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
Coach Emeritus

 @kate_hill , we have a completely online self-paced faculty training course (in Canvas) that we developed that I'd be happy to share with you. We haven't finished linking to the new guides and are still in the process of updating it based on some recent changes to Canvas (and some general housecleaning), but you are welcome to check it out the public version and see if it would work - Public Instructor Training (updated with new link on 2/18/16)

The live version is set-up with pre-reqs so faculty have to move through the course in order their first time through. We have them go through the training course while they build their first course in Canvas, so that way they can directly apply what they are learning to a real course they are building. For us, training is mandatory, and once faculty finish the training course and have fully built their course I then review their course and make sure everything is done correctly before they are certified to use Canvas.

Let me know if you are interested in using our course and I'll get you more information and the zipped file of the course.

Community Contributor

Thank you so much, Kona! I am definitely interested in using the materials if that's okay! I love sharing all these materials among colleagues!

 @kate_hill , I'll send you a message with the download link for the course once we've fixed our links and cleaned everything up! 🙂

Community Participant

Hi Kona,

I would love to be able to use this for our faculty as well.  We are going to start training over the summer and would love to be able to use your materials.  We were thinking of creating different levels of expertise for our school as we are only a high school and this is our first real LMS.

hottingert, absolutely. I'm hoping that to have everything updated in the faculty training by the end of next week at the latest and will message you with the download link. In addition, you are more than welcome to take it and adapt it as needed to fit your faculty and institution.

Community Participant

Thank you so much!  We are excited to begin the next part of our journey using Canvas.

Community Participant

Hi Kona! Such a great self-paced instructor course! We are in the phase of developing material for our transition to Canvas. I would be very interested in trying it out, and is it available as a .imscc file so we could import and edit?

Community Contributor

Hi Kona--

What's your estimated time for completion on this? Just curious. I run an online training that's required for LMS use at my school(s), and it takes about 10 hours for a Canvas neophyte. I get a lot of pushback from faculty about it (I have some ideas on how to combat this), but I'm always interested to hear what others are doing, for comparison.

Here's a public version of what I'm doing (not updated to the new guides yet): Public Introduction to Canvas Happy to share, if anyone wants it.

UPDATE: Just imported a new version into the shell. Reset the content, so the URL has changed. It's updated in the link, above. There's also a download package on the homepage, now.

 @tom_gibbons ​, since it's a work at your own pace training course and faculty are also building a course in their sandbox while working through the training, I have no idea the average time it takes. I know some faculty have worked through it and built a *traditional* course (as opposed to online or hybrid) in a little over a day. Yet, I also know some faculty who have stretched it out over a month.

I didn't really get any push back because ultimately it is optional to use our LMS and to teach online. Yet, even being optional we have 90% of full time faculty using Canvas. 🙂

90% is a great number, Kona.  Impressive.

The only time I remember getting push back when I was in a similar role was when a course had been developed in an OL model and then someone other than the developer was pressured to take it on as part of their load or felt threatened during times of diminishing enrollments.

We had pretty good adoption from the beginning, but even I was amazed when I was figuring our updated numbers for Deactivated user​ last week. What can I say? Our faculty and students find Canvas user-friendly and easy to use! 🙂

Thanks again for the chat  @kona , can't wait to see 100% at Richland Soon!!!

Coach Emeritus

The hold-out faculty are all the ones retiring in the next few years, so I'm going to (not so) patiently wait them out. Smiley Wink

Community Contributor

No one is required to use the LMS here, either. But for some reason, people think it's too difficult to complete the training. I thing there's some technology fear involved.

90% is awesome.

When we made the switch to Canvas I heavily marketed it as being easy to use and a great way for faculty to save time and energy. We also had piloting faculty from each division that talked it up in their different hallways and really promoted it. I think all of this combined with the fact that students wanted to use Canvas and encouraged faculty to use it helped a lot with our adoption.

I totally agree that getting the students onboard is an effective strategy for converting the holdouts. In my previous job we rolled out laptops in a 1:1 program. I trained the faculty ad nauseam on Google software and Chrome books, but it was the students that pushed the recalcitrant teachers to the tipping point.

