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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Canvas Training- 3 Levels

We are having an all school Canvas Training. The plan is to give teachers the option to choose between 3 levels of training. We will have 3 rooms set up.

  • Level 1: Beginners and New Hires
  • Level 2: Progressing and Developing
  • Level 3: Advanced

I have the beginner and New Hire checklist laid out, but I would appreciate input on what you think would fall under Levels 2 and 3. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

6 Replies
Community Member

Course Modules 2016-08-15 The Canvas Experience (Internal) 2016-08-25 01-18-30.pngHi​!

You mentioned that you have "Level 1" content laid out. Can you share what you have for that? This would help others offer suggestions on what to share for your Level 2 and 3 😉

fwiw, when I've done onboarding training for new Instructure Employees, my focus is very high level - talking about "value and differentiators" of Canvas.  Here's the simple outline I've followed:

I start off the training by having the participants participate in a course, as students. I have them all pre-enrolled. There are different ways to do this. Either add their actual user account as a student in your training course, or you can have demo/test accounts that you create via csv and upload as students ahead of time (i could share some of these pre-formatted files if anyone is interested) and let them use these during training.

I have a very simple module for them to complete so they can experience all the different types of content that you can place/organize inside a module:

- - -

  • Course Building Blocks
    • Files (Personal Files vs. Course Files)

    • Pages + Rich Content Editor (RCE or WYSIWYG)

    • Assignments (Assignments/Discussions/Quizzes)

  • Organization
    • Calendar
    • Syllabus
    • Modules
  • Assessments & Grading (Note the order, here. I talk about this after I've had them submit assignments and it allows me to showcase the VALUE of rubrics, speedgrader, etc. so they can see how it will save time for teachers!)
    • Rubrics
    • Outcomes
    • Grades
    • Speedgrader
  • Collaboration Tools
    • Announcements
    • Chat
    • Collaborations
    • Conferences (BBB)
    • Groups
  • Other Cool Stuff
    • Attendance Tool (Roll Call)
    • Canvas Commons
  • Canvas User and Course Management
    • People
    • Course Settings
    • Personal Settings
    • Conversations 

I hope this helps! I also have some other old training agendas (I called "Canvas Calisthenics") that might be valuable to be tailored for training curriculum. These are great handout/checklists that can be distributed as you go through trainings. Here's a link to download a zip file of these four word docs that you may customize to your needs!

Looking forward to the other ideas that come in here!


Deactivated user, this is extraordinarily helpful! I have a couple of (well, maybe three) questions:

  • Typically, how long does it take you to deliver a training organized in this fashion?
  • What's the rationale behind saving some of the global navigation-type stuff (e.g. personal settings and conversations) until the end?
  • Do you cover the Help menu, and (the big, related, question): Where in this curriculum do you walk through the Community? Smiley Wink

Glad this was helpful!  There's a big caveat I forgot to mention, in my response. These employee onboarding sessions are much different than the standard training sessions I used to offer to Admins and Faculty. When I offer these onboarding sessions we would begin with everyone completing that "What's it like for students" module.

Next, we would briefly touch on the "value and differentiators" of the different features I listed above. When we host an onboarding session we often have folks who have been working with Instructure for a month or more. I simply ask questions about the Feature and engage with the class in a discussion. As they share cool stuff, I showcase it on my screen. If they missed something, I chime in and add to the conversation. The value/differentiators tend to be those things where you get "oooohs" and "ahhhhhs" during a standard training experience with folks coming from another LMS.

  1. I would typically get through the first half (through A/G: Speedgrader) in about 90 minutes. We'd get through less if people knew a lot and participated more. As a result of this (and our short amount of available time), we often didn't get to spend a lot of time on Collaborative tools, and the content thereafter.
  2. Great question! After offering hundreds of Canvas training sessions, we found that new AND experienced Canvas users don't want to spend a lot of time on the navigation. It's rather intuitive, and a facilitator can get in a rut spending many minutes on a tool like conversations, which may compromise the amount of time they later are able to spend on Speedgrader or the another critical component. And, keep in my the audience for this particular outline is new AND experienced employees. They want to spend time really seeing what Canvas is all about! The value. The differentiators. It's the job of the facilitator to know their audience and determine where the focus should be during the session. A lot of it has to do with what you're talking about next. In more comprehensive training sessions (vs. general onboarding) it is important that users can see the big picture, including the global nav, settings, conversations, etc. I see these as appendages to the Canvas learning platform. They do cool and important things, but the body of Canvas is the core course learning management tools. Every audience, learning level, time constraint, etc. is different, so every training needs an intimate assessment by the facilitator on what will work best, and in what order.
  3. For this particular training (employees) we did not review the help menu! But we do start off the training talking about the community! And every time I used to offer a Canvas Training, one of the first things I begin with is having the class help me finish the old adage "Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish..." and I let the class finish the phrase. It is at this time I tell them that "...throughout the training I will be feeding you fish. But at the end of the session, we will part ways and you will be on your own! I want to teach you how to fish so that you can ALWAYS find an answer to your question and get the help you need!" I proceed to showcase some powerful parts of the community. Canvas Guides​, Find Answers​, Canvas Release Notes​, CanvasLIVE​ ⬅︎ and now can emphasize 24/7 chat with other Canvas users!

I think that a session outline, like the one I posted, works best when you have a group of experienced AND non-experienced users in the same room. You leverage the knowledge and experience of those who have been in the trenches (thus keeping them engaged) while also helping their peers catch up to speed!

The link that I shared at the end of my last post is a totally different ballgame with different answers to each of the questions you posted.

I hope these long-winded answers were helpful, stefaniesanders​!

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

This was extremely helpful! Love the organization. We had the sessions today. We ended up putting Level 2 and 3 together.

Here was the agenda for Level 1:

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.52.51 PM.png

Here was the topics for 2 and 3:

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.52.58 PM.png

With course design tips for level 2 and 3, we introduced the style guides and code snippets. Speedgrader we discussed feedback loops and adding media. Overall, went pretty well!


Oh this looks really good, Courtney! I'm so glad to hear that it went well, for you!

What do you think about repurposing your content and offering this as a Presentation in CanvasLIVE? CanvasLIVE: Presentations  I'm sure you'd probably get a lot of folks interested in a session like this!

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Yes, I would love to do that! Happy to share and get feedback with a CanvasLIVE presentation!