Start-of-Summer 2017 Canvas Checklist

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Here are a few tips to help you get started with Canvas for the Summer 2017 term.

1. Create a Course Site. If you haven’t requested your site yet, now’s the time. It’s easy! Use these instructions to request your Canvas site.

2. Get Help. Register for Canvas Office Hours & Workshops at the Weigle Information Commons to meet with experts who want to help you.

3. Learn about What’s New in Canvas and Other Tools:

  • Copied Turnitin Assignments: If you copy a Turnitin assignment from another course, you will have re-enable any optional settings you customized previously and will also have to open the assignment before students can submit to it.
  • Create Turnitin Assignments before Students Submit Their Work: Turnitin must be enabled for a Canvas assignment before students begin uploading their submissions. If students have already submitted an assignment, you will not be able to enable Turnitin retroactively and will instead need to create a separate Turnitin assignment and then have students re-submit to that assignment. For more information, please consult the directions for creating a Turnitin assignment in Canvas.
  • Student Context Cards: The Student Context Cards feature provides insights and context about a student and are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress in a course. Learn more about Student Context Cards.
  • Documentation Request Form:  Want instructions or information on Canvas or related technologies? Submit a request to the Documentation Request Form.

4. Request Your Course Reserves. Planning to have the Penn Libraries’ Course Reserves Service add content to your Canvas site? Please review the Course Reserves Information.

5. Publish Your Site. Students are added to Canvas course sites automatically, but they can’t access course.

content until the site is published. Just click the Publish button when you are ready!pblsh_cnvs_st

Questions? Email us at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Here’s to a great term!

NEW! Student Context Cards

What are Student Context Cards?

Student Context Cards provide insights and context about a student and are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress in a course. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser.

What Do Student Context Cards Show?

Example of a student context card appearing from the "People" section of a Canvas site.

  • Profile picture: View the student’s profile picture. A picture may not be available if the student has not added a profile picture or if your institution does not allow profile pictures. You can also click the picture to access the student’s user details page.
    Student name: Click to access the student’s user profile page.

 If you have the appropriate permissions, you may be able to access additional information including the student’s access report, interactions report, outcomes report, and registered web services.
  • Course name and section: View the name of the course and section. The section name is only included for courses with multiple sections.
  • Last login: View the student’s last Canvas login. This field does not display if the student has never logged in. If the login was on the current date, the card only displays the time. If the login was within the current week, the card displays the day of the week. Any later logins display the full date.
  • Grades button: Click to access the student’s grades page.
  • Analytics button: Click to access the student’s analytics page. This button is only available to users with permission to view course analytics.
  • Mail icon: Click to send a message directly to the student from the context card.

More Information

Please see: How do I view a context card for a student in a course?

If you have any questions, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Submitting Grades for Spring 2017

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Wondering how to transfer Grades in Canvas to CIT? The answer is here!

As you wrap up grading for the semester, you might be wondering how you can use the Canvas gradebook to submit final grades for your courses. Although many instructors calculate and include final grades in their Canvas sites, there is no direct integration between Canvas and Courses InTouch (CIT). Since CIT is the official record for student grades, final grades must always be added there.

If you use Canvas for grading and calculating a final grade, you can export the Gradebook as a CSV using the instructions here and work with it offline in Excel:

How do I download scores from the Gradebook?

If you have any questions, please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Canvas Production Release: May 13, 2017

