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Canvas Release: Canvas for Elementary (2021-06-19)

Canvas Release: Canvas for Elementary (2021-06-19)

This document provides a summary of the Canvas for Elementary feature, which was originally introduced in the Canvas Release Notes (2021-06-19). Please see the change log for details about document updates.

The Canvas for Elementary feature creates a digital classroom that reflects the physical classroom experience for elementary students. This change allows teachers to set up a homeroom course and a course for each subject to organize and focus student course participation. 

Deploy Notes Change Log

 

Community Resources

Future Enhancements

This document outlines existing functionality included in the initial release of this feature. Canvas for Elementary may continue to receive additional feature enhancements over future releases as indicated in the change log at the end of this document and the Canvas Release Notes.

Customer Feedback

Community feedback for Canvas for Elementary is welcome in the Canvas for Elementary User Group.

Feature Documentation

How-to documentation for this feature is included in the Canvas for Elementary User Group Knowledge Base.

Lesson comments are welcome for functionality clarification. Lessons will also be updated with all future enhancements as indicated in this document.

Feature/Integration Setup

Permissions

Users who want to create courses must have the Manage Courses: Courses - Add permission.

At the account level, account admins have this permission by default. 

API

This feature involves the following additions:

  • Courses API
  • External Tools API
  • Users API

For details, see the Canvas API Change Log.

Release Schedule

This feature was made available in the beta environment as of 2021-05-17. Additional enhancements will continue to be made to this feature as announced in future release notes.

As of 2021-06-19, this feature will be available to be enabled in the production environment.

An enforcement date of this feature will be based on planned feature development and user feedback. Additional details will be announced in Upcoming Canvas Changes when available.

Note: Currently Canvas for Elementary is not available in the Canvas mobile apps. Please see the Roadmap for future mobile development plans.

Account-Level Setup

Subaccounts

Canvas for Elementary features are enabled via an account setting. The setting can be set at the account or subaccount level. When enabled, this setting affects the Canvas interface for all students enrolled in at least one course within the account or subaccount.

Canvas for Elementary features can be enabled through the Canvas for Elementary (beta) checkbox in the Settings page. Most commonly, this setting will be enabled inn an individual subaccount and not at the root account level.

erinhmcmillan_0-1621291113678.png

Additional Features

Blueprint Courses

Blueprint Courses can be used for individual subject courses. The Blueprint Course could be created in a subaccount that has enabled Canvas for Elementary. If used as a homeroom course, the Homeroom Setting should be set in the Blueprint Course. Course Templates can be managed by Canvas admins though teachers may have permission to manage individual content items within an associated course.

Course Templates

A course template can be used to create individual subject courses. If used as a homeroom course, the Homeroom Setting should be set in the Course Template specified for the subaccount. Course Templates can only be managed by Canvas admins. Once a course is created from a course template, the course is no longer associated with the template and can be managed completely by a teacher.

Enrollments

Separate courses should be created for each subject. To create separate courses, student enrollments should be current, and admins should allow teachers to manage course subject content. 

SIS data should be provisioned to have separate courses or sections sync from an SIS to Canvas for each subject if possible. If an SIS sync is not possible for an institution, courses can be created manually. 

Students should be enrolled in the course set as the homeroom course as well as all subjects where the student should be enrolled. If students are not enrolled in the homeroom course, they will not be able to see homeroom announcements.

Enrollments can be synced from individual subjects into the homeroom course to be included in recurring SIS synced data.

Course-Level Setup

Homeroom Course

One course should be designated as the homeroom course. The homeroom course controls announcements displayed in the Dashboard for students. The announcements also display for teachers in their dashboard as well so they know what announcement is being viewed by their students.

A course can be designated as a homeroom course with the Enable as Homeroom Course checkbox.

Enable as Homeroom CheckboxEnable as Homeroom Checkbox


Once a course is set as a homeroom course, 
Course Settings only include the Course Details and Sections tabs.

Course Details Tab

The Course Settings page allows teachers to specify details for the homeroom course. If allowed by a Canvas admin, teachers can set a course image, as well as a course color, in the Course Details tab. 

The color set for the subject populates for all students on the subject’s course card, schedule, and home page. If no color is set, the subject defaults to gray.

Homeroom Course Settings PageHomeroom Course Settings Page

Course Content

The Course Navigation Menu only contains the Canvas features needed to manage a homeroom course: Announcements, Important Info (Syllabus), People, and Settings.

Announcements and Important Info content should be added to the homeroom course to display for enrolled students. Both content areas display to students in the Homeroom dashboard.

Individual Subjects

Separate courses should be created for each course subject. Courses can be created via SIS or manual process.

