Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Explorer III

Reaching Campus Level Administrators

Hello fellow K-12 Canvas peeps! I want to hear what you have done/are doing to reach your campus administrators. Are you offering training specifically for principals and aps? What are your selling features? How are you getting their support at the campus level? Any big aha's that you have from working with campus level administration? 

Why all the questions you may ask? my district, we are not requiring Canvas as our LMS, but from my Canvas admin and district level view point, it is the best option by far for our students. With that said, I really need to get the support of the principals and assistant principals to help with teacher use. I would love to hear what you have done, wish you had done, plan to do to get your campus leadership on board! 

6 Replies
Explorer III

Additionally--do you have your campus level administrators set up as Sub-Account admins in Canvas? If not, do you have any custom permissions or views set up for them? 

Community Member


When I worked in Keller, I did have training just for principals and APs.  I offered several different times and days for them to attend and had full sessions each time.  To start the training, I had them talk with their tables to brainstorm all of the different types of communication they used on their campus - what things did they collect by teachers, how did they collect them, what news and information did they send out and what different avenues did they use.  As you can imagine their answers were all over the place - Remind, campus website, emails, weekly newsletter, etc.  So, then I approached the training from the perspective of what if Canvas could be the one stop shop for all of your staff communication.  We started with the front page and set it up with a nice picture at the top and then a week at a glance or weekly agenda on the front page.  Then we covered announcements, calendar, assignments to collect information in one spot and modules to post needed documents and information.

If you want more info, we can definitely chat about it some more.


Thanks Shelly! This gives me some great starting points for the course I am building. I appreciate your feedback! 


How did we train admin?

The short answer: Using the same Canvas learning and application expectations as teachers. 

The longer answer is below with some necessary back-story on the 'how.' 


To facilitate staff (Teachers and Admin alike) Canvas training we created a mutli-module Canvas training course where we created learning paths for different Canvas tools that we categorized into one of the following tool content types:

  1. Canvas Communication
  2. Canvas Content 
  3. Canvas Assessments
  4. Canvas Course Management

Then we organized the course into increasing difficulty with three levels of the above tool types: 

  1. Canvas Capable level
  2. Canvas Clever level
  3. Canvas Accomplished level

So the entire course is 12 modules as follows:

  1. Canvas Capable: Canvas Communication
  2. Canvas Capable: Canvas Content
  3. Canvas Capable: Canvas Assessments
  4. Canvas Capable: Canvas Course Management
  5. Canvas Clever: Canvas Communication
  6. Canvas Clever: Canvas Content
  7. Canvas Clever: Canvas Assessments
  8. Canvas Clever: Canvas Course Management
  9. Canvas Accomplished: Canvas Communication
  10. Canvas Accomplished: Canvas Content
  11. Canvas Accomplished: Canvas Assessments
  12. Canvas Accomplished: Canvas Course Management

Learners can progress through the training course either by level or by content area.

  • So learner A could decide to go through the entire course 1-12 getting everything, in "order."
  • While learner B could decide to travel through the entire course one tool content category at at time:
    • first learning everything about communication tools by completing Canvas Capable: Communication, then jumping down to Canvas Clever: Communication, then jumping down to Canvas Accomplished: Communication. 

At the end of each level there is a badge. So there is a badge for completing all four content category areas earning a

  • Canvas Capable badge, 
  • a Canvas Clever badge
  • a Canvas Accomplished badge

At the end of each tool content area there is a badge. So there is a badge for

  • Canvas Communication badge
  • Canvas Content badge
  • Canvas Assessments badge
  • Canvas Course Management badge

Additionally, at the end of the entire course there is a badge for completing all badges:

the Canvas Credential badge.

(cue: Angelic Heavenly Choir musical chord)

Here are the designs for the badges. Even though CanvaBadges (the badging system we purpose for staff development in our district) has a badge designer, I used Photoshop to set these the way I wanted to then upload them into the badge designer as a badge "background" then save. If you're interested in doing this just set your Photoshop canvas to 200x200. That's good enough of a Save for web export to get the custom badge design job done.


badge lineup

We use CanvaBadges for PD because unlike badging systems such as Badgr, CanvaBadges does not have a leaderboard. We didn't want to introduce any level of competition into the adult learning process. Plus, CanvaBadges provides an easy-share link to anyone's earned badge wall like the one seen here:

This easy link is perfect for sharing in a teacher's final evaluation as evidence of learning as the viewer does not need a canvas login to view the badge wall. 

If you think about either method of progression, by level or by content category, every learner will earn every badge regardless of the learning style differentiated pathway they can select. This eLearning design was intentional to offer choice to the learner while all learners work towards the same end result. 


So with that said, everyone had an "I can..." checklist of using different tools.

  • I can use a discussion board in my canvas class.
  • I can use the announcement tool in my canvas class.
  • I can create an assignment tool in my canvas class. 

Teachers needed to use at least one canvas class that initial year.

Administrators needed to use at least two canvas classes that initial year. 

  1. One canvas class for students and parents
  2. a second canvas class for staff

As everyone began the Canvas training course at the same time we asked admin to start demonstrating different "I can" checklist items to their teachers throughout the school year in their Canvas class for staff. The idea is that the admin would be able to complete the "I can use a discussion board in my canvas class" by using the discussion board with their staff in their staff canvas class a month before Teachers were asked to use the discussion board for their checklist timelines.  This way, admin would model the tool use; teachers would experience the tool as a student user in the admin's canvas class. 

Then, having seen the tool used in their building canvas class by their admin supervisor, Teachers would feel more familiar with the tool when their "I can" checklists timelines paced them through their checklist at approx. 1 month delay after the admin. 

Thanks for this awesome reply QC99.tsilvius‌. We have a similar (much smaller) Canvas training for teachers, but our admins have not participated. I like that you are using the same methods for them though! And I love the 2 classes--the parent/student one and the one for staff. Thank you for sharing!!

This was very helpful! We are doing something similar with training and badging but the differentiation is the next step we are needing to implement. I am curious about your checklists. Did you make these up? Would you mind sharing? Thank you!