Things I Wish I Would Have Known- Canvas Edition: Make Modules, not Pages

If you have been using Canvas for awhile (since 2021), you may have worked to build Pages in Canvas that had the plan for your day/week/month. They may also include links to other Canvas Assignments and resources. It may look something like this:

sample Canvas page

While this page made a lot of sense as you rushed to put together content for virtual days, you might consider making the shift to Modules. Over time, these pages have probably proved cumbersome to update and it can result in a clunky workflow for students. It may also feel like a double load of work if you also update some daily slide for the classroom. We’d suggest letting go of these Agenda pages in favor Modules organized by week or topic. Check out some examples below:

This set up may prove easier to update and blends nicely with the face-to-face learning environment, pointing students and families to exactly what they need to know.

Why Use Modules

  1. Content Organization: Modules act like a table of contents, allowing instructors to organize various course elements such as Pages, Files, Discussion Boards, Quizzes, and Assignments. By grouping related content together, Modules create a coherent flow for students.
  2. Interaction Requirements: Modules allow instructors to require student interaction with specific content before proceeding to assignments. For example, students might need to review a reading or watch a video before attempting a quiz.
  3. Centralized Management: Instructors can manage all course materials within a single Module. This streamlines the course-building process and keeps everything organized in one place.
  4. Flexible Structure: Instructors can structure Modules based on their natural course organization. Whether by unit, day, week, topic, or outcome, Modules adapt to the instructor’s preferred format.
  5. Visual Flow: Using indentation, emojis, and text headers in Modules enhances visual flow, especially when dealing with a large amount of content. Headers help delineate different sections, and instructors can even use emojis for quick scanning.
  6. Student Experience: By simplifying navigation (e.g., hiding unnecessary links), Modules create a better experience for students. Chunking content into digestible bits prevents overwhelming learners.

March Canvas Updates

march Canvas updates

March 16, 2024 Canvas is releasing two welcome updates!

  • New Quizzes Item Analysis: Fill In the Blank Data now provides additional information on specific question types for instructors to evaluate student responses and provide appropriate intervention. Previously, if you had multiple blanks or dropdowns you would not get stats on all the blanks. Now you will be able to get data for each blank. See image below.

fill in the blank analytics

  • Multiple gradebook filter options can be applied at once.

gradebook filters

Video walkthrough:

Canvas Discussions Redesign Coming this Summer

canvas discussions redesign

This summer, Canvas is rolling out a redesign of the Discussions feature to provide a more modern, accessible, and user-friendly experience. While the core functionality of Discussions will remain intact, the new redesign brings a host of exciting enhancements.

What’s New in the Discussions Redesign?

  • Cleaner, more accessible UI with improved screen reader capabilities
  • Flexible viewing options including inline view and split view
  • Reply reporting with notifications for instructors
  • Quoting functionality to make referencing easier
  • Improved search with text highlighting
  • Support for full and partial anonymity in graded discussions—this functionality is currently turned off  for P-CCS until Canvas adds a moderation feature
  • Additional sorting and filtering options

The goal is to facilitate better peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration through a modernized discussion forum experience. Popular existing features like posting before seeing replies, marking posts read/unread, group discussions, peer reviews, and rubric support will continue to be available.

While some may be apprehensive about the changes, Canvas emphasizes that no current functionality is going away. The redesign aims to elevate the overall discussion experience by adding conveniences like quote replies, anonymous postings, and a more intuitive design.

So get ready to embrace the future of Canvas Discussions coming your way this summer! The refreshed interface and new capabilities will foster more engaging discourse for students and instructors alike.

Find more information here: 2024_Canvas-Discussions-Redesign_Data-Sheet.pdf – Google Drive

Grading Periods for New Term

visual organizer of the grading periods transition

Secondary teachers are approaching the end of a new term (semester 1/quarter 2). Here’s what you need to be aware of in Canvas.

  • Teachers will have access to make edits, give feedback, and grade assignments in Canvas for 1st Semester until 11:59 pm on January 31, 2023. After that date, the grades will not be editable, you’ll need to follow your building’s process for updating a grade on record. Please note change due to snow days.
  • Students will continue to have access to submit assignments with due dates in the first semester UNLESS YOU HAVE AN AVAILABLE UNTIL DATE OF JAN. 30 (11:50 pm) OR EARLIER.  You can edit those dates in bulk by following the steps here. If you have a year-long course, please look over your assignments and consider what you want to remain available.

Semester 2 is set to “open” on January 30, please make sure any semester courses are published by then.  You can filter your grade book to view assignments with due dates in the Semester 2 grading period by following the steps here.

If you have questions, please submit a tech ticket.

