Locating Your 2020-21 School Year Canvas Courses

Image of selecting course content to copy

When you next login to Canvas, you may be looking for your courses from last year (the recently ended 2020-21 school year). To find them click on the Courses button on the Global Navigation menu and then “All Courses” to arrive at http://pccsk12.instructure.com/courses. At the bottom of that page you will find “Past Enrollments.”

Visual of buttons needed to access courses

The courses in “Past Enrollments” are view only, including the copies you made per our directions in another blog post. In order to edit your course and start making updates for the 21-22 school year, you need create a new course and copy last year’s content into it.


Two ways to create a course

Give your course a name and then import existing content into the course.


Giving the course a name


Import existing content


Image of selecting course content to copyTo watch these steps in video format: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvR3xt3RIVw

Please reach out to a Technology Integration Specialist if you need assistance.

End of the Year Tech Equipment Checklist

As you make plans to close up your classroom for the summer (and a well deserved break), please take care of the following items:

  1. Copy your Canvas courses so you don’t lose any content! https://tech.pccsk12.com/second-notice-end-of-the-year-canvas-support-action-required/
  2. Please comply with the directions of your principal and main office to turn in or secure all classroom technology equipment such as document cameras, microphones, interactive pens, and remotes. 
  3. Please also secure or take home all District-assigned devices (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.), as well as all personally-owned devices..
    • If you are leaving the District, complete this form.
  4. Power off projectors/IFPs, sound amps, and desktop computers.
    • You may leave printer and copiers plugged in and powered on
  5. Follow the care suggestions for classroom audio

Thanks for your cooperation!

Managing Your Modules

Anyone with a year-long course (or 100+ modules), might be noticing that is takes quite a long time for all your modules to load. Students and families may also be experiencing this lag when they click the link for their daily work module. To help save time and frustration we recommend that you free up some space in one of two ways:

  1. Unpublish modules from early in the school year. Image of "unpublish" icon
  2. If you or your students are still experiencing a slow down, you can copy the module to your Sandbox course and then delete it from your main course.

Image of steps to copy and delete modules

Use Sections to Manage Green/Blue Cohorts

Image of finished sections

Sections allow you to subdivide students within a course. It allows you to set different due dates for assignments, quizzes, and discussions. This is ideal for managing the Blue and Green Cohorts in the hybrid schedule.

Set up Groups

First go to Settings from the Course Navigation menu and you’ll find a tab entitled “Sections.” You can add and name your sections however you wish.

Here’s what you might have for your classes, the sections will be ordered alphabetically:

Image of finished sections

Add Students to Sections

Click on “People” in the Course Navigation menu to add students to the proper section.

Visual of steps to add people to sections

A pop-up will appear and you can start typing the name of the cohort and it will appear for you to select or you can click “browse” and the options will appear.

Image of editing section enrollments

Do this for each user. When finished you’ll be able to see which cohort/section each user is in.

Image of cohorts denoted in roster

You can remove the section following the same grading process.

Assignments for Sections

For the purpose of syncing with MiStar, it is very important you ensure one of the “Assign to” groups is listed as “Everyone”
or “Everyone Else.” Do not assign to Blue Cohort and Green Cohort, grading sync will not work.

Image indicating use of everyone or everyone else


Semester 2 and Quarter 3 Courses Published in Canvas

Publishing of Canvas Courses

To assist teachers, Canvas automatically published all Semester 2 and Quarter 3 courses automatically generated through the MISTAR/Canvas sync

Please note the following:

  • Students only have access to Published courses. If you have any courses that you do not want students to see, please be sure to Unpublish those courses. (see below) If a course is Unpublished they will not see it on their dashboard. To Unpublish a course, go to the course you don’t want students to access and select Unpublish at the top-right part of the screen. You cannot unpublish a course after you assign something to a student.
  • Manually created courses were not automatically published. If you would like to publish any of your manually created courses, please follow these instructions.