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

5/13/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Dashboard Color Overlay: The “Dashboard Settings” drop-down menu allows users to switch between two views: “Recent Activity” and “Course Cards.” When “Course Cards” is selected, users also have the option to remove the color overlay from any course cards that include an image. Like all Dashboard options, this feature allows users to view course cards in the Dashboard according to their personal preference. Dashboard features cannot be enabled for an entire institution. The “Course Cards” view displays the color overlay option by default. When a user chooses to remove the color overlay option, the transparent course color is removed from any course card that contains an image. However, the color of the course card displays as a circle behind the card’s “More Options” icon.
  • Front Page Individual Setting: In an individual page, the page settings menu supports the “Use as Front Page” option. This update allows a front page to be set from any individual page. A page can still be set as the front page by opening the “Pages Index” Page and selecting the page’s settings menu.
  • Section End Date and Past Enrollments: In the “Courses” list, the “Past Enrollment” section displays courses with section end dates. This change aligns functionality with the end date in “Course Settings,” which was updated in the April 1st release. Previously, sections with override dates were only considered to be concluded if the end date accompanied the Users can only participate in the course between these dates (or Users participation) checkbox.
  • Student Context Cards: Student context cards provide insights and context about the student. Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard “Page Views” and “Participation” activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser. For more information, please see: How do I view a context card for a student in a course?

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: May 13, 2017

2017-05-13 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the script for this video.

Video: Grading in Canvas at the End of a Term

We hope you enjoy this video geared towards faculty and TAs managing grades in Canvas using the gradebook! It shows six steps for finishing up grading in Canvas at the end of a term.

Please note: This video was made before the introduction of the new Canvas UI, which is why Canvas looks a little different in this video from how it looks currently. Nevertheless, the steps covered in the video can be used in the new Canvas UI despite Canvas’s different appearance.

Six Easy Steps for End-of-Term Grading in Canvas

This video demonstrates how to do the following:

  1. Download and save your Canvas gradebook
  2. Hide (“mute”) assignment grades and feedback from students
  3. Hide total course grades from students
  4. Grade all ungraded assignments
  5. Unhide assignments and total course grades
  6. Download and save finished gradebook

If you have any questions, please email Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Canvas End-of-Term Grading Checklist

The following checklist has been designed to help your end-of-term grading run smoothly.

1.) Download and Save the Current Version of the Canvas Gradebook

It’s a best practice to download and save a course’s Canvas gradebook before entering final grades. Here are instructions for how to download the Canvas gradebook:

How do I download all student submissions for an assignment in the Gradebook?

2.) Finish Entering Grades in Canvas

Depending on the type of assignment or “quiz” (exam, test, quiz, or survey), you may have a several feedback and grading options. To learn about these options, please see the Grades and SpeedGrader sections of the Canvas Instructor Guide.

Woman frustrated in front of laptop.

Avoid grading headaches by following these simple steps!

3.) Unmute All Assignments and Quizzes

Muting in Canvas is when you hide feedback and grades from students. If you have used muting throughout the semester, you should double-check see if all of your assignments and quizzes are unmuted. Not only will you want to unmute assignments so students can receive your feedback and grade, but you will also want to unmute assignments and quizzes for the total grade that your students see in their Canvas grade summaries so that it match the course grade you enter in Courses InTouch (CIT). If you don’t unmute assignments and quizzes, your students will not see their real total course grade in Canvas, as it will not include their muted assignments.

For more information about muting and an in-depth explanation with screenshots of why you should unmute your assignments and quizzes at the end of the semester, please see:

Hiding Grades from Students

4.) Download and Save the Final Version of the Gradebook

Please see the instructions in the first step. It’s a good idea to keep both versions of the gradebook–pre-final grading and post-final grading–for your records.

5.) Upload the Gradebook to Courses InTouch (CIT)

Follow the directions at http://www.upenn.edu/registrar/CIT/CIT-OLG-user-guide.pdf to upload your grades to Courses InTouch. (See Section 13.4 “Uploading a Grade Roster”).

Please note that although these instructions make reference to Blackboard, the spreadsheet-configuration requirements still apply to the downloaded version of the Canvas gradebook you will upload to CIT.

Questions?

Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

UPDATE: Slow Exports & Imports in Canvas

Our vendor’s Engineering and Operations team have implemented a fix to the way jobs process. This fix has been running and has improved the wait time considerably. This is a temporary fix that will help them improve Jobs long term. Our vendor will continue to monitor and provide updates as they become available.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may cause. Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.