One-Stop-Shop & Checklist
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
= for items that can cause problems.
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....
- Learn more about how to login
- If you are new to Canvas and want to learn more, please see our recorded Webinars.
- Self-enroll into our self-paced online classes (Cal Poly Canvas Orientation, Launching a Course Online with Canvas, Creating Accessible Canvas Content, Creating Accessible Documents, Creating Accessible Video).
- You do not have access to your Canvas course? You may not be the Instructor of Record yet.
- Courses not appearing on your Dashboard.
- You can email email@example.com for help M-F / 8-5. OR use the HELP > Chat built into Canvas's - Global Navigation on the left (in Canvas).
- Our Cal Poly Canvas Support Site (http://canvassupport.calpoly.edu) has great information for Cal Poly users, and the Canvas Guides have general Canvas instructions.
- Frequently Asked Questions will have all the current issues and answers.
- You can also schedule a consultation.
- Review the QuickGuide
- Templates are available if you want to use all or parts for our courses. Learn how to customize the Syllabus Template.
- Some of you have been using your Sandbox shells. You can also Copy those into your Fall 2022 shell. If you need more Sandbox shells, just fill out the request.
Getting ready to teach...
- Course Check List: Copy a Canvas course to another. While in the Copy a Canvas Course tool, you can also use the Adjust events and due dates option.
NOTE: If you import the same content into the same course more than once, the new copy will overwrite the first copy.
- If you had already copied the course and did not use the Adjust events and due dates option, you can still update the Assignment dates with the Edit Assignment Dates tool.
- Course Check List: migrated PolyLearn - Moodle course into Canvas.
- Course Check List: Creating a new Canvas course
- If you copy a course that has Zoom meetings into your new course, those meetings will NOT work and will need to be manually deleted from the UNDATED Calendar list.
- If you copy a course that has Group Assignments into you new course, the group name will be connected to the Assignment, BUT there will not be a Group Set in People. Copying Assignments Does Not Copy Group Sets.
- When you copy content from a past course or a peer's course, you will have an Uploaded Media folder added to your Files. By default, this folder May be Unpublished. You will need to Publish this Folders so students can see/access the files.
- Use the Bulk Edit Multiple Assignment feature to clean up all your Assignment settings.
- Validate your links
- The Canvas Syllabus tool has many benefits for your students.
- Learn how to Copy/Paste your syllabi DOC into the Syllabus tool.
- Learn how to import DOC/PDF and use the Course Summary.
- Learn how to customize the Syllabus Template.
- Learn how to set up your syllabus table of contents.
- Choose the Front Page (if using a Page). Set Homepage (Activity Stream, Front Page, Modules, Assignment list or Syllabus).
NOTE: if you copied the course - the old Homepage would remain.
- Show/Hide items in Course Navigation Menu (recommend hiding Files, Pages, Outcomes, People, and Conferences)
NOTE: if you copied the course - the old menu choices would remain.
- Organizing your course content options: watch the webinar, self enroll into one of our classes so you can see what they look like (Cal Poly Canvas Orientation, Launching a Course Online with Canvas, Creating Accessible Canvas Content, Creating Accessible Documents, Creating Accessible Video).
- Before you Merge/Cross-List your course sections, please read the instructions carefully.
NOTE: Once you Cross-List, the child courses will no longer appear in your Dashboard. ALSO - you will manually need to create a group for your sections if you want to keep them separate in the grades, activities, or other. If your course has group assignments - use Group Sets.
- Do NOT copy and paste HTML from one course to another when linking to files. The file URL will point to the original course and students will NOT see/open/download the file/image. Use the Copy to - tool to copy from one course to another.
- Trying to integrate your publisher's content?
- Wanting to use the Plugins (integrations) added: Zoom, Flipgrid, TurnItIn, Screencast-O-Matic, OneDrive, iClicker, Notebook, Piazza, or Respondus.
- All video files (MP4, MOV, and AVI) uploaded to Canvas will not display captions, and therefore the videos are not accessible. These video files need to be removed from your course shells and stored on one of the cloud hosting sites: Zoom, Screencast-O-Matic, YouTube, Vimeo or Microsoft Stream. We are all working together to create an inclusive campus at Cal Poly, and you have a vital role to play by ensuring your videos are accessible.
- Course size: Faculty using Canvas automatically have 2GB of storage in each course, which will suffice for most courses. In addition, 5TB (5,000 GB) of additional space for (non-video) course materials is available to faculty within OneDrive. Files can easily be linked within Canvas for students to access.
- It is important to provide community in your virtual classes, and the Discussion tool is great for this. You may want to turn OFF the option to allow students to create NEW discussion topics. This doesn't prevent them from replying to yours.
- Classic Quiz vs. New Quiz: Canvas says that the Classic Quiz will be removed after June 2024. Learn more about Classic Quiz types.
- If you like to use LaTex, then you will need to use Classic Quiz, since the New Quiz uses Math Quill.
- Creating secure exams.
- Quiz Settings to Maximize Security
- How to set up your Gradebook, please see this webinar since there are multiple steps and locations for setup.
- Set your Grade Policies - Late Policies (default 100% for missing) / Grade Posting Policy (visibility options). MUST be done before ANY graded activities.
- Make sure your course has the Grade Scheme enabled, so the letter grade will be transferred to PeopleSoft.
- Feature/tool not available in Canvas? If Canvas does NOT have the ability to do something you want/need, please see the Feature Request page.
- Course communications - Inbox or Announcements will not be sent to students until the course is 1) published and 2) both start dates have passed.
- Before the course is Published and the start date has passed, you use an outside email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to send the students a welcome message.
- All users should check their Notification preferences. On the Left, Account > Notifications. Make sure you have set your Conversations to Notify me right away.
- Use the built-in tool Student View in your course to see the student's perspective: use Student View to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, view the calendar, and view the scheduler.
- If you would like to test or work on your Gradebook setup with a "fake" student, you can enroll "email@example.com" via the People > + People within your course.
- Those assigned as Department Outcomes Managers can create Outcomes for their college or department to use. It will take up t 48 hours for newly-created outcomes to be available for your faculty group.
- 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.
- 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 - my.calpoly.edu, Class Roster.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 8pm..you need to set the UNTIL to 8pm.
- 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.
- If you want students to see Quiz results (answers) after they/everyone take(s) the quiz...you 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.
- If you create a Quiz with a Question Group and within that group you have a "file upload" question type...you 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.
- The Term (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Quarter) have an END date. Once the END date has passed, you (Teacher) cannot change your course. If you need to continue to work in your OLD course (student w/incomplete or other)...change the END date before the TERM ends. If you are too late, email firstname.lastname@example.org to change it for you.
- Decide if or how students can access your course after the quarter (Term) ends.
- Allow students to complete their course due to an incomplete
- Allow students to access the course after the term ends (Winter 21 - Mar. 29, 2021)
- Restrict students from accessing the course after the end date
- Finalize the Gradebook and import into Grade Roster/PeopleSoft.
- Records/Information Retention Policies - Cal Poly Canvas will hold up to nine-quarters of course content and participation. Faculty are required to save Gradebooks for five-years. You can export/download a Canvas Gradebook and save to a secure location (OneDrive).