Adding faculty evaluators, tutors, SI leaders, and community ed students to Canvas classes

You cannot manually enroll users at the student permission level to your Canvas class.

If you have any of the following, follow the specified directions to have the user enrolled within your course at the student permission level.

  • Faculty Evaluator: Contact Heidi Willis at (760) 795-6827 or hwillis@miracosta.edu in the Office of Instruction when you need to provide access to a peer, your chair, etc. to conduct an evaluation. On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the Evaluator role.
  • Tutor: Contact Janine Washabaugh at (760) 757-2121 ext. 7748 or jwashabaugh@miracosta.edu in the Tutoring & Academic Support Center (TASC) . On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the Tutor role.
  • Writing Center SI Leader: Contact Jessica Perez-Corona at (760) 757-2121 ext. 6339 or jperezcorona@miracosta.edu in the Writing Center. On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the SI leader role.
  • Community Education Student: Contact Karen Turpin using the form here or email kturpin@miracosta.edu. Include the confirmation of student enrollment through community education, the SURF ID of the student, and your 4 digit class number.

Also, keep in mind:

To add a TA or other MiraCosta College employee to your Canvas course with TA, designer, or observer permissions, see this set of instructions.

DO NOT attempt to add students to your course on Canvas. Students are automatically enrolled from SURF to your Canvas course several times a day.

You should not add anyone to Canvas as a teacher. Teachers are assigned via SURF.

FERPA Compliance and Student Interaction in Merged Canvas Course Sections

Please download a PDF or download a Word version of this guide for future reference as you develop and teach merged Canvas courses.

Faculty may request to merge Canvas courses when they are teaching multiple sections of the same course in order to more efficiently share the same content across course sections, freeing up time for other instructional activity. This must be done prior to the start date of the course sections. For detailed steps on how to request combining of course sections, download the Combine your Class sections in SURF for Canvas guide.

However, according to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, students cannot have access to student information (including the fact of their enrollment) of students in course sections other than their own (with the exception noted below). Because of this requirement, students are not allowed to interact within a Canvas course with students from another course section.

Canvas limits the visibility of students from other sections in a merged Canvas course. However, this does not cover all Canvas tools, so if you request to merge Canvas courses, you’ll need to take additional steps to protect your students’ privacy, as outlined in this document.

NOTE: FERPA restrictions do not apply to a merged Canvas course if students physically meet in the same classroom at the same time (i.e. “true cross-listed courses”). Course sections that meet simultaneously typically are combined in Canvas by default, and this document is not relevant for those merged courses.

What Canvas Does for You

In Canvas courses merged upon faculty request, students are prevented from seeing students in sections other than their own in

  • the full roster view of the People tool,
  • and the Inbox (Conversations).

What You Must Do to Maintain FERPA Compliance in a Merged Canvas Course

Click Settings in your course menu and:

  1. Under the Navigation tab, be sure that the Chat and Conferences items are hidden from students. If they are active (appearing in the top grouping of navigation items), drag them to the lower grouping or click the gear icon at the right of each and click Disable. Be sure to scroll down and click Save at the bottom.
  2. Under the Course Details tab, scroll down and click more options. Make sure that:
    Let students create discussion topics is NOT checked
    Let students organize their own groups
    is NOT checked
    Disable comments on announcements IS checked

    Click the Update Course Details button at bottom.

Ensure that each section has its own separate discussion:

  1. For graded discussions, restrict each discussion to an individual section using the Assign to option. See Canvas guide for details. See further details on section restriction under the What You May Do section below.
  2. For ungraded discussions, use the Post to option (immediately below the discussion description) to select an individual section for the discussion.
  3. Note – if you want each section to engage in discussions about the same topics, simply Duplicate the original discussion and modify it so it is available to a different section of students.

If/when you create Groups

Select the option to Require group members to be in the same section when creating a group set. See Canvas guide for details.

If/when you create Collaborations

Be sure to add students to Collaborations who are enrolled in the same course section. The Collaboration setup screen doesn’t display section information for students, so you will need to refer to the People area.

If/when you send a Canvas Inbox message to students from multiple sections

Select the option to Send an individual message to each recipient. This will send a separate copy to each recipient and hide the names of the recipients in the message header. You may also compose messages addressed to all members of a specific course section.

If/when you offer synchronous (live) online sessions (e.g. use Zoom)

Hold separate synchronous meetings with each section. When you record a synchronous meeting, share the recording only with the section that participated in the meeting.

What You May Do: Setting Calendar Events and Assignment Due Dates by Section

Note: This section is not required for FERPA compliance but may be helpful for managing a merged course if you would like to create differentiated events/activities for different sections.

The following Canvas Guides will help you create Canvas activities/assignments specific to a particular section within a merged course:

(Discussions must be separated by section – see notes in the What You Must Do section above.)

Note that when creating events/activities that are differentiated by section, you will need to select the section name in the Assign to area, which displays only a few options and is not scrollable. If your desired section is not displayed as an option, you will need to type in the section name until it shows up as an option to select.

Section names can be seen if you click Settings in the Course Menu and then the Sections tab. You may also click People in the course menu to see which section each enrolled student is assigned to. Sections with students have names ending in -SURF; to include your test student account in any differentiated activity in a merged course, you would also need to include one of the -OTHER sections available within the merged course.

