I had a system that worked perfectly for me. Now they are asking me to change it.
If you want to learn to ride a bike, don't watch a video. That is what every video about Canvas does. A lot of talking, no showing.
I have spent 10 plus hours on this and the only thing I have learned is that I am stupid. Like every class I have taken in school.
Pedagogy, as it has been practiced for the last hundred years, is not set up for people like me.
I have to get on the bike.
Is there something specific we can help you understand?
Know that you're not alone. We just changed to Canvas this year, too, with just 1 week of advanced training. In our department, we have each been finding things out by "doing" and sharing with others.
I'm no expert, but happy to share whatever I've discovered!
We were in Bboard before and have migrated to Canvas.
My needs are simple and straightforward. For my Writing classes, I do the editing and grading-usually in google docs, and the students do the work.
In Canvas, I have to be writer, designer, marketer, and make it look like an MTV video with graphics and links.
No one has shown how to get started, what that looks like, for the instructor or for the student.
For now, I am just going to send out the syllabus and outline and a couple of other things in an email to all my students. I don't think I can pull of the Canvas thing by next week. I have two other jobs and so am pressed for time.
We were given a similar transition to canvas, without any course designer assistance.
For your writing assignments the simplest solution is to use canvas assignments. If your course is graded through a simple tally of points you do not need the assignment groups for now. (IF you have assignments weighted differently there is a three dot icon in the upper right of the page that lists assignments. Click that and select assignment groups weight, and then in the popup check weight final grade based on assignment groups. Then you will be able to assign a percent to each group according to the weights you set in your syllabus.) Just click the +assignment button to get started with a new assignment
In each assignment you will see an instruction box for you to provide instructions to students. Below that box there is a blank to enter how many points the assignment is worth towards the course. Display grades has options for the way the points earned will be displayed in the gradebook. For submission type, you will want to select online, if you prefer google docs, your next choice should be website entry, so the student can enter a link. There are other choices (including a text box and file uploads) and you can check as many as you are willing to accept. If you accept file uploads you can limit the file types with a list like: .rtf,.txt,.doc,.docx,.pdf
With those settings selected, for a simple set-up, you can skip to the bottom of the page, where there is a box for the due date, as well as the dates that the assignment should be available to students.
With all of that entered select save and publish.
Then go back to the homepage and click student view in the right-side menu to see what students see. If you still see the assignment tab, click that to go to the assignment you created, and then on the assignment tab open your new assignment to see how it looks to students. If everything looks the way you want it to, great! Thee will be a button in a new bar at the bottom of the screen to let you leave student view.
When you first get started having students access assignments directly from the assignments tab seems the simplest. If your assignment tab was missing in student view, you can add it by going to settings, and selecting navigation. You will see a list of possible tabs for that menu, find assignments and drag it up to the top half of the list, then scroll to the bottom of the list and click save. Later on, you will probably find that displaying assignments to students in modules makes course organization easier, but for right now that would add an extra step.
You will need to fill in the syllabus. A simple solution is to upload the word document or pdf of the paper syllabus you would have handed out in class. You can insert a link to that upload into the course syllabus tab using the right-side menu on that page.
You will also need to choose a home page; there is a button for that on the right side menu of the homepage. The course activity stream is a simple place to start that will update on its own based on the content you provide to students. When you want to communicate with students the announcement tab sends a message to their dashboards, and it shows up in the activity stream along with their upcoming activities.
You do not need to do anything with the to-do lists. Those will take care of themselves once you add your assignments and due dates. You do not have to use fancy graphics and videos. Just set up your assignment instructions and due dates, and choose a homepage. For a long time, I also used assignments to share my recorded lectures with students. I just selected submission type: no submission, and provided an assignment for students to watch the youtube videos I included. There are other ways to do that and much more with canvas, but you don't have to use every option ever and certainly not on the first time you use it.
You can always check how things look to students using that same student view. There is a lot more canvas can do, but that will set you up to get started in time for next week.
Once students start turning in assignments you will access them for grading through the speedgrader. There is a link to the speedgrader from the three dot menu next to the assignment title on the grades tab. You will be able to do all of your editing there. You can return the edits to students as feedback, and have a second assignment set up for accepting the final paper.