Canvas Course Templates: Additional Flexibility Available

On Tuesday May 28th, UW-System approved a change in Canvas to allow for additional flexibility in the Course Navigation area and in the number of Announcements shown.  The following items can now be added or removed from the student view in the following order:

  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Grades
  • Announcements
  • People
  • Pages
  • Syllabus
  • Outcomes
  • Quizzes
  • Modules
  • Collaborations
  • Chat
  • Office 365

Instructors are now able to modify the number of recent Announcements that are visible in the Home area.  Announcements were previously set so that the three most recent were visible in the Home area.  This update will allow instructors to choose to allow between one and fifteen announcements to be visible.

These updates will not cause any visible changes in existing courses.  Any instructor wishing to take advantage of this increased flexibility will need to update their courses themselves.

For additional information about what the Canvas Course Template is and why it was implemented, please check UW-System Knowledge Base article about Course Templates

If you have additional questions about Canvas please reach out to Canvas 24/7/365 support by going to

Making Discussions Visible in Canvas

Canvas and Desire2Learn (D2L) share much of the same functionality, but with the move to Canvas there might be confusion about some of the details about how to get the desired results for your courses.  One of the most common questions we are seeing is about how students will access Online Discussions inside the course.  While the advice below was prompted by the questions about Discussions, the same is true for Quizzes and Assignments.

In D2L there was a dedicated “Discussions” button that could be added to the navigation bar.  In Canvas, this same button exists, but it is only available to Instructors for building purposes.  There are two ways to make sure students can access your discussions; place the Discussions in Modules, or make them Graded.

The best way to make sure students can find discussions is to place them in your Modules in the most appropriate location.  Most courses are separated into units, and the discussion can be placed into the appropriate unit for when the Discussion starts.  Other instructors may create a separate unit just for ongoing discussions that are meant to cross multiple units.

It is also worth knowing that all items that are worth points will be visible to students in the Assignments area.  This includes quizzes and discussions.  While we would encourage you to include those items in your Modules, they will also be added to Assignments for you automatically.

If you have additional questions about Canvas please reach out to 24/7/365 support by going to

Welcome Back Students! Have you signed into Canvas yet?

The University of Wisconsin System is transitioning from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas.  Here is what you should know for the Fall Semester.

  • Courses may be in either Canvas or D2L. During the Fall 2018, Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 semesters instructors have the option to use either Desire2learn or Canvas for their courses.  If you aren’t sure where to find your course, be sure to ask your instructor and they can point you in the right direction.
  • Canvas 24/7/365 support is available for all users.  Most students are already familiar with the D2L Support Form, but what happens when a student needs help with Canvas?  You can contact the Canvas 24/7/365 Support team.  You can find the Chat and E-mail options on both the Canvas Login Page and in the Help button in the lower left hand corner after you are logged in.  If you prefer to call someone, you can reach the 24/7/365 Support at 1-833-811-3207.
  • Self-paced Student Training Course is available. Anyone interested in receiving an introduction to Canvas before the start of the semester can self-enroll in the state provided Canvas Student Training course
  • Informational Tables Available 9/4-9/7. During the first week of classes ICIT will bat at various places around campus to chat with students.  See the list below for details, or just keep an eye out for us.
    • Esker Dining Hall: Tuesday Sept 4th from 11:30AM-12:30PM
    • University Center: Wednesday Sept 5th from 11:30PM-12:30PM
    • Drumlin Dining Hall: Thursday Sept 6th from 12:30PM-1:30PM
    • University Center: Friday Sept 7th from 12:30PM-1:30PM

If you have questions regarding the Canvas Transition, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

COMING SOON: Canvas Instructor Training Course

Interested in learning how to use Canvas at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home?  Looking for an organized resource that has videos about all of the basics, but also links you out to more specialized “how-to” documents?  No matter if you are feeling overwhelmed or just looking to brush up on your skills, the new “Canvas Instructor Training” course is a good way to get some direction during the transition from D2L to Canvas.

All faculty who have taught a course in the last two semesters, or are already scheduled to teach next fall, will be invited to join the Canvas Instructor Training course.  To gain access, simply click the “Get Started” button in the email when it arrives, or sign into Canvas to accept the invitation.

D2L eGrading Process Available for Spring 2018

The D2L eGrading process is now available for the Spring 2018 semester. This process allows instructors to transfer final grades from their Desire2Learn Gradebook directly to their WINS Grade Roster.

If you prefer step by step documentation, that can be found at: WINS eGrading Overview.

If you have any questions or concerns with the eGrading process, please contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.

Upcoming Turnitin Maintenance – March 17th, 10am to 4pm

On Saturday, March 17th between 10:00AM and 4:00PM and Turnitin integration with Desire2Learn will be undergoing essential maintenance and will be unavailable. The maintenance will be performed on internal network hardware at Turnitin to ensure continued dependable service and hardware updates.

Instructors are encouraged to modify assignment due dates either before or at least several hours after the scheduled maintenance window.

If you have any questions or concerns about this outage, please contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.