Awesome New Quizzes Canvas Updates!

fall canvas updates

Here are a few September Canvas updates in New Quizzes to be excited about:

New Quizzes: Build on Last Attempt

In New Quizzes, instructors can allow students to build on their last attempt of a quiz by reattempting incorrectly answered questions.

show build on last attempt workflow

In New Quiz Settings, select Allow multiple attempts [1], and then select the Enable build on last attempt checkbox [2].

Note: When the build on last attempt feature is enabled, students can only view questions marked with incorrect answers, all other questions are hidden. If you have short answer questions you want them to reattempt, you’ll want to add a waiting period to give you time to grade those items.

Additional Details

Students can reattempt incorrectly answered questions until the answer is marked correct in SpeedGrader or they run out of attempts. Students who get all questions correct will not have the option to reattempt.

❗ Bonus Tip: Did you know that you can grade one quiz question at a time in SpeedGrader? How do I grade one quiz question at a time in Spee… – Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

New Quizzes: Quicker Item Analysis Report

In New Quizzes, instructor access to Item Analysis reports is faster and the user interface is updated. While the item analysis used to take 24-28 hours, it will now take about 1 hour (depends on the size of the quiz and other factors).

quiz analysis interface

If you like these features but have Classic Quizzes in your course, reach out for information about migrating those quizzes to New Quizzes. There have also been hesitations about partial credit on new quizzes, check out this resource (3 slides) that breaks down how this works in New Quizzes.

Not sure how to interpret the item analysis? New Quizzes Quiz and Item Analysis – Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

Sharing New Quizzes

If you have tried to share a New Quiz with a colleague you may have been frustrated if images or audio did not come with the quiz. To solve this, you can export the quiz file (QTI ZIP file) with these directions: How do I export a New Quiz from a course? – Instructure Community (canvaslms.com).

After exporting the file, you should be able to email the file to a colleague and they will be able to import it into their quiz. How do I import a quiz from a QTI package in New Q… – Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

This isn’t the typical, seamless process of sharing content in Canvas, but we are hopeful can an update will come down the road.

 

Remind’s Evolving Business Structure: Embracing Canvas for Better Communication

Hello, Canvas for Messaging

In the ever-evolving landscape of educational technology, adaptability is key. Remind, a popular communication platform for educators, is making changes to its business structure that will affect the way our district’s users send and receive messages. Many of you received an email from Remind about these changes. We encourage you to embrace Canvas as the primary platform for communicating with students and families.

What’s Changing with Remind?

Remind has been a helpful tool for educators to connect with students and parents, providing a streamlined way to share important updates. However, Remind will be limiting the number of messages our district’s users can send starting September 13, 2023. This change may impact how you communicate with your students and their families. While we understand the convenience of Remind, we want to offer Canvas as an alternative solution that ensures effective communication without restrictions.

Why Canvas?

Canvas, our district’s learning management system, can serve as the ideal platform for seamless communication between educators, students, and parents. Canvas offers a mobile app that allows students and families to receive instant notifications. This ensures that important messages and updates are never missed, even on the go. By consolidating communications within Canvas, everything related to your course can be found in one place. No more switching between multiple apps or platforms. For example, if a parent checks a grade or due date in the Canvas app, they can message you directly from that screen instead of opening Remind.

Notification Settings

Due to the change in communication methods, you might encourage students to update their Notifications settings in the mobile app. Observers can also set up alerts for certain situations like a missing assignment or Announcements posted. See the chart below for helpful links and a quick video guide.

Plan to send out a communication to students and families about the settings you recommend for your course. If you use Announcements often, ask they adjust their settings to get push notifications for Announcements. If you plan to utilize the Canvas Inbox more frequently, prompt them to check that often.

Change can be daunting, but it can also lead to improved efficiency and effectiveness. By embracing Canvas as our primary platform for communication, we can provide students and families with a more reliable and comprehensive solution.

 

Action Required: Publish Your Course 23-24 Courses

Please note that each teacher must manually publish the course(s) they want to be visible to students.

Publishing your course only takes one click! From the Course Card on your Dashboard, click “Publish” (see screenshot below).
click publish on the course card on the dashboard

Alternatively, you can open the course home page and click the “Publish” button on the right side of the screen (see screenshot below).

 

Rest assured, students will not be able to access the course until the term start date. You can verify this under the course Settings (and adjust if desired).

Course Term settings

As a reminder, your courses in MISTAR have been auto-populated in Canvas and auto-rostered with students. These are the course(s) you should publish and actively use with students. Any manually created courses should either be copied or cross-listed with your auto-populated courses. You can also cross-list multiple sections of the same course following the instructions provided in one of our previous posts.

