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Canvas - FAQs for Instructors
This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about Canvas. For a complete list of Canvas help resources, check out the Resources page at courses.uchicago.edu.
How do I send emails to my students?
To send a message to your class:
- Click on the Inbox, found on the main menu located on the very left of the screen when you are logged in to Canvas.
- Click the Compose a new message button.
- Select your course.
- Click on the address book icon to select the group of recipients.
Detailed instructions can be found at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2670
How do I receive a copy of the email I send to students?
You can see a copy of any and all emails you send to students by going to your Canvas Inbox and selecting Sent in the Inbox drop-down menu.
If you would like to have a copy of the email sent to your regular UChicago email follow these two steps:
- Go to Account > Notifications and under Conversations Created By Me select the Notify me right away option by clicking on the checkmark.
- Include yourself as a recipient, either by adding your email address to the list of recipients, by sending the email to both “Students” and “Teachers”, or by sending the email to all course users.
Some of my students claim they are not receiving the emails that I have been sending through Canvas.
All emails that are sent through Canvas go directly to one's CNetID@uchicago.edu email address by default. Please confirm that is where your students are checking their email. Sometimes new students are not aware they should be checking their UChicago email regularly.
If they are forwarding their CNetID@uchicago.edu email to another email address, they should check the settings (see: Email - Set Up Email Forwarding for more info).
How do I edit the course navigation tabs (i.e. “Home”, “Assignments”, “Syllabus”, “Modules” etc.)
In Canvas, there is no way to create new course navigation tabs or edit the names of existing navigation tabs.
You can, however, disable or rearrange the order of the course navigation tabs. At the bottom of the course navigation tabs, select Settings > Navigation to move and disable tabs. Disabled tabs will appear for the instructor as light grey links, but will not be visible to students.
Tip: Once you are done with your changes, be sure to click Save at the bottom of the page.
Tip: Disable all the tabs which are not useful for your course site. Fewer options means less trial-and-error and easier for students to navigate the site.
Tip: Language instructors can change the language of the navigation tabs by going to Settings > Course Details > Language.
How do I make my course available to students
Navigate to Home on your course site. Under Course Status on the top right of your Course Home Page, click Publish.
Courses for which students have already submitted Assignments or Quizzes are already published and do not have the Course Status option to Unpublish.
How can I know what is visible to my students
Click on Settings at the bottom of the course navigation bar and select Student View from the list of options on the right-hand side of the screen.
In the default instructor view, the following principles apply:
- Light grey navigation tabs are not visible to students. Navigation tabs with a normal black font are visible to students.
- The cloud icon indicates whether an item is published or not. Green () indicates published, grey () indicates not published, and red () indicates restricted access.
How do I release course material at a certain date
- For files: Click on the cloud icon. Select Restricted Access > Schedule student availability.
- For discussions, assignments, and quizzes: edit the item and change the Available from date.
- For modules: when adding or editing the Module, select Lock until.
- For pages: there is no way to directly set a release date. However, locking a module until a certain day will lock all of the contents, including pages, contained within that module. The contents of a locked module are unavailable, provided those contents don’t appear elsewhere, in other published modules.
How do I record and grade attendance
You can either use Roll Call, a Canvas tool for recording attendance, or manually enter the attendance grades.
Enable Assignments under course Settings > Navigation.
Here’s some information about Roll Call Attendance Tool: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3012. https://guides.instructure.com/m/4152/l/107412-how-do-i-take-roll-call-using-the-attendance-tool.
Manually Enter Attendance Grades
- Create an Assignment and give it a name like “Attendance.”
- Find this assignment in Grades and enter in the grades.
People: How do I add/remove Students from the Course Site
Wait for the student to enroll or drop the course at the Registrar. An hourly data feed with enrollment data from the Registrar automatically adds and removes students.
Do not manually remove Students. If you delete the student manually on Canvas while he or she is still enrolled as a student through the Registrar, the hourly data feed containing enrollment data from the Registrar will automatically re-add the student to the course.
If you want to add a user who is not enrolling through the Registrar, you can add them then as a Manually Added Student. Manually Added Students will not be affected by the Registrar’s enrollment data feed.
- Select People from the menu of options on the left hand side of your course site.
- Select + People.
- On the pop-up window, select CNetID and enter the users' CNetIDs. Multiple users can be added to the same role when separated by commas.
- For students not enrolled through the Registrar, select Role: Manually Added Student. For instructors not listed by the Registrar, select Role: Co-Teacher.
- Select Next.
- Verify the identity of the people you wanted to add. Click Add Users.
How do I see a list of students in my course?
To see a list of your students enrolled in the course, select People from the menu of options on the left-hand side of your course site.
How do I add/remove TAs and Co-Teachers?
TAs and Co-Teachers must be manually added and removed.
