Canvas Course Templates

Your Canvas Course Template is here! As you may have read in our previous communication, your Technology Integration Specialists have created a template for Canvas that you will see as soon as you open any Canvas courses that sync with MiStar for this year. We hope it will take one thing off your long to-do lists.

A communication was sent on 8/23/22 about how to customize it and add your content from previous years. Those resources can be found on our website:

If you prefer your own materials or want to import content from previous years, please follow these directions.

Please submit a ticket if you have any questions.


Looking for Your 21-22 Courses?

Looking for your 21-22 courses? Rest assured, they may not be on your dashboard, but they are still there. If you navigate to and scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see such courses under “Past Enrollments.”

You can also access your past courses via the Global Navigation Menu:

directions to get to all courses

Past enrollments (such courses) are in read-only format. If you would like to make some edits and updates to your course(s) for current or future usage do the following. Click on the course under Past Enrollments, go to Settings on the Course Navigation Menu and click the “Copy this Course” button.

location of copy course button

When you are ready to import your course material into (one or more of) your 22-23 course(s), follow these directions.

If you have any questions or can’t locate your 21-22 courses, please submit a tech ticket.

Time to Consider Cross-listing

time to consider cross-listing

As we approach the new school year, those of you who are teaching multiple sections of the same course might consider cross-listing in Canvas. Cross-listing allows you to move section enrollments from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course and only want to manage course data in one location. So if you are a teacher that has multiple sections of one course or an elementary specialist that has many different sections, cross listing may be a great option for you and a big time saver. However, this action should only be done before a semester starts. Canvas recommends it be done before a course is published. If it is done after a course is published and notably student work has been submitted, that student work will be lost. Review the slideshow below carefully to help you decide if you want to do it. 

Please review this slideshow carefully to review the pros and cons. The slideshow also walks you through the steps to cross-list your courses. Please note that teachers have the ability to cross-list courses but do not have the option to de-crosslist. To de-crosslist sections or for further assistance with cross-listing, submit a tech ticket.


Google Assignments Update: Option to Use Canvas Speedgrader

new canvas speedgrader option in google assignments

Google has announced a much-welcome update for Google Assignments in Canvas. Teachers will now have the option to use the Canvas SpeedGrader for submitted Google Assignments. Take a look at the chart to see the potential features of each option.

image of text table of feature options

The use of Google Assignments in Canvas is highly encouraged because you can assign personalized files to students, instead of forcing students to make their own copy (which can lead to students having multiple copies in their Drive and losing track of the correct version). Teachers can also see students’ in-progress work and use originality reports (5 per course). With all of these perks, some teachers did not use Google Assignments because they wanted to be able to use the Canvas Speedgrader and now you can! This feature should  be visible by August 19, 2022. Have a quick look below:

gif of Canvas speedgrader option


Looking for your Canvas Course?

If you have logged into Canvas recently, you may have had a moment of panic to see that your 21-22 courses are not on your dashboard. Rest assured, they are still there. If you navigate to and scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see it the courses under “Past Enrollments.” You can also access these through the Global Navigation Menu:

directions to get to all courses

The courses are currently in read-only format and you’ll be able to import your content into your new course shells in the fall (we’ll publish directions as it gets closer). If you would like to make some edits and updates to you your course. Click on the course under Past Enrollments, go to Settings on the Course Navigation Menu and you’ll see the “Copy this Course” button.

location of copy course button

You can use this Canvas guide for the steps that follow. Once completed, you’ll have a version of your course on your dashboard that you can update and edit and them import that content in the fall.

If you have any questions, please submit a tech ticket.

Year-End Canvas Info

Canvas end-of-year tips

The good news is, there isn’t much to worry about with Canvas at the end of the year. It will automatically convert your course to read-only for students and roll your course into Past Enrollments. When next year’s course shell appears you will be able to import last year’s course content with a few clicks.

There are a few things you can do if you’d like to make adjustments to your course over the summer or if you like to have a just-in-case copy. Peruse the items below for more information, save it at this link, or get a PDF copy here.

Canvas New Quizzes Update: Fill in the Blank RCE


In New Quizzes, this feature allows Instructors to add content as part of the question stem and make portions of the content fillable in the student response.

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to create fill-in-the-blank questions with rich content such as scientific or mathematical formulas or a table. Additionally, instructors can format fill-in-the-blank questions to appear on separate, distinct lines.

Feature Workflow

new quizzes question editor
New Quizzes question editor

When adding a fill-in-the-blank question, type a statement in the rich content editor and surround a word with backticks to indicate where a student fills in the answer.

fill in the blank answer options
Fill in the Blank Answer Options

In the Answer Type drop-down menu, select the Dropdown option [1], enter the correct answers and distractor answers, if needed. Possible Answer Types include a dropdown, open entry, or word bank [2].

Check out the overview video below.

Canvas Tip: New Analytics to Support Students

Did you know that New Analytics provides detailed reports about grades, activity in Canvas, and missing assignments? Take a look at the information below to learn more. This can be used to support your teaching with data and an easy way to communicate with students and families that need support.

*Credit to Nicole Pate of Del Sol Academy for the informational slides. Link to slides.

Submit a tech ticket if you have questions about this feature.

PCEP Year-Long Courses now with Grading Periods

summary of grading period implications

High School teachers of PCEP year-long courses, please be aware that Grading Periods will be set up in your Canvas courses denoting each semester.

Year-Long PCEP Coursessummary of grading period implications

  • Teachers will have access to make edits, give feedback, and grade assignments in Canvas for first semester until 11:59 pm on February 2, 2022. After that date, the grades will not be editable.
  • 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. 28 OR EARLIER.  You can edit those dates in bulk by following the steps here.

Semester 2 began January 31st, 2022.  You can filter your grade book to view assignments with due dates in the Semester 2 grading period by following the steps here.

The information above was also noted in our January 18, 2022 blog post.

If you have questions, please submit a tech ticket.

Zoom Features for your Virtual Classes

Zoom Updates

There have been some updates to Zoom that help facilitate online learning for teachers and students. Check them out below.

  1. Save Zoom recording directly to Canvas. You can now save your Zoom recordings directly to Canvas Studio to easily integrate and share with your students. It just requires a few clicks to set this up in Canvas. Video tutorial.
  2. Create a seating chart in Gallery View. In your account settings, you will need to enable, “Allow host to save video order.” When you are in your meeting, arrange the students as you would like while in Gallery View and click save. If it is a recurring meeting, the video order will be saved for future meetings. More information.
  3. Turn on Focus Mode. This mode allows you to see all the student screens, but students only see the teacher’s video. You can even set it up for your meeting to being in Focus Mode.  More information OR check out this  5 minute explanatory video
  4. More polling and quizzing options. Zoom has expanded their polls to eight different question types and added the ability to add images. You can also set up the poll to be a quiz. More information.
  5. Add video to the Waiting Room. Maximize instructional time by adding a video to play while participants are in the Waiting Room. Unfortunately, this is a general setting to be applied to all your waiting room and not tied to a specific meeting. You can customize this when logged in to your web portal at Video tutorial.
  6. Zoom Learning Center. Zoom now offers a free educational platform for all new and existing users, including on-demand courses, live trainings, and short videos designed to give you just what you need when you need it to know how to best use their service. Login at Zoom Learning Center