What Students Want in Canvas

There are many good ways to set up a Canvas course, but how can you know which things students want in every one of their courses? Well, to help you the LTC asked them! Based on multiple student panels, here are the most common requests for your Canvas course:

  1. Match your Assignments and Grades area to your course syllabus.
  2. Reorganize Modules to a chronological layout.
  3. Populate assignments and tasks to student calendars.
  4. Utilize the description area of Quizzes and Assignments.
  5. When deciding between timely feedback and deep feedback, choose timely.
  6. Keep grades up to date, including entering 0s.

While each of these require additional work, none of them are outside of your reach. The recording below will walk you through making adjustments in Canvas to address the first four points.

Students understand their instructors can feel crunched for time, just like they do. When this occurs they’ve found that timely feedback best helps their progress through the course. They asked that if you are put into a position where you need to choose between providing timely feedback versus deep feedback, that you choose timely. Too often, by the time they received feedback on an assessment they had already moved on to the next lessons, building on a foundation they later found out isn’t as solid as they thought.

Keeping grades up to date ties in with providing timely feedback. Students want to know how they are doing, and when each instructor handles their grades differently, it means the only system that is going to feel intuitive to your students is an up-to-date grades area. This includes entering 0’s for any assignment that counts against their final grade. As a benefit, entering 0’s by setting a default grade at the time the assignment is being graded means less work for you.

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Update (12/19/2020)

On Saturday, December 19, Instructure deployed the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

  • Student View Changes: The “Student View” button has been removed from the homepage and has been re-added as an Icon to the top right bar of most Canvas screens inside of the course.This change allows instructors to access Student View quicker.
  • New Rich Content Editor – Upload Media File Placement: Newly recorded media and upload media is stored in the Course or User Files folder, according to user role, to ensure that users can reuse media. Previously, newly recorded and uploaded media could not be repurposed without being exported as part of course content.
  • People – Group Import CSV File: The Groups area within “People” will allow for CSV imports to create and assign currently enrolled users to Groups. This will be especially useful for instructors that have created groups in external tools and want to reproduce them in a course.

UW-Whitewater Updates

  • New Rich Content Editor: The New Rich Content Editor is an update to the previous Canvas Rich Content Editor. It provides a condensed, more intuitive toolbar that is grouped by common icons and interactions. We will be enabling the New Rich Content Editor on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020. For additional details or training schedule, please see our post.
  • Flash – End of Life: Beginning in January of 2021, the Adobe Flash Player will be uninstalled from campus devices. Previously, in July of 2017, Adobe announced that the Flash Player will no longer be distributed or updated after December 31, 2020. Additional information can be found on the Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page. We have details available to help you identify if this will impact you.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.

Canvas to WINS Final Grade Submission

Each semester, grades need to be entered into WINS. While many instructors do this manually, Canvas can help automate some of the steps for you. The Learning Technology Center is providing training on the three steps needed to push grades from Canvas so they can be accepted in WINS.


The Fall 2020 WINS Grades Roster will be open on December 14 and close at noon on December 22. We have scheduled 60 minute hands on training sessions if you are interested in receiving live support.

Date/TimeLocationRegister
Monday, December 14th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
Tuesday, December 15th
2:00am – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
Thursday, December 17th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
Friday, December 18th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
Monday, December 21st
10:00am – 11:00am
WebexRegistration
Monday, December 21st
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Training: Better Courses Through Better Pages

pages
use pages to build better canvas sites

Have you moved past the basics of how to get content into Canvas, and looking for a simple way to improve the learning experience for your students? The LTC will be offering synchronous trainings to go with our new asynchronous, self-paced resource designed to help instructors take lengthy modules, and turn them into sleek pages.

Not only is the content of the course about how to create more engaging pages, it also demonstrates simple steps you can take to do this with your own courses, by showing the transition from a typical course design to one based on a more dynamic page.

We have scheduled 60 minute training sessions if you are interested in receiving a live version of the materials offered above.

Date/TimeLocationRegister
Wednesday, January 6th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration
Monday, January 11th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
Wednesday, January 13th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Text Editor Enhancements

The New Rich Content Editor is an update to the previous Canvas Rich Content Editor. It provides a condensed, more intuitive toolbar that is grouped by common icons and interactions. We will be enabling the New Rich Content Editor on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020.

Old Rich Content Editor
New RIch Content Editor

We have scheduled 30 minute training sessions if you are interested in learning more about the New Rich Content Editor.

Date/TimeLocationRegister
Tuesday, December 1st
1:00pm – 1:30pm
WebexRegistration
Monday, December 7th
10:00am – 10:30am
WebexRegistration
Tuesday, December 22nd
2:00pm – 2:30pm
WebexRegistration
Wednesday, December 30th
1:00pm – 1:30pm
WebexRegistration
Thursday, January 7th
11:00am – 11:30am
WebexRegistration
Monday, January 11th
11:00am – 11:30am
WebexRegistration
Wednesday, January 20th
10:00am – 10:30am
WebexRegistration

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Update (10/17/2020)

On Saturday, October 17, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

  • Global Navigation – Recent History: The Global Navigation Menu includes a Recent History link, which displays recently visited pages in Canvas. This change helps users remember what page they last viewed in one or multiple courses.
  • Notifications – Notification Preferences Interface: The user-level Notifications page has been updated to match the design of the course-level Notifications page. Additional enhancements have been added to clarify notifications between each level..
  • MathJax Equation Improvements: The MathJax JS library has been improved to render equations in a more accessible format and promote ease of use. Math equations created anywhere in Canvas will be rendered as MathML. This change improves accessibility for equations throughout Canvas. Previously, equations were treated as an image and included title attributes and alternative text and were not available to keyboard users. Additionally, image views varied by browser and screen readers, equations could not be copied, and alternative text could be inadvertently changed or removed.