Admins should allow teachers to manage course subject content.

User Enrollments

Students should be enrolled in the course set as the homeroom course as well as all subjects where the student should be enrolled. If students are not enrolled in the homeroom course, they will not be able to see homeroom announcements.

SIS data should be provisioned to have separate courses or sections sync from an SIS to Canvas for each subject if possible. If an SIS sync is not possible for an institution, courses can be created manually. 

Enrollments can be synced from individual subjects into the homeroom course to be included in recurring SIS synced data.

Homeroom Sync

Subject enrollments can be linked to homeroom enrollments. The Course Settings page for a subject course includes the Sync Enrollments from Homeroom checkbox. Users can select the homeroom to populate with the current course enrollments.

If more than one homeroom is available, all available homeroom courses display in the drop-down menu.

Once the course details page is updated, enrollments will be synced to the homeroom course. User data synced to the homeroom course includes custom role, role_id, start_at, end_at, and completed_at.

Course Settings Subject SyncCourse Settings Subject Sync

The page displays when a sync is in progress and the date of the last sync. 

 

Enrollment Sync in ProgressEnrollment Sync in Progress

 

 

Enrollment Sync CompleteEnrollment Sync Complete

 

 

Homeroom Features

The Dashboard for K–6 students is called Homeroom. The default tab is the Homeroom tab, which contains all announcements from the homeroom course and displays any subjects where a user is enrolled.

Homeroom DashboardHomeroom Dashboard

Homeroom

The Homeroom page displays an icon that visually indicates the Homeroom.

If created for the homeroom, the announcement displays under the Homeroom tab for up to two weeks or until it is replaced by a new announcement. If more than one homeroom is assigned, announcements for each homeroom display in the page. By default, announcements are sent to all sections within the homeroom course.

Announcements do not support replies.

Notes: 

  • If no course is set as the homeroom course, the Homeroom tab displays no announcements.
  • Courses must be published for students to view announcements.

Homeroom TabHomeroom Tab

My Subjects

Courses that are created within Canvas for Elementary are shown in the Homeroom as Subjects. Traditionally, elementary students are in one classroom with one teacher teaching multiple subjects per day. 

Separate courses should be created for each subject. Courses may be imported via SIS, created and associated with a Blueprint Course, or copied from a Course Template.

Once a course subject has been created and published, and a student has an active enrollment, the course subject displays in the Homeroom Subjects page. Teachers can publish courses for individual subjects at the time that is right for their students.

My SubjectsMy Subjects

The subject name is a friendly name, which can be set by a SIS provider or manual entry by a teacher. The name displays the same way to all students and cannot be changed by students.

Subjects also display items due that day, any missing assignments, and if there are any announcements for that specific subject.

If permission is granted by an account admin, teachers can set the subject title that displays for students. If a teacher has set an image and a course color, the specified image and color also displays for the subject. The color is persistent across all related subject dates and items throughout Canvas.

Notes

  • For institutions that are departmentalized or have other teachers responsible for various subjects (core or specials), students see tiles for every subject that is published by the teacher where they have an enrollment, no matter the teacher. 
  • For teachers, the Homeroom displays both published and unpublished subjects.
  • Admins can create new course subjects from the Homeroom Dashboard. When subjects are manually created by an admin, the admin is enrolled as a teacher in the subject.

Homeroom Schedule

The Homeroom Schedule page displays an icon that visually indicates the Schedule.

The schedule displays the date and all accompanying subject tasks and is similar to the agenda that would be written on a classroom whiteboard. Students can view the overview of their schedule by day. This schedule mimics the List View Dashboard, where assignments and pages are added to the schedule based on due date; availability dates are also included if provided within an assignment. 

Missing assignments are shown in the schedule by a warning icon and collapsed by default. When expanded, the missing assignment list displays up to 10 missing assignments sorted by oldest due date. If more assignments are missing, the page displays a Show More link. Each item in the list includes the assignment title, due date and time, point value, and course name. 

Schedule PageSchedule Page

Homeroom Grades

The Homeroom Grades page displays an icon that visually indicates the Grades.

Viewing grades for a subject displays the grades page that shows an overview of a student’s progress. Parents and teachers can view the grading scheme used for each subject and will show the overall grade for each subject. 

The total grade is displayed if allowed by the course setting Hide totals in student grades summary.

Notes

  • For teachers, the Grades page displays a link to the Gradebook for each subject.
  • For non-teacher roles, if a course does not include any grades, the page indicates that there are no grades to display.

Grades PageGrades Page

Homeroom Resources

The Resources page displays an icon that visually indicates Resources for the course.

