- Will I have access to my RamCT courses if I don’t teach until 2016?
- How well do quizzes migrate from RamCT to Canvas?
- Can I post an assignment that will not be graded without getting a grade book column for that assignment?
- Is there a way to excuse a student from completing an assignment without affecting the students’ overall grade?
- Does Canvas have something like “Inline Grading” in RamCT?
- Can I apply a rubric to discussions?
- Will Canvas use SafeAssign?
- If I have concerns about VeriCite, who can I talk to?
- Does Canvas have an attendance tool?
- Can I control the Grading Scheme?
- Does Canvas provide the ability to create assignments that allow students to record themselves (video and audio) and to review others' recordings?
- Will Canvas allow you to stream video?
- Can we use class rosters to send email to individuals and groups? Can messages sent to us from within Canvas be forwarded to our @colostate.edu email?
- When I use Conversations (via Inbox), how can I select individual students from the class roster?
- If I have multiple sections in my course, can I send custom announcements to each section?
- Can I post an event, or a recurring event, to all class calendars?
- Can I print my Canvas Calendars?
- Can I post a Prezi file in Canvas?
- Can we integrate Lynda.com into Canvas?
- If I make Files visible in the left side navigation, what can students do with them?
- Is there a way to embed PDFs in Canvas so that students can read them without opening or downloading them?
- Will students and teachers be able to access their courses after the completion of the course?
MIGRATION [back to top]
Will I have access to my RamCT courses if I don’t teach until 2016?
You will have access to all of your migrated courses in Canvas dating back to Spring 2014. RamCT courses from spring, summer, and fall 2014 have all been migrated into Canvas for you, and while you will not be able to access those courses in RamCT after Spring 2016, you will have access to those migrated courses in Canvas. If you create a new course in RamCT for Spring 2015 or Summer 2015, those courses will also be migrated to Canvas. Since the goal is to have all CSU courses taught using Canvas in Fall 2015, you will not have to worry about migrations after SM2015. You must move all RamCT content that you want to preserve, particularly if that content dates before Spring 2014, no later than the end of the Spring semester 2016. After that date, you will not have access to RamCT. [back to top]
How well do quizzes migrate from RamCT to Canvas?
Not everything in quizzes migrates successfully from RamCT to Canvas. You can, for the most part, get all of your quizzes, exams, and test pools. However, there are several things that don’t come over well. If you are migrating quizzes, you will have to review, and in some cases revise, all or parts of your quizzes. Known content that does not migrate includes:
- Feedback text
- Hot spot questions
- Either/Or questions
- Quiz bowl questions
In addition, some matching questions did not migrate correctly. If you had matching questions, you will need to double check them and revise if necessary. Question Pools in RamCT will come over as Question Banks, and the links between questions in the bank and the quiz or exam will be broken, so you will have to rebuild the quiz or exam by re-selecting the questions in the bank. Doing this re-establishes any broken links. Finally, you may have to re-enter the correct point values for each question. [back to top]
ASSIGNMENTS & GRADING [back to top]
Can I post an assignment that will not be graded without getting a grade book column for that assignment?
When you create a graded assignment, Canvas automatically creates a grade book column for that assignment. If you create an assignment that is not graded, then that assignment will not have a associated grade book column. If you are using the assignment tool for non graded assignments, you can post deadlines, and the assignment will appear on students' to do lists, but you will not be able to have students submit the assignment through Canvas. [back to top]
Is there a way to excuse a student from completing an assignment without affecting the students’ overall grade?
I hope that by the time everyone starts using Canvas this fall that the ability to excuse a student from an assignment will be in place. According to Canvas’ product discussion board, this feature should be available this May or June. For now, an imperfect solution is to leave a dash in place of the score for any excused assignment. If you do this, you must not select “Treat ungraded as 0.” Unfortunately, this solution only works while the class is in session. Once you download your grade book to a csv file, all dashes (or blanks) are automatically treated as 0s in the “Final Score” column. You can, however, delete the Final Score column and use the “Current Score” column when you submit your final grades. The current score column reflects the students’ correct scores.
On a related note, Canvas has Differentiated Assignments. If you have multiple sections attached to a single course, this feature allows you to create different assignments and due dates for each of your sections while still keeping them all linked to one “parent” course. In some cases this removes the need to excuse students from assignments. [back to top]
Does Canvas have something like “Inline Grading” in RamCT?
Yes, Canvas has SpeedGrader, and SpeedGrader makes use of an annotation tool called Crocodoc. When you use SpeedGrader, you will be able to open and read your students’ files, and you will be able to annotate and comment on those files. SpeedGrader also provides an easy to use rubric tool for fast grading, and you will be able to add comments based on each rubric criterion. You can also add a final comment that will be delivered with the final grade. Your comments can be text and they can also be video or audio comments.