Reminder: Customizing Your Canvas Dashboard

To customize the teacher or student dashboard to show certain courses please see the graphic below:


View Grades and Submissions for ‘Concluded’ Students in Canvas

This post is for teachers who do not “see” some of their students in Canvas because those students’ enrollments have ‘concluded’. Enrollments are concluded, for example, as students move from one school track to another (e.g. between Virtual and Safe Start schools). If you are unable to “see” some students, there are three areas in Canvas (via Grade or People in the Course Navigation Menu or via User Details) to do so. We recommend using the Grades option described below.

Option 1: Grades (in the Course Navigation Menu)

For concluded student enrollments, all content in the Gradebook is read only and cannot be changed. You will need to input any grades into MISTAR manually that weren’t already moved via grade passback when the student was still active.

To see the grades of students who have concluded their enrollment in your Canvas course, do the following:

Open Grades



view concluded

HINT: Be sure to drag the right side dividing line of the Student Name column so that you can see both the entire student name AND the label “concluded”.

The above guidance is from: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-view-grades-for-inactive-or-concluded-student/ta-p/753

Option 2: People (in the Navigation Menu)

As with the Gradebook, individual grades can also be viewed through this approach.


prior enrollments

prior enrollments more


Option 3: User Details

As with active students, you can review grades and other details of your concluded users. Please see https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-view-user-details-for-an-enrollment-in-a-course/ta-p/1216 for elaboration.

Second Semester Transition for Canvas

With the start of the 2nd semester arriving soon, we’d like to again provide step by step directions (please see below) for those teachers interested in transferring content from one Canvas course to another. We shared similar directions covering the export/import process at the outset of our school year to assist teachers in migrating content out of courses they had created and built in to the MISTAR-rostered course shells that appeared in their accounts.

  1. Step-By-Step Directions with Pictures on how to export content from old course and import it into the new course
  2. Step-By-Step Video (Screencast) Directions

Bulk adjusting due dates and times:

*Please note that canvas exports do not include backups of student interactions and grades. Grades can be exported separately as CSV files.

**Year-long courses do not apply here. However, it is still good practice to make backups of your courses.

Below are some best practices when transferring content, this includes exporting your grades, settings, and downloading additional data.

Best Practice: Keep Sem 1 and Sem 2 clean and separate to have easier content management and processing. For those with a course that spans the year, consider just copying the last module or most recent content from your Semester 1 course into your Semester 2 course so that you are starting with an almost fresh course. (You can always have view access extended to the Semester 1 course so that students are able to review their past work at any time – unless you’d prefer to restrict access to that course content.)
You could also extend course dates in Semester 1 courses if you need students to have more time to participate/work in those courses, although you will need to bear in mind MISTAR grade submission deadlines.

Websites to check out

Webby Awards

The Webby Awards annually note websites with interesting design and elements to explore.  Here are some sites you might want to check out, in no particular order:

Future of Tech hosts a free & growing library of resources to get you up to speed on what’s new & next.

Poly is an online library where people can browse, share, and remix thousands of 3D models or scenes.

People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North 

Canvas is a Chrome/Google supported drawing app.

Applied Digital Skills reviews digital skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow with Google’s free video lessons.

Ted-Ed lessons

AFT’s Share My Lesson



New Rich Content Editor being pushed out over winter break

Post Updated: December 14, 2020

New Rich Content Editor-Canvas

Click Video below to learn about the new Rich Content Editor and notable feature changes

Canvas will be pushing out their updated Rich Content Editor (RCE) on January 16th, 2021 and henceforth it will no longer be optional to use their older editor. To make the transition easier for our staff we will be setting up as default the new Rich Content Editor over the winter break.  Below are some links to help staff better understand and navigate the new RCE.

If you would like to start using the new RCE now, you can. Simply click on ‘Settings’ in your course. On top of the screen click ‘Feature Options’, then click check mark next to RCE Enhancements

personal pronouns now enabled in Canvas

Students and staff can now designate their personal pronouns in Canvas if they would like to do so. Personal pronouns display after a user’s name in various areas in Canvas, including:

  • Comment Fields
  • Discussions
  • Inbox
  • People Page (Course and Groups)
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Profile Page
  • User Settings Page
What it now looks like on the edit page for a user:
Screenshot 2020-12-09 at 2.09.50 PM.png