Need Help with Canvas?

get help with Canvas

Canvas is an important learning tool in our district. We hope that you continue to find it a valuable teaching and communication tool. If you are new to the district or have questions come up about it, we want you to be aware of several resources that are available to you.

First, click the “Help” icon on the Global Navigation Menu. For general and common questions try searching the Canvas guides. If your problem or question is unique and specific to your situation you can chat online or call the Canvas Support hotline. You can be connected with a support agent that can help you almost immediately.

image of Canvas help menu

If you would like to slowly browse resources, please check out our resources at the P-CCS Tech website, https://tech.pccsk12.com/canvas-lms/

Have a lot of questions? You can set up a 45-minute meeting with a Panda Pro. This experience is available through the beginning of September. Find more about this service on their website.

If you are instructional staff working on meeting your PD expectations, please note we have a number of courses including the following listed below (all of them are 3 hours) that can help increase your understanding of how to use Canvas effectively available for you in the Catalog. https://catalog.pccsk12.com/

  • Canvas 1.0
  • Canvas 2.0
  • Canvas 3.0
  • Canvas in the Face to Face Classroom
  • Simplify and Streamline your Elementary Classroom with Canvas

As always, please submit a tech ticket if you have any questions. https://links.pccsk12.com/helpdesk

Prepping Your Canvas Courses for the New School Year

Prep your canvas course

 

We’re excited to let you know that your Canvas courses will soon be visible and ready for action. Canvas is designed to simplify your teaching journey and provide you with a user-friendly platform to engage with your students, organize course materials, and foster a dynamic learning environment.

Course Template

To assist you in creating an engaging and effective online learning space, we’ve prepared comprehensive resources for the course template. These resources include step-by-step guides, video tutorials, and best practices for setting up your Canvas courses. Whether you’re a seasoned Canvas user or a first-timer, these tools will ensure that you’re making the most of Canvas’s features.

Import Previous Content

We understand the value of your time, which is why Canvas allows you to seamlessly import content from your previous courses.  Whether it’s assignments, quizzes, or discussions, the process is intuitive and streamlined. This means you can build upon the successful elements of your previous courses while introducing new and exciting content. Courses from last school year can be found at https://pccsk12.instructure.com/courses at the bottom of the page under “Past Enrollments.” If you need help locating courses from previous school years, check this blog post. Once you have located your previous content, you are ready to import it into your new courses following the steps below.

16 STEPS

1. The first step is to open Dashboard and click your new course.

Step 1 image

2. Click Import Existing Content

Step 2 image

3. Click Select One

Step 3 image

4. Select Copy a Canvas Course

Step 4 image

5. Type the name of your old course.

Step 5 image

6. Click your old course when it appears on the drop down.

Step 6 image

7. Click Select specific content

Step 7 image

8. Optional: Click Adjust events and due dates

Step 8 image

9. You have the option to attempt a bulk shift of due dates or, simply, remove the dates.

Step 9 image

10. Click Import

Step 10 image

11. Under “Current Jobs,” click Select Content

Step 11 image

12. Select the content you would like to include. Do NOT select “Course Settings.”

Step 12 image

13. Note that you can open the option to select specific pages, assignments, modules, etc.

Step 13 image

14. Uncheck specific items you do not want to bring over, if desired.

When all you want is selected, click Select Content

Step 14 image

15. Review any issues that might come up.

Step 15 image

16. That’s it. You’re done.

Step 16 image

Here’s an interactive tutorial

** Best experienced in Full Screen (click the icon in the top right corner before you begin) **

https://www.iorad.com/player/1992034/Canvas—How-to-Import-Course-Content

Please submit a ticket if you have any questions.

Need Canvas Help?

image of Canvas help menu

Canvas is an important learning tool in our district. We hope that you continue to find it a valuable teaching and communication tool. If you are new to the district or have questions come up about it, we want you to be aware of several resources that are available to you.

First, click the “Help” icon on the Global Navigation Menu. For general and common questions try searching the Canvas guides. If your problem or question is unique and specific to your situation you can chat online or call the Canvas Support hotline. You can be connected with a support agent that can help you almost immediately.

image of Canvas help menu

If you would like to slowly browse resources, please check out our resources at the P-CCS Tech website, https://tech.pccsk12.com/canvas-lms/

If you are instructional staff working on meeting your PD expectations, please note we have a number of courses including the following listed below (all of them are 3 hours) that can help increase your understanding of how to use Canvas effectively available for you in the Catalog. https://catalog.pccsk12.com/

  • Canvas 1.0 (new)
  • Canvas 2.0
  • Canvas 3.0
  • Canvas in the Face to Face Classroom
  • Simplify and Streamline your Elementary Classroom with Canvas (new)

As always, please submit a tech ticket if you have any questions. https://links.pccsk12.com/helpdesk