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Canvas LMS

Canvas is our learning management system at PAU.

All courses use Canvas, which features great calendars and to-do lists, excellent notifications, and great overall course navigation as well as many possibilities for creative pedagogy that you may never have seen before.

In addition, student interest groups as well as faculty and staff groups may use Canvas as a place to post information, training, and other materials.

This page contains information and tutorials to help students navigate through their courses in Canvas.

It also contains information for faculty who are building courses in Canvas. 

FACULTY, scroll down to find information for Faculty, or use this link: Faculty Information on Canvas.

STUDENTS, you may not be able to go into courses that you see in your Canvas Dashboard or Courses list, as the professor may not have published the course yet, or they may have set the date that the course can be viewed as the first day of classes.

Students, remember that your professors are just learning how to use Canvas to build their courses and that a lot of material was brought over straight from Pearson, so help them out, if you would please, by being patient if something is not quite right in your course on Canvas.

Make sure to inform your professor if something is missing from your Canvas course or if you cannot access something properly, as they may simply have overlooked something as they were learning how to use Canvas themselves.

Logging into Canvas

To access your Canvas courses, you can login through OneLogin at https://paloaltou.onelogin.com/login and then click the Canvas app icon.

Or you can simply go to https://paloaltou.instructure.com and it will bring up the OneLogin screen to log in.

If you are having trouble logging into Canvas, please contact PAU support at support@paloaltou.edu

Getting Help with Canvas

The very best way to get help with Canvas is simply to click on the Help icon inside Canvas. It’s always on the lower left inside Canvas, just scroll down a bit at any time when you’re in Canvas, and you’ll see the Question Mark inside a circle and the word Help.

Click on that Help icon inside Canvas and you’ll see several links.

One of them is Report a Problem, and if you click on that you’ll be able to describe a problem or question that you have about Canvas, such as “How do I weight grading groups in the gradebook?” or “How do I create a YouTube link?” or “Something seems to be wrong with my assignment, it’s not visible to my students”.

The folks at Canvas will help you out, in many cases they will send you a link to a Guide webpage that will show you how to do what you need to do, or they will solve the problem, or they will refer the problem back to PAU if they cannot solve it.

You will also be able to talk with someone on the phone -- that phone number will also appear in the Help list after you click on the Help icon.

If you are having trouble logging into Canvas, please contact PAU support at support@paloaltou.edu

The folks at Canvas are the experts on Canvas, and in most cases they will be able to help you or solve your problem, but if you need further or more extensive help or if you need help or guidance with something that is specific to the way we do things at PAU, then you can email us at: canvashelp@paloaltou.edu

That email, canvashelp@paloaltou.edu , goes to Glenn Saito and Scott Hines at PAU and we are always happy to help out.

The very best way to get help fast, though, is to use that Help icon inside Canvas, as they answer your queries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they are expert in helping with Canvas and in solving problems that might pop up with Canvas.

Inside the Help icon you’ll also see a link to Search the Canvas Guides and Ask the Canvas Community.

These take you to a fantastic resource which is the “Canvas Community”.

Here is a direct link to the Canvas Community:

https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome

This is the community of Canvas users along with the experts who work for Canvas, and at those sites you’ll find all of the Guides and Videos for learning how to use Canvas (see below for info on training and learning how to use Canvas -- PAU is providing customized training and learning for you, so you will not need to use the training that is listed there in the “Canvas Training” section) as well as a search box for searching for answers to specific questions and a way to join the Canvas Community so that you can also contribute ideas and knowledge and answers to the Community.

Searching for help there in the Canvas Community can often get you a quick answer to a question, and that’s the way that we have been learning a lot about Canvas, because their answers and guides and videos are really excellent.

But if the Community and “Answers” there on that website do not give you the information or help that you need, you can always go back to the Help icon and “Report a Problem” or call the Canvas Support using the phone number there.

Here at PAU, the Director of Learning & Development for faculty, Kristel Nazzal, Ph.D., will also be working with our own community of faculty to share ideas and help each other to use Canvas and other teaching tools creatively and effectively.


Students -- How to use Canvas

Canvas has extensive help and orientation materials for students.

The very first place to go for help with Canvas is the Canvas Community pages where you can find training videos and step-by-step instructions as well as search for help on particular topics or issues.

The Canvas Community can be found at:

https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome

And it is also a selection available in the Help icon within Canvas.

