Canvas: WWU Instructor Quick Start Guide
WWU has its own Canvas instance at http://wwu.instructure.com; you can find the Canvas icon once you have logged into myWestern.
This guide includes the following categories:
Transitions | Course Creation and Life Cycle | Setting Up Profile and Notification Preferences | Accessing Your Course | Setting Up Your Course | Communicating with Students | Evaluating Students | Work-Arounds | Overview Videos
- How do I show a letter grade in the totals column in the Canvas Gradebook?
Set up the totals column in the Gradebook to also display a letter grade based on the grading scheme you are using.
- How do I calculate extra credit?
- How do I import content from a class I already taught in Canvas into the new course shell?
Note that a new course shell (i.e., new Canvas course without course content) is automatically created for you each quarter for each CRN-based course you are teaching.
What is the life cycle of a Canvas Course at WWU?
Courses are created automatically for each academic term, moving to a published state when instructor publishes course before quarter begins, and then ending automatically with a read-only archive when quarter is complete.
How do I cross-list courses? (video, see also "How do I cross-list my courses")
With Canvas, you are in charge of how your courses get cross listed. Cross listed courses are when you combine two sections of a course into one Canvas course site.
How are students enrolled in a course?
Students are automatically enrolled in your course as soon as it has been created and/or students are registered.
How do I publish my course?
Your course is delivered to you in a non-published state so that students cannot access it until you have completed preparing your course.
How can I request a Non-CRN Course? (see Request Form, login required)
You can request a Manual Enrollment/Non-CRN course site to use as a departmental site, team site, sandbox (to experiment with ideas) or just about anything else.
How do I add people to my course manually?
You can add anyone who has an email address at Western to your course as a student, teacher or TA.
How do I edit my profile?
You can edit your profile in Canvas to include a picture of yourself, choose a display name and add email addresses.
How do I edit my notification preferences?
The Canvas notifications system sends notices via email about certain course activities. You can control these notices by editing your notifications preferences.
How do I customize my “Courses” drop-down menu?
The Canvas courses menu displays all of the courses you have on the Canvas system and is the link you will use to access each of your courses. Fall courses start with “FA,” winter courses start with “WI,” etc. You can customize the menu to fit your needs.
How can I access completed courses?
Once your course has been set to complete, which will happen two weeks after each quarter ends, you and your students will have "read only" access to the course. All completed courses are available in this way for as long as you and your students have access to Canvas.
NOTE: See the Library's Course Readings & Reserves page for help integrating online course readings with Canvas.
What course settings do I have control over?
The settings area (located in left navigation of each course) is the main area where you control your course details, sections, and navigation options.
How do I copy content from Blackboard to Canvas? (see also Canvas Guide)
You can import content that has been exported from your Blackboard courses or from one of your Canvas courses into another. NOTE: This is not a direct translation.
How do I change my Home Page?
You have complete control over the home page in your course. It can be one of the navigational areas, or it can be a page that you design yourself by adding text and media.
How do I add my syllabus?
The Syllabus in Canvas provides a space for the syllabus as well as a due date list. As you enter assignments into your course, Canvas automatically builds a list at the bottom of the syllabus page in due date order. In some cases, this may replace or replicate a section of your syllabus.
How do I customize my navigation links? (video, see also Canvas Guide)
The main navigation menu, located on the left hand side of your course, is a menu of different areas within Canvas. You have the option of hiding areas and rearranging them.
What are files?
The files area of your course is a place to upload and store files that will be distributed in your course. NOTE: Students will have access to the files are unless you hide the “Files” link in your course menu or lock individual files.
What are Pages?
Pages are in-course web pages for placing content and educational resources that are part of your course. This is a place where you can include text, video, and links to your files or to other “pages” in your course. Pages are essentially wikis with a more usable interface. Canvas keeps the entire history of the page so you can see how it changes over time.
What are discussion boards?
Discussion boards can be used in your course to increase interactivity between students. Discussion boards can be set up as either graded or ungraded.
How do I use the inbox?
You can communicate with your students in Canvas by using the Inbox. The Inbox makes it easy to send messages to your students, teaching assistants and co-instructors.
What is an announcement?
Announcements are delivered to students in their inbox just like other messages, but remember that students control how often they receive these messages.
What are assignments?
Assignments can be set up for your students to turn in submissions online or in class. Assignments will appear in the grade book for your course where you can enter scores. Assignments include Quizzes, graded Discussions, and online submissions (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.).
What is a Rubric? (See also CIIA's Rubrics page)
Rubrics are a way to set up custom or outcome-based assessment criteria for scoring. Rubrics can be used with assignments, discussion boards and quizzes.
What are the different types of quizzes [and surveys]?
The quiz tool is used to create and administer online quizzes and surveys. The quizzes are automatically scored and the scores are entered in your grade book.
What is the SpeedGrader?
The SpeedGrader™ allows you to view different types of assignment submissions in one place, make text and audio comments to students, and grade using different methods including a simple point scale or a complex rubric. See also: Using the speed grader to grade a paper
How do I use the grade book?
The Grades area provides a way to easily input and distribute grades for students. It can calculate weighted grades, and assignments can be organized into groups.
How can I set up a Journal assignment?
Even though Canvas currently does not support journal assignments as Blackboard did, there is a work-around that might work in some cases. Journals are usually private between students and instructor(s). If this exchange does not need to be private (other students in the class can see), the discussion board can be another option.
- How can I tell the Canvas people to add a Journal tool to Canvas?
There is a "feature request" for this. Feel free to follow the link above and click the "Me too" link to add your vote. You may be prompted to select the WWU Instructure account before your "Me too" vote can be counted.
- How can I tell the Canvas people to add a Journal tool to Canvas?
- Announcements Overview
- Assignments Overview
- Assignment Creation
- Canvas Interface Overview
- Course Expectations - Canvas Kaleidoscope
- Course Layout - Customization
- Discussion Creation
- Files - Add Course Content
- Grades Overview
- Group Creation and Management for Instructors
- Modules - Creation and Management
- Pages - Creation and Usage
- Settings - Personal Settings and Profile Picture
- Quiz Creation - Settings
- Quiz Creation - Questions
- Rich Content Editor - Content Creation
- SpeedGrader™ Overview