Announcements » Canvas

September 3, 2019

Create Class Email List: Instructors need a way to email their classes. The "Inbox" tool in Canvas sends an internal message. Students will only be notified of this internal message by email if they have set up the corresponding alert in their personal Canvas Notification settings. To ensure that students get your email in a timely fashion, login to Accounts Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ > Manage Lists > Manage Class Lists > select one or more Registrar section lists in the first column > click the small "Create selected classlist(s)" button. Your new group email name will be emailed to you and displays on the screen. It becomes active on the next whole hour. The email group membership is synced nightly with the Registrar to account for enrollment adds/drop. This email is completely independent of Canvas, works on any email system, and is sent to the students' official ISU emails. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 30, 2019

Adding TAs and Co-Teachers to your course: To add participants other than registered students to your Canvas course, go into your course and click the ISU AdminTools link on the Course Menu. (If the ISU AdminTools link is not displaying, add it to the Course Menu by clicking Settings > Navigation tab (top) > dragging ISU AdminTools from the bottom table to the top table, scrolling down and clicking Save.) If prompted, click "Authorize." Click "Manage Additional People." For each new participant, enter their netID, specify their role, select enrollment section, then click the green "Add" button. Typically, you'll want to enroll them in "All Listed Sections." The new enrollment is listed on the lower part of the screen so you can verify that it is correct. IMPORTANT: The enrollment section with the same name as the Canvas account has NO students because it is not created from a Registrar section list – TAs must be added to the Registrar-based sections in order to see the students. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 19, 2019

Student Access to Old Courses: Each published Canvas course has an official, but unadvertised, start and end date based on the semester. Outside of these dates enrolled students can enter on a read-only basis, which may allow them to review and download past quiz keys, etc. To block student access completely, go into your course > Settings > checkmark the 'Restrict students from viewing this course after end date box > scroll down and click the red 'Update Course Details' button. To keep a course open and active to all enrolled students past the regular end of term, go to ISU Admin Tools > Manage Sections > enter new end date and checkmark the "Override Term/Course Participation Dates" box, then click the blue "Save Section" button. If you have a student who has an official Incomplete, you are now required to create a new course for them, as describe in the MORE link. (This is a change from previous semester!) More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

College Course Support: Staff in the college's Online and Distance Learning unit provide free educational technology support, training, and help desk services to all instructors in the college. These services are not limited to online or distance courses. Please contact us if you need assistance ordering a Canvas course account, setting the account up (e.g. adding test banks, processing video, etc.), would like 1-1 training, or require help desk services. Your main contact for webinar and video support is Jessie Christensen, 294-6452, jmc1dsm@iastate.edu. Your main support for Canvas and Qualtrics (survey software) is Karla Embleton, 294-9198, embleton@iastate.edu. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

May 9, 2019

Ending Course Collaborations: The Canvas Collaboration tool lets instructors create Google or Microsoft Drive work spaces in which invited students can view and edit the same document. Collaborators must have a Google account and will need to authorize Canvas before they can view the collaboration space. At the end of the semester, these external work spaces remain active and accessible to students from outside of Canvas. To prevent further modification of the document, the instructor must change the sharing settings – either by making it read-only or by removing the student collaborators. Deleting a Google or OneDrive collaboration from your Canvas course does not delete the actual document, it just deletes the course link to the document. Follow the MORE link to see the User Guide. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

May 2, 2019

Set Personal Notifications: Each user can specify the type and frequency of notifications/alerts they receive from Canvas. Click Account > Notifications, hover on any label in the left hand column to see the action that will trigger an alert, then click the corresponding symbol in the Email column to indicate whether you want to be notified immediately, daily, weekly, or never (see icon legend at top of the page). Note that Canvas has an internal message system called 'Conversations' that occur through the 'Inbox' tool on the left side bar, but does not have true email. Alert notifications however do get sent by email if you choose to receive them, and will include the conversation, announcement, or discussion post that triggered the alert. Notification settings apply to all your courses – they cannot be set uniquely for each course. An instructor cannot force an alert email to go to students: use an external class email list for this task. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Final Grade Preparation: Final grades are due by 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, and can be submitted through AccessPlus or Canvas (not both). To ensure grades are being calculated accurately in Canvas, check the following: (1) GRADING SCHEME: Go to Settings > Course Details tab > view grading scheme. Does the scheme in use match the one in your syllabus or must it be updated? (2) GRADES: Fill all blank cells with zeros unless activity is worth zero points. (3) GRADES: Grade any ungraded submissions – look for small image icons in cells. You must assign a grade to every open ended quiz question. (4) GRADES: All columns needed for grade calculation must be unmuted - drag grade column wider to check mute status. (5) ASSIGNMENTS: Extra Credit assignments must have a point value equal to zero. If you are using weighted grading, extra credit activities cannot be in a group by themselves. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Arrange Course Reserves with Library: Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve in the library for Summer or Fall semester should submit requests now. Don't delay! Follow the more link to reach the online request forms. Note that you will need a Library password set up to do this online, and to get a Library password you must know your 11 digit staff ID number. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 25, 2019

Canvas Test Tips: Specify a start, end, and due date on every test – these create reminders for students and help with grade management. For automatically graded, recall-based tests, set the duration time based on one minute per question (check the Quiz Statistics of finished tests for average times). If a test allows only a single submission, do not provide the questions, answer options, or correct answer until after the exam window is over - this requires you to uncheck the default feedback labeled 'Let Students See Their Quiz Responses'. For multiple attempt submissions, limit feedback during the exam window unless the test pulls questions from a pool at least three times greater than is used in the test. If you wish, mute the quiz grade column to restrict all feedback – including total score – during the exam window. You can change test settings after the exam is over to release more feedback, and don't forget to unmute the grade column.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Check your Canvas grading scheme: It's imperative that the grading scheme in your course matches the grading policy in your syllabus. Accepted final grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, S, I (incomplete) and N (no-report). Most Canvas accounts have a default scheme that uses the ISU grade break points of 60, 63, 67, 70, 73, 77, 80, 83, 87, 90, and 93. Canvas doesn't round grades so if your syllabus lists grades as 0-59, 60-62, 63-66, 67-70 etc. you are assuming breakpoints of 59.5, 62.5, 66.5, 69.5 etc. and must make a new Canvas grading scheme. Go to Settings > Course details tab > check mark 'Enable course grading scheme' > 'set grading scheme' > 'Manage grading schemes' > 'Add grading scheme' > name the new scheme and enter desired cutoff values > 'Save'. Next you must select this new scheme by going to Settings > Course Details screen > 'set grading scheme' > 'Select Another Scheme' > pick the new scheme and click 'Use This Grading Standard' > 'Done'.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 23, 2019