 @tom_gibbons ​  May I add your course (Public Introduction to Canvas​) to the Canvas Resources page in Canvas Training Courses

Sure! Sorry I didn't get back sooner. I've been out of communications range for the last two (glorious!) weeks.

Community Member


I'd like a copy of your course, too.  We are updating our instructor trainer course and your modules look to be even better than ours!


Deb Padden

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

 @kona ​  May I use the link to Public Instructor Training  on our new Canvas Resources​ page on the Canvas Training Courses

Of course! 🙂

Community Participant

I would appreciate if you could share this course/information with me as well.  We are transitioning faculty over this summer/fall.  Thank you!

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing this.

Hi Kona,

Is it possible for me to get a copy of your of your training course  - https://richland.instructure.com/courses/1617329

I appreciate your help.

Marci Grant


Hi Kona! I would appreciate it you shared your material. Does your course also include information on instructional design strategies and models---anything theory based or best practices for course design and development?

 @klm0046 ​, the public version of the course is here - Public Instructor Training - and you are welcome to check it out and see if it's something you'd like to use/tweak/etc. If so, just message me through the community and I'll send you the file!

**Side note, we haven't updated it recently because we are doing a complete overhaul for the new UI!**

Kona, we are new to Canvas too, so I would be interested in seeing what you have put together for faculty/adjunct !training.

 @desiree_deverea ​, the public version of the course is here - Public Instructor Training - and you are welcome to check it out and see if it's something you'd like to use/tweak/etc. If so, just message me through the community and I'll send you the file!

**Side note, we haven't updated it recently because we are doing a complete overhaul for the new UI!**

Community Participant

Well done  @kona ​! I bookmarked this site for later review and just found a document (instructing students how to use Crocodoc) that I plan to reuse -- is that okay? Do you want CC attribution? I also found a video on Taking Attendance in Canvas - YouTube video on a feature that is intriguing and I may play around with for one specific class where having a seating chart would be valuable. Thank you, two wins in 10 minutes!

 @john_morris , feel to free to use anything you find helpful, no CC needed. Smiley Happy

I like what you've done and intend to see more tomorrow. Kudos!


Kona - I liked your training course and was wondering if I might be able to use your course (with adjustments to our school).  I'm an instructional designer at Ohio State and we just adopted Canvas.  I was hoping to have a course that could be self-paced since it is hard for me to get all faculty together at once.  Thanks, Valerie Childress

 @childress_39 ​, you are definitely welcome to use our training course, but we are finalizing the updated one with the new UI information/screenshots/video/etc, so you might want to wait for that one. Smiley Happy

Community Champion

 @kate_hill ​ We don't require faculty to attend training like Richland does (although it would be nice). When we migrated from Blackboard (AKA WebCT) I strongly encouraged faculty to attend my sessions and most did. I focused my efforts on faculty who taught online because I knew they would be struggling if they didn't have some training since Canvas was so different than WebCT. If you are coming from another system, it is super important to stress the differences between the two systems. Our faculty got tripped up quite a bit by not understanding how integrated the gradebook is with the assignments, syllabus, and calendar pages in Canvas. We also have some lingering issues with migrated content. I let people migrate their own content which I believe now was mistake. If I had to do over again, I would of migrated their content for them and clean-up the course before I released it to them. We have lots of courses that have web pages in Files. If you can do what  @kona ​ did, I would. Nice course Kona! It will definitely be worth it.

My current strategy is give faculty multiple avenues of getting information. I have built a tutorial site they visit at anytime they need help. On the tutorial site I have a quick tutorial on each page, a link to printable handout, and video tutorial. I rely heavily on the Canvas guides and videos. I have created some videos and plan to do more. I also put information in our weekly newsletter because I know most people read it and it saves me from sending mass emails that nobody will read. I offer face to face sessions when the changes are big like Draft state and Canvas Commons. Some attend but face to face sessions are not well attended. Most people know that I can answer their Canvas question pretty quick so they will email or call when they have a question. I am thinking about offering mini courses and possibly attaching badges to them.

snugent​  may I add a link to your course (Canvas Instructor Tutorials​) to the Canvas Resources​ page in Canvas Training Courses​?

Sure Can! Smiley Happy

Thank you!  I just added it!