The one gotcha related to Crocodoc is that you have to restrict the assignment file submission types to doc and pdf. The annotation tool does not work with any other file type, and it also doesn’t work with text that is typed directly into Canvas. You can restrict the file formats in each Assignment’s settings. [back to top]
Can I apply a rubric to discussions?
Yes! Applying a rubric to a discussion is easy. Simply open your discussion, and click on the Gear dropdown in the top right corner of the discussion page next to the Edit button. Select “Add Rubric” from the menu. You will then be able to create a new rubric, or select a rubric that you have already developed, for this discussion. [back to top]
Will Canvas use SafeAssign?
Canvas does not use SafeAssign. In February 2015, ACNS announced that CSU will integrate the anti-plaigiarism tool VeriCite. VeriCite is not a native Canvas tool; it’s a 3rd-party tool that is currently being developed by Longsight. [back to top]
If I have concerns about VeriCite, who can I talk to?
VeriCite does have some nice features, but I have also heard that you have some concerns, and I share those concerns. If you have concerns about VeriCite, I encourage you to reach out to ACNS. I have been relaying all of what I hear, and I believe that it will help if the good folks at ACNS hear your concerns from you as well. The more we share the issues we have with this tool, the better ACNS will be able to represent our concerns when they work with the Unizen consortium and Longsight to improve the tool, or if necessary, to select a different tool. [back to top]
Does Canvas have an attendance tool?
Yes. Canvas has an attendance tool called Roll Call. You can activate Roll Call by adding it to your menu. Go to Settings and select the Navigation tab. Drag and drop the Attendance tool into the menu list at the top of the Navigation page. Take a look at this guide to learn more about the attendance tool.
This tool creates an assignment that is worth 100 points. When you take attendance, and someone is marked absent, the tool automatically deducts points for each absence. If attendance is worth a different number of points, you must change the point value before you begin using the tool. Warning: It is not possible to accurately change the point value of this assignment once you have started using the tool to take attendance. [back to top]
Can I control the Grading Scheme?
ACNS enables CSU’s standard grading scheme by default in all courses. If you do not use CSU’s grading scheme, then you will want to go to Course Settings and disable the grading scheme. The grading scheme translates percentages, based on points earned, to a letter grade. Canvas reports this grade to students. If you don’t want students to focus on the letter grade, you can disable the grading scheme during class and then re-enable it when you are preparing final grades.
If instructors in your department use the same grading scheme, and that scheme is different from CSU’s, then you can have your department’s grading scheme added to Canvas’ collection. Faculty and instructors can then select that scheme for each of their courses. Alternatively, if your grading scheme is unique, you can create your own scheme. Remember that if you create your own scheme, you will have to re-create and add your scheme to each course you teach.
You can enable a different grading scheme or add your own in the same place. One important caveat about using your own grading scheme is that at the end of the term when you submit your final grades, Aires will not recognize the grades C-, D+, or D-. Also, while Aires will recognize A+, an A+ does not give students any more points than an A. [back to top]
MEDIA (VIDEO & AUDIO) [back to top]
Does Canvas provide the ability to create assignments that allow students to record themselves (video and audio) and to review others' recordings?
Yes. One of the great features in Canvas is the media tool that allows both students and instructors to create short video and audio clips using your computers’ built-in camera and microphone. Instructors can create and embed video and audio on any page that has a rich text editor. Students can record video and audio clips in response to assignments and discussion prompts. They can also record video from within their collaboration wiki sites where they have their own collection of course tools. Finally, both instructors and students can record video or audio comments using the Conversations messaging tool. [back to top]
Will Canvas allow you to stream video?
Canvas does not have a companion video streaming server. Canvas does have a great media tool that allows students and instructors to record short video and audio, and all of that video will be stored in and served from Canvas. If you want to upload or use video that is longer, then you will have to consult with one of the many video services available on campus. Some of these include:
- ACNS Online Classroom Video Delivery—http://videoplay.colostate.edu - you have to log in with your eid
- ACNS Video Lecture Capture Echo 360—http://help.echo.colostate.edu
- TILT and Online Plus offer video streaming support for their courses.
- Your department IT shop may offer video streaming support, or may be able to assist you with finding the right solution.
COMMUNICATIONS [back to top]
Can we use class rosters to send email to individuals and groups? Can messages sent to us from within Canvas be forwarded to our @colostate.edu email?