Final grades due May 14: Final grades are due by 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, and can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Canvas (not both). To ensure grades are being calculated accurately in Canvas, check: (1) GRADING SCHEME: Settings > Course Details tab > view grading scheme. Does the scheme in use match the your syllabus or must it be updated? (2) GRADES: Fill all blank cells with zeros, unless activity is worth 0 pt. (3) GRADES: Grade any ungraded submissions – look for small image icons in cells. Must assign grade to every open ended quiz question. (4) GRADES: Check that all columns needed for grade calculation are unmuted. (5) ASSIGNMENTS: Ensure all Extra Credit assignments have a point value equal to 0. If using weighted grading (not recommended), extra credit activities cannot be in a group by themselves. For assistance, contact staff in the college Online and Distance Learning unit. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 2, 2019

How to handle incomplete grades: ISU policy allows an Instructor to assign a student a temporary course grade of 'Incomplete' if special circumstances beyond the student's control prevent course completion. The student must be passing the course at the time the incomplete is requested (i.e. minimum D- grade). Instructor and student complete an official Incomplete Contract that states what the student must do and how long the student has to complete the stated work. There is no minimum time frame guaranteed to the student. The maximum contract time allowed is 12 months or the end of the student's graduation term, whichever is first. The 'I' remains on the student's transcript and is accompanied by either an F or an instructor grade when the contract is done. To replace the incomplete grade, the instructor completes the Grade Report to the Registrar form, which requires signatures from the chair and dean, then returns it to the Office of the Registrar. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

March 29, 2019

Order your summer Canvas accounts: With just a few weeks left in the semester, it's a good time to start thinking ahead and order your Summer and Fall Canvas accounts. Remember that a new Canvas account must be ordered for each semester you teach. Once you have a new account, you can copy any existing Canvas account into it if you are a Co-Teacher or Teacher in the course you are copying. New Canvas accounts are ordered by going to Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > if prompted, click "Authorize" on the ISU Admin Tool screen > click "Request a New Course Shell" > fill out the form. Be sure to include the semester and year in the Course Name field, e.g. "HDFS 101, Section 1 (Fall 2019.)" To copy an old course into your new account, go into the new account > Settings > Import Course Content > set Content Type = "Copy a Canvas Course", select course to copy, click the "All Content" radio button, click the "Import" button. For assistance, contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

March 5, 2019

Midterm grades are due March 8: Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 p.m. on Friday, March 8. Only the instructor of record can submit grades. Midterm grades are not reported for graduate students and auditing students. Grades can be submitted directly to AccessPlus or via Canvas using the ISU AdminTools > Submit Grades feature inside your course. If using Canvas, go to Settings > Course Details tab > view grading scheme and verify that it is calculating grades according to the breakpoints stated in your syllabus. You may need to adjust the Canvas scheme. Total grades are not rounded (example: If an F equals 0% up to 60%, and D- is from 60% up to 63%, a student with a 59.9% will receive an F). You may need to make temporary changes in your grade book to have the total count only specific columns for midterm grade calculation. Remember to enter a score of zero on missed assignments, otherwise the Total calculations will be incorrect.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

February 26, 2019

Midterm grades due March 8 : Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 p.m. March 8. Only the instructor of record can submit grades. Midterm grades are not reported for graduate students and auditing students. Grades can be submitted directly to AccessPlus or via Canvas, using the ISU AdminTools > Submit Grades feature inside your course. If using Canvas, go to Settings > Course Details tab > view grading scheme and verify that it is calculating grades as per the breakpoints stated in your syllabus. You may need to adjust the Canvas scheme. Total grades are not rounded and the ranges are continuous. Example: If F equals 0 percent up to 60 percent, and D- is from 60 percent up to 63 percent, then a student with a total of 59.9 percent will receive an F. You may need to make temporary changes in your grade book to have the Total count only specific columns for midterm grade calculation. Remember to enter a score of zero on missed assignments, otherwise the Total calculations will be incorrect. Contact Karla for help.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

February 21, 2019

Duplicating content: In Canvas, the options for duplicating content and activities vary by what you are trying to duplicate. For a discussion or assignment, go to the main Discussions page, click the three dots after the activity to be copied, and select Duplicate. A copy is made - edit it and change the name, dates, etc. This process doesn't work for quizzes or rubrics. Instead, rebuild or import these from another course. This can become a bit of a shell game where you export the original item to another account, then import it back in. Depending on whether questions are built into the quiz itself or linked from a bank, you may be creating duplicate question banks with the import. Therefore change the original item's name in your course before the import so it will differ from the thing being imported. Another way to copy a rubric is to create a dummy assignment, add an existing rubric to it, edit the attached rubric's title, and save it with a new name.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

February 14, 2019

Peer Evaluation using Qualtrics: If you assign students to work in groups, you may be interested in having them complete a peer evaluation of each group member's contribution over several weeks. Canvas offers no tool to do this (the peer review tool in Canvas is strictly for students to offer comments on a single submitted assignment) and ISU has no licensed software specifically for conducting peer evaluations. What many instructors are using to fill this needs are online forms created with Qualtrics, an ISU licensed survey software. Contact Karla, in the college's Online and Distance Learning unit to arrange for form development and/or to learn more about Qualtrics. Individual and small group training is available upon request. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

