Onboarding Canvas Tips, Commencements dates + more - September 2020 (Vocational Education & Training User Group)


We're back (and we're organised).
Damian and his incredible wit will be on deck to chair our September installment of the VET user group. We're looking forward to having you involved.



  • What constitutes a commencement date for a student?
  • How can we allocate specific checkpoints within a Canvas to assist with reporting for bodies such as ASQA and State Government?
  • Onboarding Canvas tips - Words of wisdom from people who’ve walked the path before or starting a new journey.



Damian Noud Chair - MrWed @dnoud 
Ruth Thornton CSM - APAC @rthornton 
Adam Ware CSM - APAC @wezza_apac 


Meeting Notes

[1:05] - What constitutes a commencement date for a student?
[3:16] - The definition of “commencement date” maybe different based on your funding requirements. Does this information need to be housed in Canvas or should it be housed in your CMS/SIS?
[4:34] - Damien recently discovered that ZOOM keeps meeting attendance. Here is the procedure for accessing Zoom meeting attendees, which is very helpful if you need to have a record of students who attended. If you are using Zoom Webinars, then the procedure is very different.

  • Sign in to your Zoom account from the Zoom web app.
  • Select ‘Account Management’ > select ‘Reports > select ‘Active Hosts’.
  • Set the date of session to generate the report.
  • Identify the session for which you want to generate the report and click on the hyperlinked number of attendees.
  • Customise your report and download.

[5:30] - NSW business require commencement dates for funding. Suggested the use of New Analytics to demonstrate that the user has logged in and shows activity (note: if you are using SCORM within canvas this will be difficult to capture as they are interacting with the package and not Canvas). The New Analytics reports feature (September 2020 release) has a report called ‘Course Activity’ and this contains a field ‘first viewed date’ which may be helpful (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Releases/Canvas-Release-Notes-2020-09-19/ta-p/392588#toc-hId-6757...). Remember, you can also use the Access report for individual users available for account admins (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-view-the-course-access-report-for-an-in...)
[12:40] - Discussion on using Quizzes to determine a commencement date and the type of questions that can be asked.

[15:25] - How can we allocate specific checkpoints within a Canvas to assist with reporting for bodies such as ASQA and State Government?
[18:45] - If you use module requirements in your courses, you can possibly leverage off this customer developed report which illustrates student progress (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Higher-Ed-Users/Automated-progress-report-of-students-in-modules/...)
[20:45] Question: does it need to be a linear pathway (eg this, then this) or can it be achieved once all the elements are completed (in whatever order). Thanks. Answer: No - it doesn't require a sequence. (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-use-MasteryPaths-in-course-modules/ta-p...)
[21:20] Question: Perhaps using the Mastery Path as an alternative? Answer: Look at Mastery Paths here: (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-use-MasteryPaths-in-course-modules/ta-p...)

[26:20] Onboarding Canvas tips - Words of wisdom from people who’ve walked the path before or starting a new journey.
[28:30] - Onboarding staff (assessors, trainers, contractors, admins).

[36:05] - Onboarding Students

[40:20] - Grace explains their process for onboarding users combining the use of a tailored course and face to face training.
[41:20] - Customising the help menu (for each user level: Teacher/Student) and how do people reach out for help? https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-customize-the-Canvas-Help-Menu-for-an-accoun...
[42:30] - What are all the things that you need to teach students when onboarding them to Canvas?
[45:39] - What are the minimum requirements to run Canvas on any device? https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/What-are-the-browser-and-computer-requirement.... https://whatismybrowser.com is a great way to get users to figure out what version is on their computer
[46:07] - Do people have experience of organisations/schools/departments that won’t use Canvas (similar to zoom restrictions)? Whitelisting is very important in some of these cases. You’ll find all the domains that need to be whitelisted to use Canvas here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Releases/Canvas-Domain-Email-and-Server-Management/ta-p/254465
[51:50] - New feature as part of the October Release notes which we believe will help increase evidence towards competency. Ruth then demos this feature.




Looking to register for our November 2020 User Group? This will be our final show for the year so bring your bon bons. Click Here to register


Community Participant

Formal apologies for the September meetup from me sorry. Hope to be well enough for the October gathering 🙂


Wishing you a speedy recovery @kerributtery 

Community Explorer

Hi all. I am unable to make the September catch up 😒 but looking forward to being back on deck for the next one.

Hope you're having a great week.


I'll be updating notes and recording from the session on this post. Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Finally got onto it - Apologies. CanvasCon took its toll.