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Community Contributor

Training for Faculty/Adjuncts

I am the Canvas Admin/Online Learning Director/Instructional Designer at a small, private college. We have just adopted Canvas and faculty/adjuncts love it! What I need now is training over the summer for my faculty/staff. We don't necessarily want to pay big bucks for the pre-packaged solutions, and I can do the training on my own. What I would like to know is what kinds of ideas/strategies have you implemented to train your instructors?

149 Replies
Community Participant


Dropbox, FTW! (Totally absconding with a copy!)

Community Coach
Community Coach

I'll be happy to share it with you! Just finishing up some housekeeping and linking to the new guides!

Community Contributor

We run 5 face to face courses (details below) we moved to the idea of showing what is possible with the tool rather than the click here, click here to do “X” When we launched here in Birmingham we had over 600 people through these courses in the first few weeks. Faculty teams also ran bespoke sessions we supported centrally.

CAN01 – Introduction to Canvas  - A general introduction to Canvas and the suite of initial training courses developed by the eLearning Team. Includes orientation to general principles of Canvas, and brief overview of core tools and features.

  • General Introduction to the initial suite of five courses
  • Brief overview of Canvas principles (terminology, openness, mobile)
  • User roles in Canvas
  • Basic orientation to Canvas interface
  • Overview of core Canvas tools

CAN02 – Content management and different

An introduction to the different ways in which content can be created and delivered using Canvas.

  • Overview of three main topic areas
  • Overview of Pages (Principles, Editor and screen options, Types of content)
  • Overview of Files
  • Overview of Modules
  • Building structure and sequence
  • Course Home Page

CAN03 Canvas: communication tools - An introduction to the features of Canvas that can facilitate communication and dialogue with students.

  • Announcements (Making / Editing)
  • Discussions (Starting a discussion
  • Discussion settings
  • Conversations
  • The conversations environment
  • Create a new message
  • Chat Tool

CAN04 creating and managing assignments - This course provides an overview of the facilities within Canvas for the creation and processing of assignments.

  • Overview of the canvas assignment tool
  • Creation process for assignments
  • Managing assignments via Gradebook tool
  • Creation and use of Rubrics
  • Marking options available both online and offline
  • Marking using the SpeedGrader
  • Mechanisms of providing feedback to students
  • Using Turnitin to promote academic integrity

CAN05 - computer-marked assessments - An introduction to the use of self-assessment quizzes and surveys in Canvas.

  • Types of quiz (graded, practice, survey)
  • Quiz settings
  • Question types
  • Embedding images and course content within quizzes
  • Using question groups to present different questions on each attempt
  • Feedback options
  • Question banks
  • Viewing student responses
  • Allowing extra time or attempts for individual students
  • Quiz statistics

In addition to the above we run drop in sessions or bespoke courses for Course Administration staff which covers how you can use Canvas tools to administer assignments, enrolments etc

Hope this helps

Community Participant

If it helps: our school is in the middle of transitioning to Canvas, and we are in the process of training our faculty right now. We developed an in-person training workshop that lasts 2 hours and covers the basics of Canvas. Our main goal was to provide faculty with the opportunity to work with realistic data and scenarios without affecting actual student data. I've recorded a screencast to show you an overview of what we did:

In addition, we created the course shells, and all practice user accounts with the CSV import feature. We did have to manually go in ourselves, though, and submit on behalf of the practice students for each of the practice sites. Thankfully by using the Beta site for our workshops, we don't have to re-submit each week for the students (details on that are included in the video).

Good luck with your program! Smiley Happy

Community Participant

I'll take a small risk here by sharing what I've done (an Instructor for Instructors). After the university launched Canvas in January for "early adopters" they accompanied with standard "dog and pony" shows about features and functions. This is useful mostly for support-types who often get questions like "how do I do X?" Instructors, who will be forced to become incompetent in a new system after being expert in the old ways, fret about looking bad in front of students. We want a guide that will hold our hand through the most likely scenarios -- we don't know what questions to ask -- and will take as little time as possible. Even though Canvas can be tremendously flexible and powerful, we will tolerate a single "right way" if it accelerates our path to competence.

I conducted a workshop for about 50 of our faculty with a presentation using these slides followed by a trip to the computer lab where a dozen or so Instructors got their first class setup in Canvas. [Sharing these slides is the "risky" part because they will reveal my naivette to peers here in Jive!] Vendor style training is often not attended well because Instructors are more worried about getting started than what they will eventually be able to do. My advice is to keep your initial training very simple and short. Here's a brief outline of the presentation:

  1. Transfer your existing Blackboard course to Canvas
  2. Setup or modify your course
    • Syllabus
    • Assignments and Modules
    • Navigation and Communication
    • Publish the Course
  3. Use Online Rubrics
  4. Use the Gradebook
  5. Speedgrader
  6. Getting You Started! (this was when we went into the computer lab)
Community Champion

Hi  @kate_hill ​ - you've got so many awesome resources from the community already! But here are a couple more you're welcome to use - they're two different courses we've used with our faculty here.

Online Teaching Certification (OTC) - an 8-week intensive course Academic Technology runs annually for faculty looking to learn about online teaching in Canvas.

Online Canvas Crash Course (OC3)​ [under construction!] - a self-paced 4-Module intro to faculty who need to get a blended course up and running on a tight timeline.

"keep your initial training very simple and short." - great advice John.

Having now informally trained my peers, then been an on-campus eLearning person, then transitioned to the corporate world where I spent my first year at Instructure managing our client training and doing a lot of the training myself I know that each role has differing challenges and opportunities.  Being a corporate trainer was, for me, the hardest.  We often have to swoop in for just one day or a half a day and some people in the audience want to know everything, while others just want the first door opened and you just don't have time to cater to both.  It is a tough gig.

 @kate_hill ​ has had so many great resources offered to her, and so have the rest of us!

 @Renee_Carney ​