February 7, 2019

Sorting additional info in grade columns: Last week we explained how to display additional columns of information in the grade book related to each student's enrollment records (e.g. netID, Major, College) and Group Membership by going to ISU AdminTools > Additional Course Settings. However the new column has no sort feature available in the header cell. Here is a trick: click the header cell of the grade column, then click the S key on your keyboard. This causes the sorting to happen. The first time you click the header cell and the S key, the column sorts A-Z order (low to high). If you repeat the process, it will reverse the sort order, i.e. Z-A (high to low). The same process can be used on any grade column in Canvas.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Adding text descriptions into quizzes: Building a quiz in Canvas involves two distinct phases which can be done in either order. One phase involves defining the quiz delivery and feedback setting. The second phase involves selecting questions and defining how they will be used. Instructors can ensure that specific questions are seen at specific points in the quiz, that questions are pulled randomly from groups that may or may not have extra questions, or some combination of specific questions and groups. A commonly overlooked feature is that Canvas allows the instructor to add a question that has a purely "Text" format, i.e. one with no response options. The instructor can use the Text question to add instructions at key points in quiz. For example, a Text question can describe a scenario that the following questions refer to. A second text question can introduce a new scenario for the next block of questions. See the More link for instructions. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 31, 2019

Critical new setting for Groups: Registrar sections are created based on such things as whether the participant is majoring or not in a program, the lab day that the student enrolls in to go along with a lecture, as well as separate instructors and class times. It is normal for an instructor to enroll many Registrar sections (class lists) into the same Canvas course. When student work groups are created, students cannot see or interact well with their group members who are in different enrollment sections. To correct this, IT staff modified the ISU Admin Tools > Additional Course Settings tool. At the bottom of that tool, there is now a switch the instructor can flip to allow students to collaborate across sections. This is a critical change to make in most courses that set up student work groups.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Display additional student record details: The only student record details shown by default in the current version of ISU Canvas grade book are student name and enrollment section, which are displayed in the same column that can only be sorted by name. To display additional student details, click ISU AdminTools on the Course Menu, then click Additional Course Settings. You can indicate that any or all of the following display as individual columns: Section, Major, College, Classification, ISU ID, and Net-ID. You may need to refresh the grade book to see the new column(s). Note that you cannot sort the grade book by these new columns. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 24, 2019

How to restrict student access to past courses: By default, ISU allows students to enter, view, and even participate in Canvas courses from previous semesters. This is a new management policy put in place with our switch to Canvas and which instructors may not be aware since historically students had been blocked from accessing past courses. To prevent students from viewing and/or participating in old Canvas courses, go into each course and click Settings, click the Course Details tab, check the box in front of 'Restrict students from viewing this course after end date', then scroll down and click the red 'Update Course Details' button. You can verify your course availability period by clicking ISU Admin Tools > Additional Course Settings. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Improve Desktop Appearance: There are several things you can do to improve the appearance of your Canvas Dashboard. First, get rid of course tiles you don't want to see by clicking Courses > scrolling down and clicking All Courses > then clicking the colored star icon in front of unwanted tile. The star should turn clear or black. A colored star indicates a "favorite" that appears on the dashboard. Second, drag tiles to change their order on the Dashboard. Third, add an image to your course tile by creating and saving one PowerPoint slide as an image file, then go to your Course Menu > Settings > Course Details tab > click the 'Choose Image' link (all participants will see this image). Fourth, remove color overlays on tiles by clicking the 3 vertical dots to the right of the word Dashboard > uncheck "Color Overlay". Fifth, click 3 dots on a tile corner to give the tile a different color and nickname (this only affects your personal view of the tile).
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 17, 2019

Groups: Canvas course groups can be set up so enrollment is random, by the instructor, or by student self-enrollment. A student can be enrolled in more than one group in a course. All the groups for a specific use are held in "Group Set" (set) container. To create a set, click People > +Group Set, name the set and complete the form to indicate how enrollment should occur. To manually add groups to the set, click the +Group button. If a student is enrolled in a group, a "Groups" link appears in the red Canvas side menu (not the course menu) — instructors won't see this link! The side link lists the student's groups for all courses so include your course name in each group name, e.g. 'Red Team (HDFS 110)'. Once created, you can specify an assignment is to be turned in by each group in a set or assign a discussion to any select groups. Follow the MORE link to the user guide for additional instructions or contact Karla for assistance. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 10, 2019

Create a Class Email List: Instructors need a way to email their classes. The "Inbox" tool in Canvas sends an internal message. Students will only be notified of this internal message by email if they have set up the corresponding alert in their personal Account > Notification settings. Therefore, to ensure that students get your email in a timely fashion, login to Accounts Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/, with your Net-ID > Manage Lists > Manage Class Lists > select a registrar section list in the first column then click the small "Create selected classlist(s)" button. Your new group email name will be emailed to you and displays on the screen. It becomes active on the next whole hour. The email group membership is synced nightly with the Registrar data to account for enrollment adds/drop.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

New Gradebook: Canvas has a new Gradebook! Some obvious changes: columns display for unpublished and published assignments, only one icon is used for ungraded assignments, and some icons are replaced by words. Under the View menu you can apply a filter to see a subset of columns, which is useful for grading by assignment group, module, or enrollment section. You can adjust cell color by submission status: none, late, missing, resubmitted, or excused. To edit a cell, hover on it and click the "grade detail tray" icon. You can enter a score, change its submission status label, or open speedgrader. You can still resize and reposition columns by dragging the header cell and message students who meet specific conditions for an assignment. New: you can create rules to adjust scores for cells with a missing or late status but these rules apply to all course work, not to a specific assignment, and cell status must be entered by the instructor. Follow the MORE link to the user guide. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 3, 2019

