates that you also interact with your students 24/7. But check into your classrooms every day, at regular times, and talk to your students while you are in there.

To help you with your course design, I offer a little blog I put together for this community many years ago. It will be helpful: UDL for Module Design.

Keep in mind that the resources in this community will be invaluable, from the Canvas Guides, to Idea Conversations to this Question Forum area; we are all here to help! Although I will be the first to agree that the new platform for our community is not the easiest to use!

 

Good luck, and you know where to find me if you need more help!

Kelley

View solution in original post

Tags (1)