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Strategies for Teaching Very Large Course in Canvas

Learn techniques for engaging students and managing learning activities at scale. Hear how one University of Michigan faculty member successfully taught 2,000 students in a face-to-face environment while using a single Canvas course. Find out how instructors, U-M staff and Instructure formed a strong partnership to support the course.

Presenter: John JohnstonBrenda Gunderson​ - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  Location Map & Room: KOKOPELLI 1

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9 Replies
Adventurer II

johnpj​ & Brenda Gunderson I would love to meet up and exchange some notes. Looks like we are offering similar sessions and the same time otherwise I would be at you session.


 @mjennings ​ I would be happy to meet up to swap war stories. Brenda will not be attending in person (she will be there virtually through pre-recorded video). Let's coordinate over email.

Community Member


Indeed I will not be attending in person, but look forward to learning from you via John on any great ideas to share!


Here is the GitHub site for the Section Management Tool we developed at the University of Michigan:

tl-its-umich-edu/sectionsUtilityTool · GitHub

Adventurer II

johnpj​ sorry we haven't been able to catch up. This conference gets so overwhelming. Hope the session went well and I look forward to watching the video when it is posted. If you would still like to meet up I am heading to GAME NIGHT (instcon15)​ around 8pm.

Explorer II

Thanks for posting the Github link. Is there are any additional materials (slides etc?) that you can share? Large course management is one of our big challenges but I wasn't able to attend this session. Too many great sessions in every time slot! 🙂 Thanks


Hello Sarah.

Here is a link to the presentation slides:

instructirecon_large_courses_johnston.pptx - Box

It contains several video clips, so it quite large (543 MB). The session was also recorded, so hopefully that recording will be available soon.

Explorer III

This session video is now available at:


I received a message from a Biology instructor today that is trying to get support for a feature in Canvas to be able to mute assignment grades by section:

This comment from her says it all:

"I think it wrong that GSIs with access to only 3 sections can mute and assignment for 37 sections. I think this is poor design on the part of CANVAS."

The voting closes today, so act soon.