Order your Spring accounts: A new Canvas account must be ordered every time the course is taught but once it arrives, an older account can be copied into it. Go to ISU Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > authorize ISU AdminTools (if prompted to do so) > click 'Request a Course' and fill out the form. Include the course prefix, number, section, semester and year in the Course Name field, e.g. 'HDFS 101 Section 1&2 (Spring 2019)'. Ordered accounts arrive within a few seconds. The Instructor of Record must then enroll students and publish (activate) the course using the Prepare to Teach tool. Spring accounts will appear on student Dashboards on Monday January 7 unless you specify a different Start Date in the course Settings. You are welcome to send your account requests and any questions to Karla, embleton@iastate.edu
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Adding a TA or Co-Teacher: To add participants other than registered students to your Canvas course account, go into your course account and click the ISU AdminTools link on the Course Menu. If the ISU AdminTools link is not displaying, you can add it to the Course Menu by clicking Settings > Navigation tab (top) > dragging ISU AdminTools from the bottom table to the top table, then scrolling down and clicking the read Save button. Now click ISU AdminTools link. If prompted, click "Authorize" to allow the program to run. Click "Manage Additional People". For each new participant: enter their netID, the role they should be given, select the enrollment section that role should be added to, then click the green "Add" button. In most cases, you will want to enroll the person in "All Listed Sections". The new enrollment is shown on the lower part of the screen, so verify that it is correct. If necessary, you can click a red boxed "X" to remove the participant from a section.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

December 17, 2018

Processing an Incomplete in Canvas: To give a student an Incomplete, the student and instructor complete a contract (see More) specifying work the student must complete and a time frame for completion. The student must have a grade of D- or better when the contract is made. To extend access to the Canvas account, the instructor must go into the course > ISU AdminTools > Manage Incomplete Students > enter the student's NetID and new end date. This creates a new enrollment section in the course containing the student. Now, go to any assignments the student has not yet completed and add a new "Assign to" rule for the student (either by name or by section) with the new end date. Do not remove any existing "Assign to" rules,just add new ones! The final grade for the student is first submitted as an "I" at the end of the regular semester. When the student has finished their contracted work, the instructor works directly with the Office of the Registrar to submit a final earned grade. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

How to restrict student access to a finished course: By default, students and instructors both have ongoing access to course accounts when the semester is over but for students, the course tile moves off of their Dashboard at the end of the term. Students can still access past courses by clicking on Courses > All Courses. If an instructor wishes to prevent students from accessing the Canvas account, the instructor must go to Settings > Course details tab > checkmark the box for "Restrict students from viewing course after end date" > scroll down and click the red "Update Course Details" tab.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

December 10, 2018

Order your Spring accounts: It's time to order your Spring Canvas accounts. A new account must be ordered every time the course is taught but once it arrives, an older account can be copied into it. Go to ISU Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > authorize ISU AdminTools if prompted to do so > click 'Request a Course' and fill out the form. Please include the course prefix, number, section, semester and year in the Course Name field, e.g. 'HDFS 101 Section 1&2 (Spring 2019)'. Ordered accounts arrive within a few seconds. The Instructor of Record must then enroll students and publish (activate) the course using the Prepare to Teach tool. Spring accounts will appear on student Dashboards on Monday January 7 unless you specify a different Start Date. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Final grade preparation: Final grades are due by 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18 and can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Canvas (not both). To ensure grades are being calculated accurately in Canvas, check the following: GRADING SCHEME: go to Settings > Course Details tab > view grading scheme. Does the scheme in use match the one in your syllabus or must it be updated? GRADES: Fill all blank cells with zeros (unless activity is extra credit, worth 0 pt). GRADES: Grade any ungraded submissions – look for small image icons in cells. GRADES: Check that there all columns needed for grade calculation are unmuted. ASSIGNMENTS: Ensure all Extra credit assignments have a point value equal to 0 and understand that if using weighted grading, extra credit cannot be in assignment group by themselves. For assistance, contact staff in the college Online and Distance Learning unit. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 29, 2018

Order your Spring accounts: It's time to order your Spring Canvas accounts. A new account must be ordered every time a course is taught but once it arrives, an older account can be copied into it. Go to ISU Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > authorize ISU AdminTools if prompted to do so > click 'Request a Course' and fill out the form. Please include the course prefix, number, section, semester and year in the Course Name field, e.g. 'HDFS 101 Section 1&2 (Spring 2019).' Ordered accounts arrive within a few seconds. The Instructor of Record must then enroll students and activate the course using the Prepare to Teach tool. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 26, 2018

Canvas Copy Course Content for Spring: Every semester you teach, you must order a new blank Canvas account. After receiving the new account you can import all, or part, of an existing account into it. To do so, enter the new course and click the Settings link on the bottom of Course Menu. On the far right menu click Import Course Content. Set Content Type = Copy a Canvas Course. Search for and select the course to import. Click to indicate whether all content, or select content should be brought in, then click the red Import button. If you wanted only select content, there will be a red Select Content button to click and you can select what to import. A message will appear when the import has completed. Note: you can only import course content from courses in which you already have a non student role.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 15, 2018

Canvas file storage: There are three different file storage areas in Canvas, each with its own ISU-set quota: personal (750M), course (5G), and group (500M). These storage areas are intended solely for Canvas-related work and should not be used as a substitute for CyBox or for storing sensitive info (e.g. social security numbers). Users are strongly encouraged to store video on a streaming video service (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Screencast or ARC) and not in Canvas. Typically, instructors disable the Files link in the Course Menu so that students do not have direct access to it and instead point to stored documents from Modules or by adding links within assignment instructions, questions, discussion posts, and announcements. If students are able to see the Files link, the instructor can selectively publish files and folders and can set restricted access rules on the file or folder, which can be date and time based. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 9, 2018

Notes grade column: Each Canvas gradebook consists of four types of columns: user identification data, assignment columns, calculated columns (subtotals and total), and instructor notes. The Notes column is hidden by default and is the only column that currently allows the instructor to enter text (non-numeric entries). The Notes column is displayed by clicking the setting gear in the top right corner of the gradebook, then clicking 'Show Notes Column.' To add a comment, click on a student's cell in the Notes column, type in the text field (maximum of 255 characters), then click Save. If desired, widen the column by hovering in the header cell until the left/right arrow icon appears, then drag left/right. Notes are included in a CSV export of the gradebook. Students never see the Notes entries.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 8, 2018

Extra Credit: There are several ways to give extra credit in Canvas. Extra credit cannot be automatically awarded in quizzes, but the instructor can add a zero point question and manually grade students' submissions to award the extra points, or the instructor can simply add "fudge points" to each student's quiz score without incorporating extra credit questions. The most common method of giving extra credit is to create an assignment worth zero points. A student's extra credit score changes their earned grade but the activity itself doesn't change the course value. If the instructor is using a rubric, the extra points can be added during grading. If you do not use weighted grading on the Assignments page, then the extra point activity can be in any group and will add directly to student's total score. If you do use weighted grading, the activity must be included in a group that has a positive value and the extra credit points will be weighted by the group weighting.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