Important Info

The Important Info section displays the Important Info content from each homeroom course. Users with edit permissions can edit this page. If more than one course is set as a homeroom course, the name of each course displays above the content.

Resources with Multiple HomeroomsResources with Multiple Homerooms

Student Applications

The Student Applications section will show the LTI tools that have been enabled for student use at the account, subaccount, or course level. 

Staff Contact Info

Staff Contact Information is also available to students so parents can reach out if needed. This information is pulled from each of the subjects where the student has an enrollment, along with the contact methods specified for each teacher or TA.

Messages sent to the instructor are sent via the Canvas Inbox.

Individual Subject Features

Individual subjects help orient students and only display specific navigational elements as compared to the Dashboard view. The Home Page, Schedule page, and Modules page are subject to course design, as teachers may choose to hide these pages.

Home Page

The Home tab is the first page viewed in the course. It displays any subject-specific announcements as well as the Course Home Page content.

Announcements display the date the announcement was posted.

Student View - Subject HomeStudent View - Subject Home

The subject’s home page can be changed as often or as little as the teacher deems appropriate. A front page can be created in Pages and set as the home page. If a course contains Modules, Modules can also be set as the Home Page. 

Teachers can update this page as often as needed, such as if providing a weekly orientation.

Course Navigation

The Course Home Page is the first page users view in each subject and is set in the Course Navigation Menu.

By default, the Home link is set as the Home page. If a course contains Modules, the Modules tab also displays to students by default. Therefore, both tabs are visible to students.

Depending on intended course design, one or both tabs can be hidden via the Navigation Menu within Course Settings.

The Home page for the subject can be accessed via the Back to Subject button.

Course Settings Navigation TabCourse Settings Navigation Tab

Schedule Page

The schedule page is similar to the homeroom schedule, but it focuses specifically on the schedule for the individual subject.

Missing assignments are shown in the schedule by a warning icon and collapsed by default. When expanded, the missing assignment list displays up to 10 missing assignments sorted by oldest due date. If more assignments are missing, the page displays a Show More link. Each item in the list includes the assignment title, due date and time, and point value.

Note: The Schedule page does not currently display the schedule for a teacher, but the teacher can view an example of how students will view their schedule.

Modules Page

If the course contains Modules, and the tab is not hidden in the Course Navigation Menu, the Modules page allows teachers to organize their content for their students so they can proceed through course content. Teachers really can organize the modules as they see appropriate for the structure of their content and their students' needs. They can also set requirements and prerequisites as they see fit.

Students can view all applicable content in their Modules page.

Grades Page

The grades page shows more granular information than what was available at the homeroom level. Within each subject, the grades page reflects the student's overall grade along with scores and feedback for each individual assignment that contributed to the overall grade for the subject.

The Grades page can be hidden through the Course Navigation link in Course Settings.

The total grade is displayed if allowed by the course setting Hide totals in student grades summary.

Notes: 

  • For teachers, the Grades page displays a link to the Gradebook for each subject.
  • For non-teacher roles, if a course does not include any grades, the page indicates that there are no grades to display.

Resources Page

The Resources page displays the Important Info and Student Applications sections specific to the subject.

Teachers can edit the Important Info by clicking the Edit icon and viewing the Important Information page.

Subject Resources Edit IconSubject Resources Edit Icon

Subject Important Info PageSubject Important Info Page

Course Management

Teachers can view a Manage button at the top of any tab within the subject, which provides quick access to Course Settings. They can also access the Announcements page by clicking the Edit icon next to the course announcement.

Home Page Teacher Edit OptionsHome Page Teacher Edit Options

Course Settings

The Course Settings page allows teachers to specify details for the course. If allowed by a Canvas admin, teachers can set a course image, as well as a course color. The color set for the subject populates for all students on the subject’s course card, schedule, and home page. If no color is set, the subject defaults to gray.

The Course Navigation Menu can also be accessed to manage other subject content areas and resources.

Course Details PageCourse Details Page

 

 

Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date  
2021-06-04

Updated feature details effective in the beta environment as of 2021-06-09:

Terminology Updates

  • In Global Navigation Menu, Dashboard renamed to Homeroom; Courses renamed to Subjects
  • Syllabus renamed to Important Info

Functionality Updates

  • In Course-Level Setup heading, added Individual Subjects section with information about syncing enrollments from subjects to homeroom course
  • In Homeroom Features heading, added functionality to display Important Info in Homeroom Resources tab
  • In Individual Subject Features heading, added functionality to display Important Info in Homeroom Resources tab
  • In Individual Subject Features heading, added Course Management section noting that the workflow to access the Course Navigation Menu has changed
2021-05-17 Published Feature Overview 

 

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