MiraCosta Canvas Instructor Info – Fall 2017

To MiraCosta faculty who are using Canvas this fall:

Thanks for your efforts in switching to Canvas! It’s looking like around half of our classes are using Canvas this fall. Below are some informational and invitational items that may interest you:

Turnitin Update for Canvas

Yesterday, Turnitin enhanced the assignment inbox within Canvas. Here’s a 1.5 minute video with an overview of the changes, if you’re a Turnitin user.

Past Canvas Classes May Remain Visible to Students

A significant difference between Blackboard and Canvas is that concluded Canvas classes from past semesters remain by default open to students. Canvas is smart about closing off some things that might compromise academic integrity, and I think it can be quite beneficial for students to be able to go back to review course material and discussion. However, if you are concerned about this idea and would like to learn more, and/or would like to know how to prevent students from accessing classes once the semester is done, please review this tutorial.

Canvas Mobile App Differences/Limitations

Canvas’s mobile apps are quite good, but they don’t give students and teachers all the same experiences that would get when they access Canvas via browser. If you’d like to know more about the differences, here’s a document that helps provide some detail. (And if you didn’t know that Canvas has a special app for teachers, it does! Get it for iOS or Android.)

One difference that’s not made clear on the document linked above is that if you enable the course setting to display recent announcements at the top of your course home page, they don’t actually display on the home page when viewed through the app. One of our instructors noticed this and brought it to my attention. I submitted a Feature Request to Canvas asking that this work in the app the same as in the browser. If you use this feature and agree, you can upvote the feature idea.

Canvas Feature Requests

Speaking of feature ideas, one of the nice things about Canvas is that you can influence its development. A number of you have reached out to me and/or Karen with suggestions – actually, you can go directly to the Feature Idea forums and vote on ideas or submit your own. Here’s a guide to how all that works if you’re interested.

Enhanced Gradebook Coming

Canvas has a beta-version gradebook with some significant updates that’s now an option for you. Check out this ~8 minute video and if you’d like to give this a try in a sandbox class, contact Karen Turpin (kturpin@miracosta.edu). Or just have a look and know that enhancements should be rolling into everyone’s Canvas classes within the next few months!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

 

Add NetTutor to Canvas

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

NetTutor provides support for just about any academic subject, up to 24×7 for the most popular subject matter, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Canvas). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. 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.

NetTutor can be added to a Canvas course via the course menu with the following directions. Note, however, that you should first contact Jim Julius to ensure that your subject is available through the NetTutor link that this procedure would add to your class.

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.

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

You have multiple ways to build your class

• Copy content from a previous semester in Canvas:

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas:

• Import content from a Blackboard course:

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations

Cautions

  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.

Canvas End of Semester / Term

The following will help instructors understand how the end of semester is handled in Canvas, and how to update related Canvas course settings if necessary.

Closing your Course

There is nothing you need to do to close your Canvas course; the term end date will conclude your course for the semester automatically and move your course to the ‘Past Enrollments’ list. By default you and your students will continue to have read-only access to the course.

For both instructors and students, concluded courses will be found under Courses > View All Courses > Past Enrollments.

Canvas Term End Dates

SemesterDateTime
Spring 2017June 1 12 am
Summer 2017August 11 12 am
Fall 2017Dec 3112 am

End of Term Access for Instructors

Instructors can perform the following actions within a concluded course

  • Download Grades to a CSV (Excel) File
  • Copy a course
  • Export a course
  • Access the course using visible navigation links (those links that were hidden from students will be hidden in concluded courses)

Instructors cannot perform the following actions within a concluded courses (and should be done prior to the end of the course)

  • Edit course content
  • Edit Grades
  • View/download Analytics
  • View/download Item Analysis within Quizzes
  • Send a message to the class within Canvas

End of Term Access for Students

Students can perform the following actions by default within a concluded course.

  • View Grades
  • View content
  • View Discussions and Assignments
  • Send a message to the instructor

Students cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course.

  • View Quiz Questions and Answers
  • Submit discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other course activities

Incomplete Grades

If you have assigned a student an incomplete ‘I‘ grade for the semester contact Karen Turpin at kturpin@miracosta.edu or 760-795-6787 as soon as the paperwork is complete with Admissions and Records. A new section will be created manually for that student within the original course.  This new section will allow the student access to your course for the time allowable by the Office of Admissions and Records.

Teaching a short semester course and/or need to close your course prior to the official term end date?

You can manually end your course by updating the course end date.

To change the Course Start and/or End Date

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Change the Course Start and End Dates to reflect when you want students to have full access to the course.
  3. Select the checkbox for ‘Users can only participate in this course between these dates.’
  4. Click the Update Course Details button.

In the example below, students will not be able to access the course, even if it is published, until Jan 16 at 12 am. The students will no longer be able to participate in the course after May 30  at 5 pm and the course will be visible to students in the ‘Past Enrollments’ list by clicking on Courses, then All Courses.

Start / End Term Canvas Dates

  • Note: If you select a course end date prior to the official end of term date, but do not check the box ‘Users can only participate in this course between these date,’ students will still be able to actively participate in the course until the official Canvas end of term.

Restricting Students from Viewing a Completed Course

As described above, students have read-only access to course content in Canvas long after the current term is over. If an instructor wishes to limit this access, follow one of the methods below.

Method 1: Hide Navigation Menu Links

If an instructor would like to limit access to course content, one method is to hide the Navigation menu links. It is important to note that if the Navigation menu links are hidden, the instructor will also be unable to access them after the course concludes (end of term). This may be appropriate if you would like to leave Grades available to students, yet close off course content and/or modules. The instructor will be able to copy the course into another course to gain access to the menu items that are hidden.

How to Hide Menu Navigation links

  1. Select Settings within a course
  2. Select Navigation in the tabs at the top.
  3. Drag and drop the menu items from the top (viewable) area to the bottom (hidden) area or click the gear icon to the right of the menu item and select disable.
  4. Click the Save button.

Method 2: Restrict students from viewing course after end date

If an instructor would prefer the entire course and its course materials not be visible to students after the course end date:

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Select the checkbox for ‘Restrict students from viewing course after end date’Restrict past end date
  3. Click the Update Course Details button.

This option will completely remove the course from the student’s view in Past Enrollments. Students will not see the course and/or have access to any of the course materials and/or the grades for the course. Instructors will continue to be able to access the course in Past Enrollments.

Copying into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas

MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be 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.

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.

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