November 1, 2018

Order your Spring accounts: A new account must be ordered every time a course is taught, but once it arrives, an older account can be copied into it. Go to ISU Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > authorize ISU AdminTools, if prompted to do so > then click either 'Prepare to Teach' or 'Request a Course'. Anyone can use the Request a Course link to order an account. If you are listed as the Instructor of Record with the Registrar, you can also order the account from the Prepare to Teach link starting mid November. Ordered accounts arrive within a few seconds. Only the Instructor of Record can enroll students and publish (activate) the course by using the Prepare to Teach tool, and this cannot be done until shortly before the spring semester begins.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 29, 2018

New Plagiarism Detection Tool: A new, more integrated, TurnItIn tool is available in Canvas for generating similarity reports (plagiarism checks) of student work. To use it, create an assignment and set submission type = Online, then check the "File Uploads" box. A new Plagiarism Review setting appears: set the review tool = TurnItIn. Doing so causes additional settings to appear where you can indicate where to store the new student submission, what it should be compared to, and which items should be excluded from the report. There is also an option to specify if and when students can see the report. A rubric can be added in the normal way after the activity is saved. If an instructor wishes, they can create a rough draft assignment that provides the student with a similarity report and does not store their paper in the comparison database. This allows students to check their work before submitting it to a final assignment for grading. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 22, 2018

Creating Sign up Times on Calendar: Do you want students to sign up for a presentation day or for office hours appointments? If so, you can create a series of sign-up slots in your Canvas calendar. Click Calendar in the red side menu > click the plus sign to add a new event > select Appointment Group. Name the new group of events and pick the course calendar it should be associated with. Specify a series of dates and times or select a longer contiguous period and have it subdivided into shorter slots. Set a few more options, then click the red Publish button. Students can sign up by going to the course Syllabus > finding the event you created > clicking to see available slots > reserving one. They can also go to Calendar > Find Appointments > specify the course > see available time lots > reserve one. Reserved slots are bolded in the instructor's calendar and displayed with student name on the Syllabus' schedule. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 18, 2018

Common Assignment Error: There are many types of assignments in Canvas. Graded discussions and quizzes are considered to be assignments because they generate a grade book column and are thus listed on the master "Assignments" page even though they are created through their own specific tool pages. Activities created on the Assignments page fall into four types: no submission, online, on paper, and external tool submissions. These options and many more settings are only available at first glance if the instructor clicks the red +Assignment button. If the instructor instead clicks the plus sign (+) on an assignment group frame, a mini form appears that asks for the new activity name, dates, and point value. This mini form creates a no submission activity. Students cannot submit anything. To get the full list of options which allows you to specify how student work is to be submitted, click the More Options button on the mini form.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 16, 2018

Private Journal Workaround: Canvas does not have a true Journal tool, but you can use Groups and Discussions to create a workaround. First, click Settings (on Course Menu), click the Section tab on top, and make a note of how many students are listed in the far right menu. Next, click People (on Course Menu) then click the red +Group Set button. Call your group set something like "Private Journal (HDFS 110)." Under Group Structure, create as many groups as there are students in your course. Each student in now placed in a group. Expand each group to see who is in it, click the 3 dots on far right and rename the group with the student’s name included. Now you can create a Discussion activity, indicate it is a group discussion for the "Private Journal" group set, and set up a question that each student should respond to in their personal group's discussion board.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 11, 2018

Canvas Rubrics: Rubrics are explicit statements of the content and quality expectations for student work. They also provide the instructor with a consistent tool for grading. Rubrics typically consist of several evaluation criteria (rows) and performance levels within each criteria (columns). A point score is normally associated with each performance cell. The number of performance levels and maximum point value per criteria can vary. Rubrics can be used with any type of graded assignment: discussions, quizzes, uploaded files, non-submitted work, and on paper. Once created, rubrics are stored in Outcomes > Manage Rubrics. Rubrics are added when the activity is made. If a rubric is attached to more than one assignment, it cannot be edited. A rubric attached to a single activity can be edited but this should be avoided if it has been used to assign any grades. If you delete a rubric, it is still available in assignments that already used it but not for any new activity. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Recovering deleted material: It happens to everyone eventually: we accidentally delete a file, assignment, discussion, or module that we really should not have. Thankfully, Canvas keeps track of deleted items. Get into your course and look at the URL displayed in the browser. It has the format: https://canvas.iastate.edu/courses/#####/(something). Remove everything after the courseID number (#####) series, then add '/undelete'. You should have a URL that looks like this: https://canvas.iastate.edu/courses/29348/undelete. When you hit Enter, a list of deleted items that can be restored is shown. After restoring an element, inspect it carefully as it is possible that some associated data may have been lost for good.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 8, 2018

Midterm Grade Submission: Midterm grades are due by 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12. Only the instructor can submit grades. A grade is required for every undergraduate student earning less than a C. Submit grades through either AccessPlus or from Canvas – not both. In Canvas, go to Settings > Course Details > "view grading scheme" and check that it matches your syllabus. Create and activate a new scheme if necessary. Identify the activities to use for midterm grade determination and ensure every student has a grade in those activities: no blank cells or ungraded submissions. Different methods can be used to calculate the midterm Total. The easiest way is to mute columns that should not count, submit the grade using the ISU AdminTool link inside the course, then unmute the columns. More complicated methods involved rearranging the Assignment page, changing assignment group weighting, and using Excel to calculate a Total.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

October 5, 2018

First annual Canvas Conference to take place on October 18: Would your course benefit if all section instructors used the same base information (Blueprint courses)? Do you seek ways for students to collaborate through video in Canvas (ARC)? If so, join Canvas Customer Success Rep Ryan Jacobson and CELT staff for the first annual Canvas Conference at Iowa State. The kick-off session begins at 9:30 a.m., the Blueprint session from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and the ARC session runs from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A late afternoon session will be offered to support staff. Register via the Canvas Conference at ISU Qualtrics webpage. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

