Back in Issue 10 “Tips and FAQ’s from a Peer Mentor” at the start of the semester, we introduced the LTC faculty peer mentors that are available for each college to assist with the Canvas Transition. Canvas 24/7/365 is still the place to go for Canvas questions, but the peer mentors can help by sharing what they have discovered and learned.
The peer mentors gather monthly to share notes and discuss what we’ve learned. Now that we are approaching the end of the semester, I want to share some of the lessons learned this term in Canvas from our most recent Peer Mentor meeting. These are all Tips shared by the mentors on things they learned this semester while using Canvas. Hopefully they can help you!
Provide a link to the Canvas Student Training during the first module or week in class. Canvas Student Training link: http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training
Provide a bit of navigation and orientation to the class at the beginning of term. Show students where important things are located in Canvas. Review with them where they need to go and what they need to do. While Canvas is mostly new to us as faculty, it is also mostly new to students. Even thing like how to submit an assignment in Canvas can be really helpful. Providing that guide to where things are in your course can be really helpful to students.
Setting up the Course Home page in Canvas is important. Organizing content by weeks or by topic helps a lot. Don’t underestimate the important of structure. Students have the tendency to click on the assignment tab – and they miss the rest of the weekly content, the readings, and other supporting activities. It is important to link back to those weekly modules from the assignments…and remind students to check the content in each module each week.
Creating a weekly checklist or “TO DO” list is very helpful to students. D2L could create those as you were creating content, Canvas does not do that. I create a checklist item for students and post it at the top of each module as a roadmap for the week. I can also physically hand out a notecard with that weekly checklist to students in class so they know where to go and what to do.
Creating larger assignments with multiple parts is easier to set up in Canvas as a series of different assignment submissions. It is also easy to create these as multiple “zero” point assignments. So, for example, if a student needs to submit a rough draft as a paper, create a separate assignment for that rough draft – you can then use speed grader, provide feedback, and return it to students. The FINAL paper or submission can be created as a separate assignment in Canvas.
Setting up the gradebook to reflect more logical areas that corresponded with assignments makes providing feedback and grading much easier.
Canvas Peer Mentors The peer mentors are available to:
Help answer your transition questions.
Provide you with training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
Work with you to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.
College of Arts and Communication
College of Business and Economics
College of Education and Professional Studies
College of Letters and Sciences
– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
RESOLVED – Thursday, December 6th: On Thursday, December 6th Canvas ran a process to restore the Assignment Grade data in courses that were not already manually corrected. At this time, the issue is resolved. Please contact Canvas Support if you have any further questions about this issue.
Update Tuesday, December 4th: As a follow-up to the issue that occurred on Monday, November 26th, UW-System and UW-Whitewater have been working with Canvas as they perform some additional investigation around restoring the Assignment Grade data. Investigation is still ongoing and we will provide an additional update no later than Thursday, December 6th.
Original Message: Thank you for your patience as we have been working to understand the impact of the Monday, November 26th, 2018 issue which affected course enrollments in Canvas. Canvas was able to determine the root cause of the issue, which was caused by a faulty process in their system that loads course enrollment updates into the Canvas platform. Canvas, UW-System, and UW-Whitewater are working together to make sure processes are in place to mitigate any future issues.What do you need to know?
Prior to Monday, November 26th, if you had assignments that were assigned to specific students, groups, or sections (basically anything that was not “everyone”) you will need to go back in and update those assignments. This includes any Due Dates, From Dates, or Until Dates that may have been set for those assignments.
Follow the steps below in any active Canvas courses to check and verify that your assignment grades are visible.
Load the course, and click on the Grades menu from the course navigation.
Check your assignments that you have graded, to verify that you can see the grades. The image below is from a course where the Grades are not currently visible.
If all grades are visible – that’s it! Nothing more needs to be done. Otherwise, continue on to step 5.
For each assignment that is missing grades, click on the assignment name of the top of the grade column.
Once the assignment has loaded, click on the Edit button.
Scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll see an empty “Assign to” section. Click on Add and select Everyone in the Assign to box. Alternatively, you can also set this to a group, section, or individual student if that’s how it was configured previously.
Dates are not required – but you can populate those if desired.
Click on Save
Your grades should now be visible for both Instructors and Students.
Repeat steps 5 to 10 on all impacted Grades.
We understand that while this process is fairly straight forward, it is time consuming. Canvas is investigating if there is anything additional they can do to restore those grades, but we wanted to make sure there was an immediate option available. We’ll provide an update no later than Monday, December 3rd, 2018.
If you have questions about how to change these settings, or would like assistance with the process, please reach out to Canvas 24/7/365.
Canvas Users: Winterim 2019 and Spring 2019 Courses are now available in Canvas. Now that you have your course – here is what’s next:
Courses are Unpublished. By default, all courses that are created in Canvas will come across as unpublished. When a course is unpublished, it’s only visible to you – and students will not see the course. Once you have your content loaded up into the course and ready to go, simply hit the “Publish” button in the top right corner on the course home page. For more information see: Canvas Guide: How do I publish a course?