To manually add a TA or Co-Teacher:
- Select People from the menu of options on the left hand side of your course site.
- Select + People
- Select Role: TA or Co-Teacher.
- Enter the person’s CNetID. Multiple TA’s can be added when separated by commas or new lines.
If the system can’t find a person, that means the individual doesn’t have an account in Canvas. Please send the person’s CNetID to us. We’ll add them and make sure their CNetID login is properly set up.
Can I exclude an auditor from the gradebook and from the Roll Call attendance tool
No, you cannot exclude an auditor from the gradebook, nor can you exclude them from attendance. In Canvas, Auditors have the same permissions and features as Students.
You do, however, have the option to add the person as an Observer rather than an Auditor. Observers limited access to the course site. With the exception of quizzes, they can view all of the available content in a course. However, observers are not permitted to submit assignments, take quizzes, post to discussions, create student collaborations, participate in web conferences, see a list of users, or send messages to individual course members.
How do I create a column in the Gradebook for an Assignment?
You add a new column in the Gradebook by creating and publishing an assignment.
You are not allowed to manually add columns to the Gradebook. Submission of an assignment through Canvas is optional when you make the assignment, so if you just want to add a column in Gradebook for an assignment that is manually administered, choose No Submission under Submission Type when you create or edit the Assignment.
Here is an video that offers an overview of Gradebook. Additional information on the Gradebook:
- What are Grades and the Gradebook?: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1912
- How do I use the Gradebook?: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2785
Gradebook: How do I weight the grades for Assignments in Gradebook?
Weight is automatically determined based on the number of points you give an assignment. You also have the option to weight Assignment Groups as a percentage of the final grade.
For more information of weighting based on Assignment Groups see: How do I weight the final course grade based on assignment groups?
How do I enter grades into Gradebook?
Calendar: How do I make sure Assignments and Quizzes appear in the Student’s Canvas Calendar?
When you assign a due date to an assignment or quiz, it automatically shows up in the Calendar. You are given the option to assign a due date when you create a new assignment/quiz or edit an existing assignment/quiz.
How do I record an audio file in Canvas?
Instructors can create and add audio files to any Page, Assignment, Discussion, Announcement, Quiz, or Syllabus. When you edit the content of a Page, Assignment, etc., click the film icon (see screenshot below) and choose the audio button. Follow the instructions to record and save your file to the description area.
Detailed instructions can be found here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1870
You can also create media assignments on Canvas that require students to record and upload audio recordings. When creating or editing the Assignment choose: Submission Type: Online > Online Entry Options: Media Recordings. Canvas then gives students the option to either record new media or upload an existing file.
Audio/Visual: How to Add Kaltura Videos
You can add Kaltura videos to the content of any Page, Assignment, Discussion etc. by selecting the Embed Kaltura Media icon found on the Rich Text Editor toolbar.
You can also enable the Media Gallery for your course site under Settings > Navigation (remember to always click Save after modifying your navigation tabs) and select + Add Media to add new and existing Kaltura video.
When you are adding Kaltura Media to the Media Gallery or embedding it into a Page, Assignment, etc., you should automatically be able to choose from all of the Kaltura Media you have uploaded in the past. To add new videos to Kaltura, you have two options:
- Add new Videos to your Kaltura Media when you are editing a Page, Assignment, Discussion, etc. Select the Embed Kaltura Media icon found on the Rich Text Editor toolbar. Select My Gallery > Add New.
- Enable the Media Gallery under Settings > Navigation. Navigate to the Media Gallery and select + Add Media > Add New.
How do I set up the Canvas mobile app?
Instructions for downloading and configuring the Canvas mobile app can be found here: http://courses.uchicago.edu/resources/
How do I conduct In-Class Polls?
Polls for Canvas is a mobile app that can be used to take multiple-choice polls during class time. The app is only available on mobile devices and can be downloaded from the Android and Apple store.
Students must first accept the Canvas course invite before they can take polls. They will then need to download the Polls for Canvas app. When the apps prompts you, enter: canvas.uchicago.edu. Users will then be prompted to log in using their CNetID and password.
In our small test, we found that data syncing is slightly slower for Android than Apple phones. It’s not clear whether this will pose a problem in a larger class, but please be aware of it.
Note that the only connection between the Polls for Canvas app and the course is student enrollment. Poll results cannot be imported into the course at this point and there’s no way to view individual student responses. All data stays in the app and cannot be transferred or displayed via the web interface.
For more on downloading and using the Polls for Canvas app see: https://guides.instructure.com/m/22678/l/237896-what-is-the-polls-for-canvas-app
What is the box at the bottom right of the chat screen?
The Chat tool in Canvas allows users in the course to chat live with other the others users in the course. This is a public chat. All users have access to all chats and to the entire chat history. Chat comments cannot be deleted.
For more information see: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2624