September 28, 2018

Verifying Canvas course functionality: There are two ways to check your Canvas course functionality using built-in tools. First, go into your course, click "Settings" > click "Validate Links in Content" on far right-side menu > click "Start Link Validation." A report is generated that lists every invalid or unresponsive link in the content. Correct any reported problems. Second, click either "Home" or "Settings" > in the far right menu click "Student View." Carefully examine every part of your course to verify that content, activities, and the grade book display as expected. Note the options the student has to modify course appearance (e.g;, change assignment and grade display order). Use your test student role to submit an activity, then switch back to instructor view, grade the submission with feedback, switch to student view and review the graded work. This lets you verify both the assignment submission and feedback processes.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

September 27, 2018

Midterm grades are due Oct 12: Midterm grades are due by 2:15 on Friday, Oct. 12. Only the instructor can submit grades and a grade is required for every student earning C- or below. The instructor must decide to submit directly through AccessPlus or through Canvas – not both. In Canvas, go to Settings > Course Details > "view grading scheme" and verify that it matches your syllabus. Create and activate a new scheme if necessary. Identify the activities to use for midterm grade determination and ensure every student has a grade in those activities: no blank cells or ungraded submissions. Different methods can be used to calculate the midterm total. The easiest method is to mute columns that should not count, submit the grade using the ISU AdminTool link inside the course, then unmute the columns. More complicated methods involved rearranging the Assignment page, changing assignment group weighting, and using Excel to calculate a Total.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Tips for Canvas gradebooks: Graders must understand several things about the grade book in Canvas. Every grade column exists because an activity exists on the Assignments page. Graded discussions and quizzes are Assignments created with special tools so are listed on their own tool page and in Assignments. Activities can be stored in specific assignment groups, e.g. Attendance, Homework, Exams. Each group creates a non-editable, dark colored grade subtotal column. The Total column is the sum of the subtotal columns and is non-editable. When an activity is assigned to a student, their grade cell in the activity column of the grade book will be light colored. Typing EX in a grade cell exempts the student and the cell turns dark. A red cell indicates that the student submission was late. A yellow cell indicates that the student submitted more than once. A grader can open the header cell menu and mute a column, which hides it from the students and removes the score from the calculations.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

September 19, 2018

Tips for Canvas Questions and Quizzes: Reduce errors and confusion in your online quizzes by understanding how Canvas works. Question response options are not displayed with any type of preceding character (no A., B., C.) so either reword answer options so they don’t refer to these letters or manually add the letters to the front of the relevant responses ("apple" becomes "A. apple"). If you are allowing multiple submission attempts, only include questions that will grade automatically, use question groups so that questions display in random order, and preferably are selected from a larger pool of questions, and limit feedback to just the total score on the quiz (no answers provided during quiz taking window). In the quiz setting, do not select "shuffle answers" unless you are certain that no question in the quiz has answers based on response order, such as "None of the above," "All of the above," and "Only A and C."
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Canvas Quiz Value Display Bug: If a quiz has a non-whole number value (e.g. it is worth 4.5 points), the value will display correctly on the Grades, Assignments, and Syllabus Schedule screens to all course participants, but will display incorrectly on the Quizzes page. On the Quizzes page, the quiz value will be rounded up to the next whole number (e.g. 5 points). This display error occurs for all participant roles. If your course has quizzes with non-whole number total values, consider removing the Quizzes link from the student's Course Menu view to reduce confusion. This is done by going to Settings > click the Navigation tab on top of screen > drag Quizzes from the top table to the bottom table > click Save. Verify that the Course Menu change by switching to student view.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

September 6, 2018

Copyright and Fair Use in Canvas:Many instructors have questions about what they can legally distribute through their Canvas courses or in their classes. Copyright and Fair Use laws are tricky and need to be examined on a case by case basis. A work can be displayed, copied, and shared if it is in the public domain (e.g. government documents, pre-1923 works), or if the copyright holder has relinquished the copyright. Do not assume that images or PDFs you find online are legal to download and redistribute. Librarians at Parks Library can assist in obtaining copyright for your class materials and make them available through the library e-reserves. You then add links to the materials that are held. The library also has many e-subscriptions to journals and video streaming services to which your students can be directed. As a general rule, always link to a copyrighted source, don't download and save it.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Groups in Canvas Courses: There are several ways to use groups in Canvas. The most common uses are group discussions and assignments. Groups can be set up so enrollment is random, by the instructor, or by student self-enrollment. A student can be enrolled in more than one group in a course, e.g. a large discussion group and a small project group. All the groups for a specific purpose are held in a container called a "Group Set," or "Set." To create a new set, click People > +Group Set, name the new set and complete the form to indicate how enrollment should occur. Once the set is created, you can reference it when setting up assignments that are to be submitted once per group, or to create a discussion prompt for the group. If a student is enrolled in a group, a new "Groups" link appears in the red Canvas side menu (not in the course menu). It lists their groups for all courses, so be sure to include your course name in each group name, e.g. Red Team (HDFS 110).
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 30, 2018

Check Canvas Course Settings: Instructors should adjust the default settings in every Canvas account to ensure the site functions as expected, reduce student issues, and ensure proper grade calculation. Go to Settings > Course Details tab and scroll down the page. Course accounts are typically semester based and do not require start/end dates. Compare the default course grading scheme to your syllabus: you may need to create and attach a new scheme. If you don't want students to access the course after the semester is over, check the "Restrict students from viewing course after end date" box. Click "more options" - many settings here should be flipped such that announcements show on the home page and students can attach files to discussions, but students cannot create discussion topics, edit/delete posts, or make their own groups. You can also choose to "hide totals" (total and subtotal) grade columns from student view. Click the "Update Course Details" button to save your changes.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Create a Class Email List: Instructors need a way to email their classes. The "Inbox" tool in Canvas sends an internal message. Each Canvas user sets up personal alerts to notify them that a new Inbox message has been received (or a new Announcement posted, or a new grade received, etc.) and the frequency of these alerts (immediately, daily, weekly, or never). An instructor has no guarantee that their students get an emailed alert through Canvas. To ensure that students get your email in a timely fashion, login to Accounts Services on the Web, (https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/) with your netID > Manage Lists > Manage Class Lists > select a registrar section list in the first column then click the small "Create selected classlist(s)" button. Your new group email name will be emailed to you and displayed on the screen. It becomes active on the next whole hour. The email group membership is synced nightly with the Registrar data.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 27, 2018