UW-Whitewater Updates

UDOIT Course Accessibility Checker is now available. The tool is designed to identify accessibility concerns and provide suggestions for improving course accessibility. There is an introduction and instructions for use available through the UW-System KB, and UWW trainings are available.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.

Canvas Update (08/15/2020)



On Saturday, August 15, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.

Canvas Workshops – July and August 2020


During the Summer of 2020, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) will be offering opportunities to learn the Canvas basics, make simple changes to your courses to improve the student experience, and to dig deeper into Canvas features.  For self guided assistance, please view the Canvas Service Page.

Canvas Basics 
Whether you are brand new to Canvas, or just want to brush up on the basics, this training will put you on the right path. We will focus on

  • Creating a new Module
  • Adding files to Modules
  • Adding Assignments to Modules
  • Setting up your gradebook

What Students Want in Canvas 
There are many good ways to set up a course. This training will focus on making a series of small, easy, and optional, shifts from your current course design to a setup backed by feedback from student panels conducted right here at UW-Whitewater. We will focus on

  • Matching your Assignments and Grades area to your course syllabus
  • Reorganizing Modules to a chronological layout
  • Getting assignments and tasks populated to student calendars
  • Utilizing the description area of Quizzes and Assignments

The goal is not to change how you teach, just how students view the course.

EVENT NAMEDATE/TIMELOCATIONREGISTER
Canvas BasicsThursday, July 16th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
What Students Want In CanvasThursday, July 23rd
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
Canvas BasicsTuesday, August 11th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
What Students Want In CanvasThursday, August 13th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration

Canvas Deep Dives (1 Hour)
We will focus on a single tool, and dive deep into various options and use cases for how that tool works.

  • Quizzes: This will touch on different question types, building in targeted feedback in auto-graded quizzes, and most likely spend the bulk of the time in the Question Bank area to help instructors get a feel for Canvas Question Bank.
  • Assignments: We will focus on tasks such as creating a place for students to digitally turn in work, and setting up your gradebook.
  • Discussions: We will look at setup (including threaded vs unthreaded), visibility, the lack of a “Forum” in Canvas (compared to how D2L had it), group setup, and grading.
  • Webex Tools: Webex is usable through Canvas, but does take some initial setup there.  If you are interested in using Webex for your classes, this is the workshop for you.
EVENT NAMEDATE/TIMELOCATIONREGISTER
QuizzesTuesday, July 28th
10:00am – 11:00am
WebexRegistration
AssignmentsThursday, July 30th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
WebexRegistration
DiscussionsTuesday, August 4th
11:00am – Noon
WebexRegistration
Webex ToolsThursday, August 6th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration

If you have any questions about these sessions, please reach out to the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Workshops – Summer 2020

During the Summer of 2020, the LTC will be offering opportunities to make simple changes to your courses to improve the canvas exerance for you and your students, and to dig deeper into Canvas features.  For self guided assistance, please view the Canvas Service Page.

What Students Want in Canvas 
There are many good ways to set up a course. This training will focus on making a series of small, easy, and optional, shifts from your current course design to a setup backed by feedback from student panels conducted right here at UW-Whitewater. We will focus on

  • Matching your Assignments and Grades area to your course syllabus
  • Reorganizing Modules to a chronological layout
  • Getting assignments and tasks populated to student calendars
  • Utilizing the description area of Quizzes and Assignments

The goal is not to change how you teach, just how students view the course.

Date/TimeLocationRegister
Thursday, May 28th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
Tuesday, June 2nd
11:00am – Noon
WebexRegistration
Wednesday, June 10th
10:00am – 11:00am
WebexRegistration
Thursday, June 25th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration
Tuesday, July 7th
10:00am – 11:00am
WebexRegistration

Canvas Deep Dives (1 Hour)
We will focus on a single tool, and dive deep into various options and use cases for how that tool works.

  • Groups: This training will discuss what the tool is, how it differs from what we are use to in D2L, when it should be used, and when it shouldn’t be used.
  • Webex Tools: Webex is usable through Canvas, but does take some initial setup there.  If you are interested in using Webex for your classes, this is the workshop for you.
  • Content: This training will walk through embedding video content, linking to other course content, and utilizing the student “to-do” list.
  • Rubrics: This training will start with the general creation of rubrics, then expand to specific use cases of instructors attending the session.
Event NameDate/TimeLocationRegister
GroupsWednesday, June 3rd
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
Webex ToolsWednesday, June 3rd
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration
ContentThursday, June 4th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
RubricsThursday, June 4th
3:00pm – 4:00pm
WebexRegistration
GroupsMonday, June 15th
11:00am – Noon
WebexRegistration
Webex ToolsTuesday, June 16th
11:00am – Noon
WebexRegistration
ContentMonday, June 29th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration
RubricsTuesday, June 30th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
WebexRegistration

If you have any questions about these sessions, please reach out to the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Update (05/16/2020)


On Saturday, May 16, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

UW-Whitewater Updates

D2L Retirement is progressing.  All information you would like to keep must be exported out of D2L before June 1st, 2020. Whether it’s an old for-credit based course, or an ongoing course – make sure all material is backed up. Once our access is removed, we will not have any way to obtain this data. For more information check out the Desire2Learn Retirement Planning post.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.