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Setting Up Canvas for Elementary

peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure
1 28 1,707

"Canvas for Elementary" is a hidden feature flag, which we'll set to ON in the production environment at the root account level for the people in this group. Once that's done, admins should see this in the feature flags list at the root account:

Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 3.30.29 PM.png

If you're an admin and you don't see this flag, it's because we haven't made it available at your root account. In that case, let us know and we can fix it. You won't be able to follow the rest of this setup without this flag in this state.

We recommend using this feature in production so your data aren't erased every week and you only need to set this up once. While you're getting a feel for how it works -- and while we continue to build it -- it may be a good idea to use dummy courses and students.

Follow the steps below to set up Canvas for Elementary for use in this focus group.

Create a sub-account.

  1. Add a sub-account. We're going to use this sub-account as a sandbox to explore Canvas for Elementary. Name it whatever you want. Tiny Canvas Elementary. Feedback Academy. Whatever. If you need help creating a sub-account, there's a Canvas Guide for that.
  2. Inside your newly-created sub-account, enable the "Canvas for Elementary (beta)" sub-account setting, which you'll find under the Settings tab in your sub-account. Here's the checkbox:

Screen Shot 2021-02-19 at 11.18.22.png

That's it! This sub-account sandbox is ready to go. This sub-account represents a school in reality, or K-3 students, or however else you want to group students and teachers to separate the traditional Canvas experience from this new one. 

A couple of things to note: (1) The feature flag mentioned at the top of this post is what makes this setting available. For all intents and purposes, this sub-account setting is the thing that dictates whether Canvas for Elementary is on at a given sub-account. (2) This setting is inherited by child sub-accounts. So let's say you have Smith Public Schools at the top level -- your root account, then SPS Elementary Schools as a first-level sub-account, then Jones Elementary School as a second-level sub-account under that. If you turn this setting on at SPS Elementary Schools, it will be on for all elementary schools. If you turn it on at Jones Elementary School, it's only going to be on for Jones Elementary School.

Give it some bones!

Now we're going to structure this sandbox to demonstrate how a typical elementary school classroom would be organized with Canvas for Elementary -- one class with one teacher teaching many subjects.

  1. Inside your new sub-account, add a few courses divided by subject (e.g., one course for math, one for social studies, etc.). We'll refer to these as subjects. If you're already dividing your courses by subject, feel free to copy those courses into this sub-account and try them out here.
  2. Add another course called "Homeroom," or "Mr. Test's Homeroom," or whatever other words you use to refer to a homeroom. We'll use this as our homeroom course.
  3. Inside your homeroom course, go to the course settings tab, click the checkbox "Enable as homeroom course," and then save. You'll notice this hides a bunch of stuff in the course. That's because students will only experience this homeroom course via the announcements that their teachers create, which will appear on their dashboards.
  4. Enroll a few dummy users in your subject and homeroom courses. Make sure to enroll at least one student and one teacher so you can see how it looks from each of their perspectives.

With that, the setup is done! Add as much content as you want, but these instructions should get you off the ground.

28 Comments
adrinkwine
Community Participant

Have done all of the above steps. When I log in as a test student, I do not see the "homeroom view" with subjects, resources, etc. The homeroom course is enabled in settings. Is there another step? The student sees homeroom and subjects on dashboard, but the homeroom course is empty.

alynch
Community Member

Same. I have completed all of the above steps, but the homeroom and courses still show up on the traditional dashboard view. 

peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure

Hiya @adrinkwine  and @alynch! Are you setting it up in the beta or production? There are issues with the production setup that are going to be fixed with this Saturday's release, but beta should be working as intended.

adrinkwine
Community Participant

Thank you. It is set up in Production. I'll wait to see after Saturday.

alynch
Community Member

@peytoncraighill  In production.. I'll wait until next week to try it out. Thanks for the quick reply!

 

mroberts13
Community Member

Hi all, we have this enabled in a production subaccount and it is working as described; however, myself as an admin now also see this setup on my personal dashboard. None of my own courses have been set as a homeroom, but this view remains. Are any other admins experiencing this within your own dashboard?

rebecca_esplin
Community Participant

@mroberts13 I have the same problem. It will make it tricky to help the schools that are not using the Canvas for Elementary feature.

I'm also struggling to get the subject course to look like the screenshots I've seen. When my "test" student logs in to the Math subject that I created all I see is the traditional module view. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something.

craig_nicholls
Community Participant

@peytoncraighill would you mind confirming that this feature has been turned on for our account please? Doesn't appear to be there at the moment.

MattHanes
Community Champion

@peytoncraighill @jsailor ,

I think I see that there is a homeroom_course option in the API that we can use to programmatically enable the homeroom course option for a large group of courses. I was wondering if you have considered adding a way to enable a homeroom course within the courses.csv SIS Import process? This would be our preferred method by far because we're talking about 450+ courses in my district and it would be really easy to add a new column to our CSV file.

Hildi_Pardo
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi, I just got added to the group and I'm trying to read through the info.

Before I ask for "Canvas for Elementary" to be added to our Production environment, I wonder if I could see it in our Beta environment --  but I'm not seeing it there (I only have "Canvas Elementary Theming").   Is that possible to check it out in Beta first?    

If not, can you turn it on for me in Production so I can check it out in a Testing Sub Account?  Thank you!