Modify Canvas Course Menu: Instructors should modify each Canvas account's Course Menu so that only tools the students will use are displayed to create efficient/desired navigation pathways. To edit it, go to Course Menu > Settings > Navigation tab (top of screen). Sort the Course Menu links by dragging them between the two tables such that links available to students are in the top table, and links unavailable to students are in the bottom table. Exception: Leave the "ISU AdminTools" link in the top table – it is an ISU created tool and will not be visible to students but must be in the top table in order for the Teacher to use it. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the red "Save" button.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Add non-student participants to your Canvas course account: If you wish to add participants other than registered students to your Canvas course account, go into your course account and click the ISU AdminTools link on the course menu (see the 'Modify course menu' tip if ISU AdminTools link is not displayed). If prompted, click "Authorize" to allow the program to run, then click "Manage People". For each new participant: enter their netID, the role they should be given, select the enrollment section that role should be added to, then click the green "Add" button. In most cases, you will want to enroll the person in "All Listed Sections". The new enrollment is shown on the lower part of the screen – verify that it is correct. If necessary, you can click a red boxed "X" to remove the participant from a section.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Add a Canvas Course Tile Image: It is much easier for you and your students to identify your Canvas course if you add an image to the course tile. The simplest way to create an image with the proper dimension ratio is to create one PowerPoint slide in landscape layout, and save it as an image file (jpeg, gif, or png) on your computer. Remember that the slide will be small when viewed so any text should be very large. In your Canvas account, go to Settings. On the top of the Course Details screen, click the "Choose image" link, drag your saved image from its storage place on your computer to the Canvas window, scroll down and click Save. For the best viewing, each participant should go to their Dashboard, click the 3 vertical dots to far right of the word "Dashboard" title and uncheck the Color Overlay setting.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in apparel, events, and hospitality management at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 13, 2018

Clean up your Canvas Dashboard: Iowa State University central services will arrange for summer classes to leave student's Canvas Dashboards but teachers and TAs who wish to change which course tiles show must log into Canvas > Courses > scroll to the bottom of the list and click "All Courses." Dashboard displayed courses are indicated by a color-filled star in front of the course name. Click any star to toggle between "colored" or "clear," thus determining whether it displays on your dashboard. Note that this does not affect your enrollment in the course. You can enter any course you are enrolled in from the "All Courses" list unless you are enrolled as a student and the instructor has explicitly checked the "Restrict students from viewing course after end date."
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Restricting student access to past Canvas courses: At this time, Iowa State University is not restricting student access to past courses as a matter of default. Therefore, to prevent students from entering their past Canvas courses (since Fall 2017), the Instructor must go into the Canvas course > Settings > Course Details tab > check mark the box in front of "Restrict students from viewing course after end date" > then click the Save button on the bottom of the screen. It is not necessary to enter an "Ends" date in the settings since each class account is associated with a specific Term and each Term has an internal start and end date set by Iowa State IT staff. If an instructor does not make this setting change, all past students can continue to enter the old course, which means those students continue to have access to all course content, communications, assignment and test feedback that had been provided (including test answer keys). More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

August 10, 2018

Fall Canvas accounts: If you do not yet have your fall Canvas account ordered, you can request one by going to ISU Canvas > Help > Global Course Administration > authorize ISU AdminTools (if prompted to do so) > then clicking on one of the two links available: "Prepare to Teach" and "Request a Course." Anyone can use the "Request a Course" link to order a Canvas account for a class or for a non-class use. If you are listed as the Instructor of Record for a single-section fall course, you can also order from the "Prepare to Teach" link. After the account is ordered and arrives, only the Instructor of Record can enroll students and publish (activate) the course — both of which are done using the "Prepare to Teach" tool. All new courses are blank but you can copy an existing course into it. More».
For more information, contact Karla Emmbleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

July 31, 2018

Happenings on hiatus, resumes August 7: The last regular email issue of Happenings of the academic year went out May 15 and is on summer hiatus. Happenings emails will resume on August 7.
For more information, contact Cathy Curtis in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

April 27, 2018

Canvas: Check your course grading scheme: It's imperative that the grading scheme in use in your course matches the grading policy stated in your syllabus. Most Canvas accounts have a default scheme that uses the ISU grade break points of 60, 63, 67, 70, 73, 77, 80, 83, 87, 90, and 93. However, courses requested early last fall have the original Canvas break points of 61, 64. 67, 70, 74, 77, 80, 84, 87, 90, and 94 — which is a harder scale. Canvas doesn’t round grades so if your syllabus lists grades as 0-60, 60-62, 63-66, 67-70 etc. you are assuming breakpoints of 59.5, 62.5, 66.5, 69.5 etc. To change the Canvas grading scheme go to Settings > Course details tab > check "Enable course grading scheme" > click View Grading Scheme. To make a new scheme, click Manage grading schemes > Add grading scheme > fill out the form > Save. Now you must select this new scheme by going to Course Details screen > View grading scheme > Select another Scheme > pick new scheme and click Use This Grading Standard > Done. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Canvas: Don't leave blank grade cells: When getting final grades ready, make sure that every student receives a grade for every assignment, with the exception of extra credit work (which must have an assigned activity value of zero). A blank score is unclear: students don't know if you forgot to enter a grade or if they missed a submission. Blanks drastically alter how a student's total score is calculated. By default, each student's Total score is calculated as the sum of points they earn divided by the maximum sum of point for what they submitted. If they didn't submit something and didn't receive a zero, then their course total will be too high. Example: if a student didn't submit a 50 point assignment in a course worth 500 point, their total score would be 350/450. If you enter 0 for the missing assignment, then the student will receive the correct total of 350/500. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 19, 2018