In particular, the Canvas guides for Students and video guides can be found at:

https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides

See below for particular guides and videos that will help you get started with using Canvas as a student.

If you cannot find what you need at the Canvas Community site, or if you are experiencing a problem with Canvas, you can always click on the Help icon within Canvas and either report an issue or ask a question of any sort related to Canvas by calling the phone number that appears there.

If you are having trouble logging into Canvas, please contact PAU support at support@paloaltou.edu

And if you would like to sit down for an in-person or Zoom training session on how to use Canvas, contact Scott Hines at shines@paloaltou.edu

Here are some videos and guides that will help you to get to know Canvas as a student:

Watch the Canvas Overview for Students (video)

Update Your Profile & Notification Preferences

Use Your User and Course Dashboards

The messaging tool in Canvas is called "Conversations". Access Conversations by clicking on your "Inbox" in the left side navigation.

Turn in an Assignment

Navigate Course Modules in Canvas

Participate in a Course Discussion

Access and Take a Quiz

Check your grades (video)

Get Help Using Canvas

Browsers and Computer Requirements for Canvas

Video Guides

All Users

Students

 


Canvas for PAU Faculty

Canvas was opened for Faculty access as of May 9, 2016.

See above for how to login to Canvas and for how to get help with Canvas when you have a question or a problem.

Publish your course, organize your tiles, and email students

Make sure to import your migrated course into your "real" course if you have been working in the migrated course (see below for a video showing how to do that) and PUBLISH the course so that students can see it!

We have added courses for the next academic year into your Canvas accounts, so you may be seeing more courses in your Canvas Dashboard.

Here are two tips that a lot of faculty have been asking me about in the last couple of days:

1) To unclutter all those extra courses in your Canvas Dashboard, you can make a nickname for each of your courses for this summer so that it's easy to spot in various places, including the drop down list in the email thingy. To do that, on the colored course card/tile, click on the pencil icon in the upper right of the tile/card and change the nickname to Summer 2016 NameOfYourCourse. That doesn't change the official name of the course and doesn't change what students see as the name of the course, but it does change it for your view, which makes life easier when we've loaded all of those future course shells in your account :-)

You can also hide some of those tiles by going to courses, then all courses, then check the stars for the one(s) that you want to show up in the colored tiles/cards in the dashboard. The rest will always be there in Courses...All courses when you're ready to display them to yourself in the future.

2) Emailing students in Canvas

YOU MUST PUBLISH YOUR COURSE BEFORE YOU CAN EMAIL STUDENTS

To email your students enrolled in a course in Canvas, go to Inbox, then to the new message icon (pencil in a square to the right of Inbox), then choose Summer 2016 NameOfYourCourse as the course (easier with a nickname!), then the crucial last step is to click on the address book icon to the right of the To box and choose Summer 2016 NameOfYourCourse and that will also make that selection of "All in Summer 2016 NameOfYourCourse" appear in the To box and that will email everyone in the course.

Now you're ready to compose the email, and you can attach files or make a short video or audio recording to send to them using the icons in the lower left, and you can choose to send an individual email to each student or send one email that includes all of them (which is the default unless you check the box to send individual messages).

Try that, and ask them to reply to you to confirm that they got the message, if you like, so that you'll get a bit of confirmation.

If you're teaching an online course, you might want to include the time and meeting number/link for your first zoom meeting.

Converted Courses

Courses for the 2016-2017 terms, with a few exceptions, have been converted and migrated to Canvas and should appear in your account when you login if you had asked Glenn to transfer your summer course over to Canvas.

The conversion process went ok, but it is by no means perfect.

We ask that you or your TA check the course and make adjustments to it to get it into shape for teaching using the Canvas course in the summer term. We can help you with that process, but it’s also a perfect opportunity for you to learn how Canvas works. (See below for more on Canvas training.)

Create Assignments

In particular, you will need to create Assignments in Canvas for your converted courses, as the "Dropbox" of Pearson does not convert in the migrated courses.

See the guide and videos on creating assignments below.

Import your migrated course over into the "real" course

If you had a course converted for the summer term, you’ll see that converted course in your Canvas account, but that is not the final course that you will use to teach the summer term with, as it does not have the correct course number on it.

The converted course, also known as the migrated course, will say “migrated courses” below the course number.

You’ll also see  an empty course shell, and that course will have the section number after the course number.

You’ll need to import that migrated course over into the course shell. Here is a brief tutorial on how to do that: https://pau.techsmithrelay.com/lmhY

You can do that importing immediately or you can inspect and work on the converted course and then import it over into the course shell when you have finished tidying up the converted course.