Yes and yes. The messaging tool in Canvas, called Conversations, allows you to send messages to individuals, groups, and your entire class. Click on your Inbox at the top right of your screen to get to Conversations. The Conversations Inbox is like an email inbox. You will want to set your notification preferences to receive messages at any email address you choose. Go to your profile settings to set your notifications. Before you decide to forward your messages to an external email, keep in mind that Conversations has a filter that allows you to sort your Canvas messages by class. [back to top]
When I use Conversations (via Inbox), how can I select individual students from the class roster?
If you are composing a message using Conversations in Canvas, the selection “Send individual messages” allows you to send a message to multiple recipients without showing all recipients in the “To” line. This also assures your recipients will not see every reply. If you want to send messages to individuals in a class or a group, first you select the class or the group, and then at the far right side of the “To” line, click on the person icon and select one or more recipients. [back to top]
If I have multiple sections in my course, can I send custom announcements to each section?
No, not precisely. To vote for this feature, visit the related Canvas Community discussion. In the meantime, here are a couple of workarounds:
- You can send announcements to Groups, so if you make a group for each section, then you can tailor your messages to section using groups. Create groups by going to People, and then creating a group for each section. When you create a group, that group inherits its own Group Site, and each site includes an announcements tool that functions like the course announcements tool. Use this tool to send tailored announcements to each section.
- You can use Conversations (via Inbox), and send a message to each section. While this functions more like email than a course-based announcement, the sections are already set up in Conversations, so this may be the easiest way at this point to tailor messages for your sections.
Can I post an event, or a recurring event, to all class calendars?
Not yet, but as of February 2015, this feature has been added to the Canvas road map. I expect the feature will be released sometime this year. To continue to voice the need for this feature and to keep an eye on the status of this feature implementation, visit this Canvas Community discussion. [back to top]
Can I print my Canvas Calendars?
While Canvas has not integrated a print feature into the calendar or the agenda, you can print the calendar by using the browser print function. This works, but it is not ideal. The print in some browsers is too small, and if you want to print your entire calendar, even if you could print in color, you would not get the color key. As a result, you would need to print your calendars by course unless you are able to easily identify which assignments are associated with each class.
Alternatively, you can also use the Calendar Feed function to export your Canvas Calendars into a calendar program of your choice that will allow you to format and print the calendar any way you choose. Visit this Canvas Community discussion board to register your request for a printable calendar and agenda. [back to top]
LEARNING TOOLS INTEGRATION [back to top]
Can I post a Prezi file in Canvas?
No, not as a Prezi file. You can, however, save your Prezi file as a PDF and upload and preview that file on a Canvas page or in a module.
If you want to preserve your Prezi animations, then you can transform your presentation into a video file using screen casting software of your choice. You can use CSU's Echo 360 to do this. If you want to do this, you will record your presentation while it runs on your screen. You would also record your audio while the prezi runs on your screen. The software records both your screen and your audio and generates an mp4 video file of your presentation. You can then post that file to the Echo 360 streaming server and create a link to the video file from within your Canvas course. [back to top]
Can we integrate Lynda.com into Canvas?
CSU made Lynda available to the campus a couple of years ago. Overall, the use of the service, compared to the cost, was not good. The decision was made not to renew Lynda. If all of the departments in a college can come together and make a request, it may be possible to integrate Lynda. Lynda is a fee-based service, and so the college would have to cover any associated fees. With all of that said, Lynda is LTI-compatible, and it would be possible to integrate this subscription-based product. For more information about integrating external applications that are LTI-compatible, please see Canvas External Applications (LTIs). [back to top]
GENERAL [back to top]
If I make Files visible in the left side navigation, what can students do with them?
If you give students access to your course files, they can preview and download any of those files. If you are using Canvas as a file repository and you want to share files, then you can make your files visible, and use this method to deliver course files. If you are using files to organize your content and then designing your course using the tools in Canvas, then Canvas gives you many ways to effectively deliver files within the context of the course content. In this case, you would not want to make your files visible. [back to top]
Is there a way to embed PDFs in Canvas so that students can read them without opening or downloading them?
Yes, there are two ways to embed and display PDF (and other) files in Canvas. Both file preview functions are powered by “Box,” and overall, the work really well. It is important to use Firefox when you create these inline previews. I was not able to setup inline preview using Explorer. Once they are set up, however, most working browsers will show the embedded files. [back to top]
Will students and teachers be able to access their courses after the completion of the course?
At the present time, courses are set to open the Friday before each semester begins and to close a few weeks after each semester ends. These are the dates that students can actively participate in the course. You are able to override these dates. Follow the instructions in this guide if you want to set different dates. [back to top]