Canvas: Grading assignments offline: Canvas allows the instructor to bulk download, and re-upload, student assignment submissions. This is handy for offline editing and for archiving. Go to Assignments and click the name of the activity. In the far right menu, click 'Download Submissions'. A zip file is created with each student's submission as a separate file. File names begin with student name (lastfirst) or group name. If you plan to reload files after editing/markup, do not change the file names! When you are ready to reload the files back into Canvas, you must compress them into a single zip file. Return to the activity screen and click 'Re-Upload Submissions', browse and find your new zip file, then click 'Upload Files'. Every file you uploaded now appears in the Feedback section of the appropriate student or group. You still need to go to each student or group, enter and save a score. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 12, 2018

Recover deleted material in Canvas: It happens to everyone eventually: we accidentally delete a file, assignment, discussion, or module that we really should not have. Happily, Canvas keeps track of deleted items. Get into your course and look at the URL displayed in the browser. It has the format: https://canvas.iastate.edu/courses/(courseID#)/(something). Remove everything after the courseID then add '/undelete' so you have something that looks like: https://canvas.iastate.edu/courses/29348/undelete. When you hit Enter, a list of deleted items that can be restored is shown. After restoring an element, inspect it carefully as it's possible that some associated data may have been lost for good.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Canvas: Speedgrader tips: There are several useful, but often overlooked, tools in Speedgrader. In the top left, the bell icon lets you mute/unmute the grade column. It's useful to mute a column while grading then reveal all student grades at once by unmuting. The keyboard icon displays shortcuts for common tasks. For example, pressing the C key moves the cursor to the Comments box and pressing the J key advances you to the next student. The gear icon provides different ways to sort submissions. By default, submissions are shown in order of student name but you can change this to 'submission status' so you don't have to search for ungraded work amongst graded submissions. The name of the student whose work is currently showing displays in the upper left. The left and right arrows move you to the previous and next student. The tiny triangle before the right arrow expands the class list so you can see submission and grading status for each student and select any student to view. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

April 5, 2018

Creating learning activities with StudyMate: Iowa State has a site license for StudyMate Campus, a program for creating eleven different types of learning activities that can in integrated directly into a Canvas course through links, or shared outside of Canvas with a URL. If an instructor creates in-course links in a specific way, then she can see student usage reports that indicate how many learning activities each student viewed and also overall use of each activity. A StudyMate features list, demo videos, and user guides can be accessed in Canvas by going to Help > MyCanvas Teacher at ISU > External Apps > Study Mate. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Hiding Total columns in Canvas: Every course in Canvas contains a Total column that is calculated from the gradable work that each student has submitted. If all students must submit assignments at the same time, all work is included in the final grade, and the grader has diligently entered zeros for missed work, the reported Total scores should be accurate. However many courses have more complicated grading structures. In such courses the Total displayed is misleading and often too high. To prevent student confusion, hide the Total scores by going to the Course Menu and clicking Settings > More Options > check the box in front of "Hide totals in student grades summary," then click Update Course Details. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

Time to order summer and fall Canvas accounts: Instructors are once again responsible for ordering their Canvas course accounts (the system will not automatically create them). Start by going to Canvas, clicking the Help link on the left side menu, clicking "Global Course Administration," then clicking "Authorize" on the ISU Admin tools page. The next screen contains two links: "Prepare to Teach" and "Request a Course." Go to Request a Course to order an account for fall courses, multi-section summer courses, and single-section classes for which you are not yet listed as the official Instructor of Record. If you are listed as the Instructor of Record for a single-section summer course, you can order the account from either the Request a Course or the Prepare to Teach link. After your new course account has been created, you will still need to use the Prepare to Teach tool to enroll the classlist(s) and publish the course.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

March 20, 2018

Create a non-graded Canvas calendar event: Due dates for graded quizzes, discussions, and assignments automatically display in the Canvas Calendar when the activity is published. To create a non-graded calendar entry, called Events, go to the Calendar, click the plus sign located in the upper right corner, and enter event details: title, date, time, location, and course. Either click Submit or click More Options. If More Options is selected, a text editor displays with access to everything in the specified course. Compose a message that will display when the calendar link is opened - it can contain links to any component of the course. Click Create Event to save the new event then verify that it displays and functions properly in the calendar. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

March 19, 2018

Canvas settings for quiz feedback: The default Quiz feedback settings provides students with their graded submission and the answer key. If all students receive the same questions, this facilitates sharing of answers with others who have not yet completed the quiz. If students are allowed multiple attempts and each quiz is a significant portion (more than 1/3) of the available question pool, they soon have the key to the entire pool. To reduce feedback to just the total score per quiz, uncheck the "Let Students See Their Quiz Responses" button. After the test taking period is over, you can change the settings to allow students to receive more feedback. To allow students to see their graded submissions immediately but not the answer key, leave the "Let Students See Their Quiz Responses" box checked but uncheck the "Let Students See the Correct Answers" box. To completely prevent all feedback during the test taking window, including total score, mute the grade column.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

March 16, 2018

Grading group assignments in Canvas: When instructors create new assignments, they indicate whether the assignment is to be submitted by each student individually or by group. If by group, the default grade setting causes the same grade to be given to each group member. However, there are many reasons why an instructor may wish to give a different grade to one group member. Grading individual group members separately requires a three-step process. 1: Go to Grades and score each group's submission. 2: Return to the assignment settings and check the box for "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually." 3: Return to Grades and revise scores for specific individuals as needed. More».
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

January 3, 2018

Adding a TA or Co-Teacher: To add participants other than registered students to your Canvas course account, go into your course account and click the ISU AdminTools link on the Course Menu. If the ISU AdminTools link is not displaying, you can add it to the Course Menu by clicking Settings > Navigation tab (top) > dragging ISU AdminTools from the bottom table to the top table, then scrolling down and clicking the read Save button. Now click ISU AdminTools link. If prompted, click "Authorize" to allow the program to run. Click "Manage Additional People". For each new participant: enter their netID, the role they should be given, select the enrollment section that role should be added to, then click the green "Add" button. In most cases, you will want to enroll the person in "All Listed Sections". The new enrollment is shown on the lower part of the screen – verify that it is correct. If necessary, you can click a red boxed "X" to remove the participant from a section.
For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

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