Selectively Subscribing to a Canvas Discussion Board

Here is a video, from Dr. Robert Kelley, that covers how faculty can selectively subscribe to a discussion board in Canvas (choosing immediate or daily/weekly summary).  The hack is to use a separate student Canvas account, with notifications set up in the student account as desired (immediate or daily/weekly summary).

Video: https://youtu.be/21VOacuxjl8

For example, this approach has application for faculty who would like to provide an ‘Ask A Question’ discussion board for their class (and receive notifications in their inbox for request for help) without being notified all the time for any discussion board post.

Add NetTutor to Your Canvas Class

MiraCosta’s primary option for free online tutoring for all students is eTutoring through the Western eTutoring Consortium. Another option is NetTutor, available through MiraCosta’s status as an Online Education Initiative consortium college.

NetTutor provides support for just about any academic subject, up to 24×7 for the most popular subject matter, and is available via your Canvas course menu. The link opens an interface where students select their subject for NetTutor help, with no additional login required. Students can access both the STAR-CA tutoring consortium from California and the full complement of professional NetTutor tutors.

How can you help students take advantage of NetTutor?

  • Add NetTutor to your course menu (see below)
  • Share NetTutor’s overview video and/or 1-page student guide (PDF)
  • Embed reminders about use of tutoring within instructions for assignments
  • Provide specific references to the opportunity for tutoring in your feedback/communication with students who appear to be struggling

Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. If you would like to do this, contact Jim Julius for more information.

Adding NetTutor to your Canvas course menu

Once you add NetTutor to your course menu following the directions below, click the NetTutor link to verify that your subject is available.

1- Click Settings at the bottom of your course menu

Canvas SEttings

2- Click the Navigation tab

Navigation step 2

3- Click the gear icon to the right of NetTutor

4- Select +Enable

5- Click the Save button

Step 3-5 add NetTutor

NetTutor link now appears in your course menu.

Copying into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas

MiraCosta College has transitioned from Blackboard to Canvas. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas is the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes.

Canvas to Canvas

If you are teaching with Canvas, and/or you have created content within a Canvas course you can copy the entire course or parts of the course into one Canvas course from another.

Blackboard to Canvas

When moving your course from Blackboard to Canvas, it is recommended to only export parts, not all, of your Blackboard course. Hopefully you exported what you needed prior to the close of Blackboard at MiraCosta. If you discover you still need to export material from Blackboard, contact Karen Turpin for assistance.

These documents will help explain the process.

Content from Blackboard that is most likely to import well into Canvas

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussion Boards – Only discussion prompts will transfer over.
  • Tests, Surveys and Pools – These will transfer and be located in the Quizzes section of Canvas. Only multiple choice, fill in the blanks, essay, matching, numerical and formal will transfer. If not supported by Canvas, the question becomes a text only question.

For most other content and activities, it’s best to re-create/re-upload within Canvas. If you try to import entire courses or content areas into Canvas from Blackboard the work to re-organize and clean up the results generally exceeds the work to rebuild. Keep in mind that you can copy-paste text from Blackboard into Canvas – you don’t need to literally retype everything. It’s recommended that you use the “Paste and Match Style” command in your browser’s Edit menu, or first paste into an intermediate program where you can convert to unstyled text, to ensure that you don’t paste in unwanted code.

We have training classes and videos with ideas for Canvas. Check out the Canvas Information & Resources page.

Canvas Scheduler to Manage Appointments

The Canvas Calendar allows students to schedule appointments within defined time periods. Scenarios can range from individual students choosing a time to meet in your office, all the way to sign-up sheets for who wants to attend a field trip event.

The Scheduler is a tool within the Calendar which allows the instructor to set up days and times when students can make reservations. For the official description check out “What is the Scheduler?” The Scheduler is an optional tool that we do have available here at MiraCosta College.

You may be wondering “How do I create an appointment group in the Scheduler?” That documentation covers several different use scenarios, so I’d like to suggest two specifics:

  1. Set up office hour time windows, and allow students to reserve one or more half-hour appointment times.
  2. Set up a scheduled event, and allow up to twenty students to reserve seats at that event.

For the first scenario, you’d want to set up your appointment group with wide time periods, such as from 10 am until 4 pm on Friday. Then you’d want to tell the appointment group to apply to any number of your courses, so that all your students will be able to reserve into the same appointment group. (This will ensure no dual bookings!) Finally you would tell the appointment group to divide into equal slots of 30 minutes. You’d probably want to limit students to attend a single session, else you could end up with a student reserving multiple time slots in a row.

For the second scenario, you’d set up your appointment group for the times of the event, such as from noon to 2 pm on Saturday. If this event is at an odd location be sure to specify that in the Location field. If this event can only support twenty students, set the Limit each time slot to 20 users.

In each of these scenarios, once you have the appointment group set up, students would follow the same procedure to reserve time. They can go into the Calendar in Canvas, and click the Scheduler button, then click on the appointment group, and finally click on the time slot they want to attend. This process is also detailed in “How do I sign up for an appointment using the Scheduler?

And if you want to message students about signing up using the scheduler, you can go into your appointment group, copy the address from the address bar of your browser, and send that link to your students. If they click the link, they’ll be prompted to log in to Canvas, and then should be taken directly to the appointment group. But of course they can always navigate to the Calendar and click the Scheduler button too.

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