Course Combinations. Do you want to combine multiple sections of the same course into a single Canvas course? Follow the steps in the Cross-Listing/Merging Canvas Courses guide. If you need to combine courses that you are not the teacher for or if you have any questions please contact Canvas support.
Import your content (Master Course). If you have been working in a Master (Blank) course inside of Canvas – great! You can easily copy that content into your semester course and then you’ll be ready to go! Follow these steps to Copy Content from an Existing Canvas Course.
Canvas Support. As a reminder, with Canvas we do have 24/7/365 Phone, Chat and Email Support (links on the login page)! Please direct all questions to Canvas support. If they cannot assist you, they will escalate the issue to local support at UW-Whitewater.
This week, I wanted to explore some reflections on giving and receiving feedback in the context of an academic setting, share a specific tip as it applies to Speed Grader in Canvas, and finally highlight an upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop that will also explore feedback.
For feedback to be effective it needs a context in which learners have both the ability and opportunity to hear, understand, and act on that feedback. It should help learners reach a goal – provide clarity of what they did well or not do well, and how they can improve that work. Research shows that good feedback should be formative – it should help to improve performance or increase understanding. Feedback should be timely — happen at a moment when it is possible to learn and change. Finally, feedback should be descriptive – directed at fulfilling some clearly defined goal. Another way to put it is that feedback should tell a student what they accomplished (descriptive), what they were asked to accomplish (goal referenced), and what they must do next (goal directed).
feedback can be painful
With that in mind, I want to share an example of actual feedback. It is fortunately not my onus of shame for personally receiving it; however, I was witness when my classmate actually did. It was so laden with ink it actually dripped red. It was fresh. This is likely not the type of feedback I would recommend using, but it is another example of how Fr. William Ryan, SJ made an impression on terrified students. I introduced Fr. Ryan in my Ted Tips Issue 9: First Impressions. This type of feedback definitely made a powerful first impression… and I apologize if I have inadvertently increased your anxiety!
What tools are available to assist in providing good feedback in Canvas?
Providing feedback in Canvas, has never been easier! Canvas offers a tremendous tool: Speed Grader.
Speed grader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place. You do not need to download papers, then mark them up, and upload them. Instead, you can directly assign points or use rubrics. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats including URL submissions. Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.
You can use SpeedGrader to:
View submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments
Leave feedback for your students
Track your grading progress and hide assignments while grading
Use rubrics to assign grades
For each student, SpeedGrader has five areas:
View student submissions (text entries, website URLs, media recordings, and/or file uploads). Many file types are able to be previewed directly.
Assign a grade based on your preferred assessment method (points or percentage)
View Rubric to assist with grading (if one is added to the assignment)
View comments created by you or the student about the assignment
Create text, video, and/or audio commentary for the student
If you are interested in learning more about feedback and strategies, I want to up invite you to check out then next LEARN Center / LTC workshop in the 2018-2019 “Back to Basics to Balance Workload.” Next Workshop: Focused Strategies for Providing Formative Assessment by Dana Prodoehl, Alexis Piper, Trudi Witonsky.
At this workshop, panelists will draw on current pedagogy to discuss strategies for providing focused feedback to students at they are engaged in active learning activities. Some of the strategies will be time-saving. Others help instructors direct feedback in productive ways to foster student learning and development. An LTC representative will also be on hand to provide a brief overview of some of the feedback tools in Canvas, along with tips for utilizing them.
– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
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 http://uww.edu/canvas.
The LTC will be offering both Canvas Hands-On Introduction, Canvas Construction Zone and Canvas Deep Dive sessions during the Fall 2018 semester.
Canvas Hands-On Introduction – 2 Parts (1 Hour) We will cover the basic function of the core tools in the Canvas platform. There will be time to ask questions along the way. If this is your first time touching Canvas, this workshop is the one for you!
Part 1: 24/7/365 Support, Global Navigation, Create Module, Create Page Upload File (PowerPoint, PDF, Word, etc), Assignment Groups (set up gradebooks categories)
Part 2: Create Quiz, Create paper submission area, Doing grading and feedback in Speed Grader, Syllabus, Calendar
Canvas Construction Zone (1 Hour) + Bonus Hour! Are you ready to start digging into your course setup? Do you need help straightening up after moving a course from Desire2Learn (D2L) into Canvas? Do you have questions on how to set things up? This is the session for you! This session will be 1 hour of lab time with support staff on hand to help you construct your course in Canvas. There is also an optional 1 hour lab time directly after this workshop if you want to stick around and keep working. Don’t forget your hard hat!
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.
Content: This is delivered on the concept of backwards design driving the look and feel of course setup. It is about taking what you already do and molding a better experience for you and your students.
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 how Canvas Question Bank is different than D2L Question Library.
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.
