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One-Stop-Shop & Checklist

Before Class   |   During Class   |   End of Class

Many of us are new to Canvas and don't realize there are things that can make the experience unfavorable. 

For example, you publish your course early, but none of your students can access your course to complete the assigned activity. 

This page is a One-Stop-Shop for using Canvas. All this information is located within this site or on the Canvas Guides. We hope that this provides the help you need to be successful. Please feel free to request additions via  

warning = for items that can cause problems. 

Before Class

Migrating from PolyLearn...

  • All PolyLearn - Moodle courses from Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 have already been imported into Canvas' - PolyLearn_Backup folder. You can modify this shell and then Copy it into your Fall 2022 Canvas shell OR Copy into Fall 2022 and modify it. You choose.
  • If you do NOT like the way your PolyLearn - Moodle course appears in Canvas, please see the webinar. This will cover the pros and cons of migrating PolyLearn into Canvas and the other options.

New to Canvas....

Getting started....

Getting ready to teach...

During Class

  • warning Students MUST accept the invitation (People > "pending") to the course to be able to open it. It is emailed to their Cal Poly email and should appear on the Dashboard. You can send another invite if they can't find it. 
  • warning During the add/drop period, students who are adding your course will be added twice a day (7am / 4pm). You can manually add students to your course (while they wait for the add code to officially enroll). After the official add, confirm the student has "registered" for this course and appears in your Portal's -, Class Roster. 
  • warning You can NOT duplicate your Module with a Graded activities, since it is easy to mistakenly change your graded Assignment, New Quiz, or other and negatively affect your course grades. It is best to create a Module (with ungraded activities) JUST for duplication and only duplicate that one.
  • warning Don't use the duplicate Quiz tool, more than once. A single Copy to/Duplicate/Import of a quiz is OK. Do not repeat the process, as any subsequent imports will overwrite an existing quiz. You can Copy to / Import / Duplicate as many times as you want IF NO students have taken the Quiz yet. Please see the FAQ for more details
  • warning When you create a graded item in the Module Index, it is also added to the Assignment Index. The Assignment Index menu link is the Gradebook view and how you organize your Gradebook (order, weights, hide/show). Think of the Assignment index as "All Assignments". The Modules is a way to present content linearly.  
  • Use the Copy To feature (only once) to copy a quiz from one course to another.  
    NOTE: multiple Copy to / Import / Duplicate options can OVERRIDE the quiz with student answers/grades. Use Export/Import.
  • warning Once Groups are created and students are graded within a Group - DO NOT change those groups! If you delete or edit groups you can Loose the graded "annotations," and they cannot be retrieved. Use Group Sets if you want to create new groups. If you want to change groups that already have student submissions, you need to Clone the group.
  • warning The Discussion tool isn't really for upload and embedding files into the Discussion reply. Discussion upload and embed uses the User Storage that is only 54 MB/person. An error "File upload failed" will display if User Storage is full. Students can attach their files from OneDrive, Google, or others. 
  • For file submissions, better to use the Assignment tool.
  • Anonymously Peer-Review Assignments will not allow the students or faculty to annotate/markup. 
  • Always provide a "practice" option for each graded activity. For example - a syllabus quiz is a low-stakes quiz that will help students work out any technical issues early before a high-stakes quiz.
  • warning Make sure your Practice Quiz includes Images if you are using images in ANY question. Students must use Chrome while taking a quiz with images. 
  • Create formative assessments and communicate often with your students.
  • warning Create accommodations (Moderate) for students in a Classic Quiz or New Quiz. Also, Assignment accommodations.
    NOTE: When setting accommodations for a Quiz...make sure the UNTIL date is set to allow DRC students their date/time as well. Meaning the quiz is due 10/14/20 10am for everyone, but the last DRC it is due 10/14/20 need to set the UNTIL to 8pm. 
  • warning DO NOT change the Assign to once students have completed the Quiz or Assignment. The attempts will be missing until you add the same dates back for everyone.  You can create a new deadline for someone after everyone else has completed the quiz. Before anyone has taken, DRC students can be given accommodations
  • warning If you want students to see Quiz results (answers) after they/everyone take(s) the need to choose the "results" settings before anyone takes it. You cannot change these settings after. You can use the Grading Policy - Manual to hide the grade/results until you choose to Post
  • warning If you create a Quiz with a Question Group and within that group you have a "file upload" question will NOT be able to download the files. The workaround is to create a NEW "file upload" question outside of the Question Group worth 0 pts (tell students they don't have to answer). 
  • You can review course and student analytics.
    NOTE: Canvas data is NOT the same as PolyLearn's. 

At the End of Class


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