(Do I ask you? Or my CSM -- oh, wait, we don't currently have a dedicated CSM).

peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure

@mroberts13 @rebecca_esplin Admins will see the elementary dashboard if they're enrolled in a course inside a sub-account where Canvas for Elementary is enabled, or if they're a sub-account admin at a sub-account where Canvas for Elementary is enabled. We could probably come up with a way to make this not the case, so let us know if that's problematic. (To Rebecca's second question, the view inside the subject course is in development and nothing's been released there yet. This question reminds me that we'll need to come up with a clear way to show where we are in development.)

@craig_nicholls I just enabled the flag at your root account in production, so you should be able to follow the rest of the setup instructions now.

There's been a @MattHanes sighting!!! Yes, we'll make sure it's accessible and documented in the API. Adding it to the SIS import also makes sense to me, though I'm less sure how we make that happen so I'll have to ask around.

@Hildi_Pardo Done! It should get wiped out with the beta refresh on Saturday, so you'll want to check it out before then.

mroberts13
Community Member

@peytoncraighill Thanks for the update! I am not enrolled in a course inside a sub-account where it is enabled, and I am not listed explicitly as an admin within the sub-account, either. I would love to be able to have it enable and not have that dashboard view as the overall instance admin, unless I can toggle it on/off within the subaccount for training purposes. 

llomax
Community Member

I have set everything up in production. The dashboard view looks great. When I click in the subject courses I am still seeing a traditional view for the course. I am not seeing the Elem view with the schedule, grades, resources tabs along the top in the subject courses that I saw in the webinar.  Is there anything I need to do to enable that or is this just not ready yet and is coming? 

debbie_johnson1
Community Member

I have completed these steps, but my pages are not displaying properly. The inside of a course tile looks exactly the same with the exception of the font. In addition, I don't see anyway to add resources to the resource tab. I am working in the production instance. What steps did I miss?

sarahknight
Community Participant

I was successful with all of the steps until I needed to click the checkbox, "Enable as homeroom course". That checkbox option is not listed in my course settings. Can someone help me?

michelle_coots
Community Participant

Hello @peytoncraighill !

Will you please turn ON the feature flag for DVUSD's production environment so that I can apply it within a sample sub-account and further explore the use of it for some of our schools? Thanks!

debbie_johnson1
Community Member

@sarahknight I found that checkbox near the bottom of the settings page.settings.png

 

sarahknight
Community Participant

My settings does not show that option. Should I contact my CSM at this point?

Capture.PNG

peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure

@michelle_coots - Done!

@sarahknight - Just to confirm - the course you took the screenshot from was in a sub-account where Canvas for Elementary was enabled?

 

 

sarahknight
Community Participant

@peytoncraighill Yes, It is.

lfish
Community Member

@peytoncraighill This is what I am seeing as a fake teacher enrolled in the homeroom course— it’s actually one of instructure’s demo teachers. This is their dashboard, so it looks very elementary themed. Is this correct from a teacher’s perspective?
The ability to create courses as a teacher seems to have disappeared.

9E440558-D4D1-4067-9F75-02A7EC2B9B88.png

peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure

@lfish We've got a ticket in the current sprint to re-add the ability to manually create courses from the K5 dashboard. Should be there within a couple of weeks!

@sarahknight If you message me a link to the course you're looking at I'll check out what's happening!

mroberts13
Community Member

@peytoncraighill I wanted to follow up on the admin view for Canvas elementary homeroom setup - I am not a sub-account admin (just overall instance admin), but when homeroom is enabled for one (of 10) sub-accounts, it turns it on for my admin view and takes away the ability to start new courses. 

audra_agnelly
Community Champion

@mroberts13 are you enrolled in a course in the subaccount Canvas for ES is turned on in? I only see the elementary UI when I have an enrollment in that subaccount. I stopped using my own account for testing and use a fake teacher account instead.

Hildi_Pardo
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

We will start testing soon -- but as I read the above, it sounds like there is an issue in that once we are in a course in the "testing" sub account, our own dashboards will change.   

What happens when people (staff) are in multiple courses in different sub accounts?   We have a lot of teachers that collaborate with other teachers, in other schools, even.  Or a lot of Professional Learning courses -- how will this affect their dashboard?

Or what happens if a student moves to Middle School, but remained active in a manually created course in their Elementary School?

I'm eager to start testing, but it sounds like it could be a little confusing for those testing in the "test" sub account but also enrolled in other sub accounts.   (I'm not sure if I want to use fake accounts, because we do want to see what it looks like so we can report back.)

sarahknight
Community Participant

@Hildi_Pardo Great questions! I am curious about those scenarios as well!

christy_mcelhan
Community Member

Same!

We have noticed if a "Student" is in the "Test" sub-account, just removing them from all courses which have the "Elementary View" enabled in that sub-account, does NOT set their dashboard back to the "Default View."

Hildi_Pardo
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

@christy_mcelhan  - that's good to know (and yikes!). 

What if you remove them from the sub-account completely.   (As in testers will know this will happen to their dashboard, and will have to deal with it while we test, but if it is too troublesome, we can at least remove them from the sub account).

I'm wondering if Staff and Students could have different views where Staff could have the option to "View Homeroom View" and "View Classic View"