In the future, you’ll occasionally be importing more courses, so this is a good first lesson to develop this skill in importing.

If you are teaching this summer and wanted just an empty course shell, you’ll see that in your Canvas account along with another blank course. That “sandbox” course is for you to use as a place to practice as you learn how to build courses in Canvas.

If you are not teaching this summer or if you did not ask Glenn to convert a course for you, you’ll see only a blank course. That “sandbox” course is for you to use as a place to practice as you learn how to build courses in Canvas.

If you are teaching this summer and you don’t see your converted course or a course shell in Canvas, please contact us at canvashelp@paloaltou.edu

And if you don’t see your sandbox course in Canvas, please contact us at canvashelp@paloaltou.edu

So, if you are teaching this summer and you have a converted course, you can work on that course to get it into shape and then copy it to the final course shell, or you can copy it over immediately and work on the final course.

Inspect it first, and maybe check with us at canvashelp@paloaltou.edu to see which is best for you, to copy first or to work on the converted course first. In general, if you think that you might want that converted course to serve as a kind of master course, you might want to work on it first, then copy, but for most faculty, the best thing is to simply copy it over to the blank course shell immediately and then work on the final course that has the correct course number.

Canvas Training for PAU Faculty

Self-paced training: Videos and Guides

The most flexible and easiest way to learn how to set up your courses and get the most out of Canvas is to take advantage of the excellent videos and text-and-image-based guides that are produced by the folks at Instructure, the company that makes Canvas.

Here is the main website where you’ll find the guides and video guides:

https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/overview

Using the videos as your primary means of learning allows you to go at your own pace, stopping to try things in Canvas then moving on when you're ready.

It also allows you to learn whenever you like without the need to show up at a set time for a training session.

If you would prefer to attend a live training session with an instructor, either online or in person, see below for a schedule of training sessions.

But for flexibility and convenience, the recorded videos or the printed guides (see below) are the way to go.

To begin, you can watch the videos for All Users, which introduce you to Canvas and the way that Canvas looks and feels (the Canvas “Interface”) and to the various ways to access Canvas on mobile devices.

Here are those videos:

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3891#jive_content_id_All_Users

And here are the introductory written guides for instructors -- this is a "getting started" introduction to Canvas:

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2035

The Guides and the videos contain the same information, it’s really up to you how you prefer to learn, through videos, through written guides that also contain step-by-step screenshots, or a combination of the two (and there is also live customized training through PAU -- see below for that schedule)

If you take the video route, here is a list of all of their videos for instructors:

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3891#jive_content_id_Instructors

We recommend that you focus on the following videos first:

Canvas Interface Overview (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1095

Courses: Creation and Management (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1102

Course Settings (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1107

Course Layout: Customization (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1106

Files: Add Course Content (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1111

Syllabus Overview (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1120

Pages: Creation and Management (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1115

Modules: Creation and Management (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1114

Assignments Overview (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1092

Assignment Creation (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1091

Calendar Overview (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1093

Gradebook Overview (Instructors)

https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1112

Quiz Creation: Settings (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1118

Quiz Creation: Questions (Instructors)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1117

Speedgrader Overview (Instructors) (many of you are going to love this)
https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1119

Then proceed on to any other areas that you might be interested in delving into.

If you prefer to learn by reading text augmented by step-by-step screenshots, you can use the "Guides" rather than the videos:
https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4131

We will also be offering a course and a video which is a quick introduction to Canvas -- see below for the schedule of these introductory courses.

And to get you started, inside a blank course, Canvas also presents to you a step-by-step list of things to do when you first start to build a course, and you'll see that when you enter an empty course shell if you are interested in building your courses from scratch to get the best quality course in Canvas. We will also be introducing you to a template that will help you to build courses with good organization and good elements of engagement, especially for online courses, but also for on-the-ground courses.

In addition, to familiarize yourself with differences between Pearson and Canvas, please see the following link that compares tools from both systems:
https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4053

Live instructor-led webinars and on-campus training sessions

The very best and most convenient way to learn about how to use Canvas is through the Guides and Videos, but we also offer live instructor-led webinars and on-campus training sessions in small groups or individually at your convenience.

If you would like to sit down for an in-person or Zoom training session, all to yourself or in a small group of faculty and/or TAs, on how to use Canvas, please contact Scott Hines at shines@paloaltou.edu

 
 
 

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