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Admin FAQ: Canvas and Skyward

Admin FAQ: Canvas and Skyward

Canvas has developed an automated integration infrastructure between Skyward and the Canvas learning management system for grade passback, utilizing APIs made available from Skyward. The integration will create assignments and post grades back into the Skyward Gradebook based on the latest assignment settings and submission data in Canvas.

How does Skyward work with Canvas?

The Canvas Skyward integration works bi-directionally:

  • Skyward to Canvas Provisioning: When an admin makes changes in Skyward to users, courses, enrollments, etc., those changes are reflected in Canvas after a nightly, one-way transfer from Skyward to Canvas.
  • Canvas to Skyward Grade Passback (GPB): When you make changes or updates to course assignments and student grades in Canvas, those changes are sent to Skyward from Canvas. Learn about syncing grades from Canvas to Skyward. Changes to assignments and grades in Canvas overwrite information in Skyward. However, if you make changes to grades and assignments in Skyward, they are not reflected in Canvas.

What is required to implement the Skyward grade pass back integration with Canvas? How long does it take?

The Skyward integration is used in conjunction with the Canvas Post Grades to SIS feature option. Learn more about available feature options.

Please follow these steps to implement the PowerSchool integration:

  1. Check your current SIS import strategy and verify that user and section SIS IDs are correctly formatted for grade passback. For assistance or clarification, please contact your CSM.
    • The correct section SIS ID  the format is course_id.0.section (for example: 1234.0.01).
    • The correct user SIS ID format is the Skyward Student Management Name ID, excluding any leading 0's for both staff and students.
  2. Contact your CSM to set up a Data Mapping Phone Call with a Implementation Consultant.
  3. Verify that your Skyward usernames match your LDAP, SAML, or CAS authentication server usernames. For assistance contact your CSM and an Implementation Consultant for help setting this up.
    • Single Sign-On (SSO) or an LDAP implementation, like Active Directory, is highly recommended and will expedite the implementation process.
  4. Verify that you are using Skyward version 05.15.10.00.02  or higher.
  5. Contact Skyward Sales Rep to turn on the read and write API License for Skyward

New customers can be up and running in a Canvas test environment within a couple of days. Once implemented, it can take two to three weeks to validate the end-to-end process.

Existing customers take longer because old SIS IDs need to be re-mapped to match the Powerschool SIS IDs. After you verify the data, Instructure begins the process of moving the data into production. Once implemented, it can take four to six weeks to validate the end-to-end process.

Note: Instructure does not validate the accuracy of your data. You must validate the accuracy of your data. Additionally, Instructure is unable to assist with PowerSchool updates or HTTPS/SSL certification. For assistance, please contact PowerSchool support.

What is the implementation process for the Canvas Skyward integration?

Your Canvas Implementation Consultant leads you through the Skyward grade pass back integration process. They will check in with your team weekly on the status of the integration and of other implementation items.

The Canvas Skyward implementation occurs in four phases:

Phase 1: Setup Skyward API

  • Verify institutional purchase of Skyward Read and Write API
  • Enable the Skyward Read and Write API (view instructions in the Skydoc portal under WS-Web Student Management > AP-API > Learning Management System-Application Program Interface (LMS API))
  • Generate the API credentials for Canvas Skyward integration

Phase 2: Set Up Connection

  • Create connection between Canvas and Skyward
  • Verify user provisioning method using a Skybuild export or an alternative direct import method
  • Install Skyward GradePassback Tool in Canvas

Phase 3: Test the Connection

  • Set up a test course in both Canvas and Skyward
  • Test provisioning and GPB functionality
  • Review data transfer success; if correct, approve sync to Production

Phase 4: Set Up in Production

  • Sync Skyward data to Canvas production environment
  • Review data in Canvas and Skyward

What Skyward data is synced to Canvas?

The following data syncs from Skyward into Canvas:

  • Users (including staff and student accounts; not including district-level staff)
  • Schools (accounts created by school)
  • Terms
  • Courses
  • Sections
  • Enrollments

Note: Changes to the above data should be managed in Skyward. Changes to these Skyward fields are automatically synced to Canvas during the next sync. Any data added in Canvas subsequent to the Skyward integration are not synced to Skyward.

How frequently is data synced from Skyward to Canvas?

The Skyward API is usually configured to run once every night so that Skyward data is updated in Canvas daily. However, this may be adjusted based on your institution's requirement

What information is included in a sync from Canvas to Skyward?

The following assignment information is synced to Skyward from Canvas:

  • Assignment group
  • Assignment name
  • Due date
  • Late assignment status
  • Excused assignment status
  • Points possible
  • Student scores

Note: If an assignment is moved to a different assignment group in Canvas after the assignment is created in Skyward, the assignment's grading category in Skyward does not change.

How frequently is grade data updated in Skyward from Canvas?

Canvas grades are synced to Skyward when an instructor syncs grades from the Canvas gradebook.

What are the Canvas Skyward integration limitations?

The Canvas Skyward integration includes the following limitations:

  • Skyward does not support differentiated assignments, including MasteryPaths assignments.
  • LDAP login IDs may affect the timing of the sync. Please make all processes known to your IC or CSM so they can properly ascertain the ideal sync intervals for your institution.


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