Grades: Weighting grades, Late policies, Muting Assignments, SpeedGrader, setting a default grade, and setting up extra credit.
I am always excited to start a new semester. This week, I want to introduce you to the LTC peer mentors and recount a conversation with Jodi Galvan from the College of Arts and Communication. Based on that conversation, Jodi and I share some frequently asked questions (and answers) from the first week of class. Finally, I want to provide a Canvas specific Tip that can help faculty meet accommodations for students that need additional time on quizzes and exams.
The LTC has peer mentors available from each college to assist with the Canvas Transition. These peer mentors are an incredibly valuable resource. While the Canvas 24/7/365 support is the place to start for Canvas questions. Peer mentors can help with transition questions, training Information and resources, and leveraging canvas for enriching teaching and learning. They are:
College of Arts and Communication
College of Business and Economics
College of Education and Professional Studies
College of Letters and Sciences
I had the opportunity to work with one the canvas peer mentors, Jodi Galvan, during a recent Canvas Deep Dive focusing on Content. She was effortlessly reminding folks about where to start for searching for information about canvas – the Canvas Guides. I sat down with her later and wanted to get some more information about her, her passions, and tips she had for her peers about working online and working in Canvas.
Ted: How did you get involved in the Canvas peer mentor program?
Jodi: I am passionate about teaching. My first classes were on ground and eventually I transitioned to hybrid and then fully online courses. When the call went out for faculty to help with Canvas, I eventually answered it.
Ted: What’s the most important thing that keeps you passionate about teaching?
Jodi: It is always about the students. What can I do for them? How I can help them to succeed? The students are the most important thing.
Ted: What the biggest lesson you learned as a teacher working online?
Jodi: Teaching online is a different beast. It takes a lot of time teaching online to prepare and respond to students. You have to be “ON” 24/7 and prepared to answer texts and respond to email and messages. A lot of dedication goes into being a good teacher.
Being a online learner takes effort too – you have to be prepared to look around, take more direction of your own learning, and be willing to ask questions. It is more self-directed – even with the best guidance and help it can seem easy to get lost. When it applies to Canvas, take time to look around and be patient. There is a learning curve for everyone including your instructors. Nevertheless, we are here to figure it out together.
Ted: What advice would you offer a student to be able to find their path and be successful when working in Canvas?
Jodi: Start at the Home page. Look for announcements and messages from your faculty members because your success is important to them.
They will likely try to communicate you to help you Look for other tools: The syllabus tab has a list of assignments and due dates. The “View Calendar” tab, on the “Home” page, also shows all of your assignments and due dates. When on the “Home” page, be sure you are looking for weekly content, links, presentations, etc.
Be active as student…try to take control of your own education. Finally: READ!
Frequently Asked Questions
Jodi was kind enough to help share some of the most common questions she has heard this first week, and they are incredibly applicable to both on ground and online courses! We wanted to share some of the questions and answers and compile them for you! I know her number one question was the same on Tuesday as students were wandering around looking for their classrooms!
Q: Where do I go? Where is my class? A: Start at the UWW login page http://www.uww.edu/. Click on the “Canvas” or “D2L” button depending on what your class. Then click on the big “Login Here!” button. Enter your Net-ID. Choose your class. Ask your instructor if you cannot find your course in either Canvas or D2L.
Q: Is there an App for Canvas? A: Yes! Start with the Mobile Guide for students. Find the guide that fits your device (Android or iOS). Go to the Play store or App Store and download the appropriate app.
Q: Help! I cannot do something in Canvas I need to. How do I get help? A: The Canvas Guides (found in the left hand navigation bar under the “Help?” tab) are a great resource if you have a question about Canvas. If you cannot find your answer in the “Canvas Guides” then you have 24/7/365 Canvas support. You can access tech support from the Canvas homepage or by going to the “Help?” tab in the left hand navigation bar. You can call, chat, or email for help. Pro tip: Chat actually works really well – it is immediate, interactive, and helps troubleshoot what you are looking for. You will also get a transcript of the conversation.
BONUS TIP: CSD Tip for student accommodations
Jodi shared another common question. I have been getting messages from CSD for student accommodations (specifically for extra time on quizzes). Here are the steps to add extra time to specific students’ quizzes or tests.
Click on “quizzes” on the left hand navigation bar
Click on the first quiz you need to make adjustments
In the top right hand corner under “Related Items” click on “Moderate this Quiz”
Find the student who needs extra time and click on the little pencil in the right hand column
Add the extra time
Complete the above steps for each of your quizzes/tests.
I really want to thank Jodi Galvan for her conversation, passion, and dedication for student success. I really enjoyed interviewing her for this article and appreciated her help in the canvas deep dive workshop a couple of week ago. All of the Canvas peer mentors are tremendous resources and I appreciate their continued willingness to work with and support faculty! Next week: What are some efficient and effective communication strategies that can help improve student learning without overloading your workload!
Ted Witt –Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
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 http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training
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