Acknowledgements

Portions of this document are adapted from material originally developed by Seattle University and modified by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district. Additional portions are adapted from material developed by Indiana University and modified by Cornell University.

Get Support

If you have any question or need assistance with combining courses in SURF for Canvas contact the MiraCosta College Employee Helpdesk at (760) 795-6850 or open a helpdesk ticket in the portal.

Academic Integrity and Canvas Exams

Though cheating is certainly not unique to the online environment, many instructors have  reasonable concerns about opportunities for students to cheat online. These concerns may include:

  • inappropriate access to resources when completing an online assessment
  • copying answers or text found online
  • sharing answers with other students
  • contracting with a third party to complete online classwork

There are many approaches to decreasing the likelihood or ability for students to cheat in the online environment.

Course Redesign ideas:

  • Consider including more formative assessments and activities, and making high-stakes objective assessment a smaller portion of the overall course grade.
  • Get to know your students to help them be more personally invested and to help you recognize individual student voices.
  • Integrate and encourage student use of institutional support resources such as tutoring as part of the learning process.
  • Design assignments that enable/require students to include unique, personally meaningful perspectives and details.
  • Consider combining or replacing objective tests with other methods of assessment, such as projects, collaborative work, writing assignments, and personal reflections.
  • Consider designing tests as open note/open resource so that you do not get caught in an “arms race” with students.
  • Multiple choice and essay questions requiring application of skills and knowledge rather than simple factual recall are harder to cheat on.
  • Consider requiring students to turn in drafts of projects and written work (for feedback from instructor and/or peers) well in advance of a final due date.
  • Include a variety of student-to-student interactions and group activities. For group work, ensure that assessment practices don’t allow non-contributing students to receive the same grade as other group members.
  • Alter assignments and tests from semester to semester.

Proctoring: For objective assessments critical to the learning outcomes for an online course, consider using the MiraCosta Proctoring Center. For students at a distance, the Proctoring Center can help to establish proctoring in other locations. [Note: during spring 2021, the Proctoring Center will have limited availability. Consider using Zoom to proctor objective online assessments yourself.]

Code of Conduct and Instructor Leadership: Discuss with students the reasons why academic integrity is important. Emphasize the benefits (and pleasures!) of truly engaging with course material and learning, rather than focusing on grades. Have students sign or even jointly develop a statement summarizing the expectations and requirements for academic honesty. You might also refer to MiraCosta’s

  • Standards of Student Conduct, AP 5500
    Students must refrain from engaging in … Cheating, plagiarizing, or engaging in other academic dishonesty
  • Academic Integrity policy, BP 5505
    MiraCosta College highly values academic integrity. At the core, this means an honest representation of one’s own work. MiraCosta College also promotes the approach that education is best accomplished as a cooperative, collaborative enterprise in which students are encouraged to work with and learn from each other. The line between academic integrity and collaborative education is not always easy to define and may vary from one discipline to the next and from one instructor to the next. Many aspects of cheating and plagiarism are universally recognized, while others are subject to debate. This policy provides some broad, general guidelines and allows instructors to be more restrictive according to their preferences and practices. Examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:
    A. Cheating: Copying from another student or using unauthorized aids or persons during an examination.
    B. Plagiarizing: Copying someone else’s work or ideas and misrepresenting them as one’s own.
    C. Falsification: Making up fictitious information and presenting it as factual or altering records for the purpose of misrepresentation.
    D. Facilitation: Helping another student to cheat, plagiarize, or falsify.

You might include a question on exams that has students agree to the code of conduct and/or that has students indicate that they have completed the exam on their own without using prohibited resources.

Making Canvas Exams More Secure

When conducting tests through Canvas, the following methods can further reduce the risk of cheating. Note that as of fall 2020, Canvas has two different tools for conducting tests – Quizzes (the original) and New Quizzes. New Quizzes is still being developed; at this time it has both advantages and limitations (view a comparison and/or a New Quizzes FAQ) compared to the original Quizzes tool, but it is expected to eventually fully replace the original Quizzes. Canvas guides for both Quizzes and New Quizzes are given for each item below as applicable.

  • Availability Window – Restrict the availability of the test to a specific date/time range. Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Time Limits – Limit the time a student can spend on a test once they start it. Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Disallow Multiple Attempts – Multiple attempts is a great option for a “mastery” quiz where you want students to retake it until they achieve a certain level of proficiency; this isn’t typical of a summative, high-stakes assessment. Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Delay Per-Question Feedback (Quizzes only) – Providing students feedback on each question can help them learn; delaying the availability of this feedback until after the test availability window is over can help ensure the integrity of the exam. Quizzes [As of spring 2020, if feedback is built into a New Quizzes assessment, it is provided to students immediately and cannot be delayed.]
  • Answer Randomization – Answers to multiple choice questions can be randomized/shuffled so they are presented differently for different students. (Note: In Quizzes this is one setting for the entire quiz; in New Quizzes this is a per-question setting.) Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Present Questions One at a Time – This can make it more difficult for students to “collaborate” if questions are also randomized. An additional option can prevent students from going back to previous questions, which can further strengthen the integrity of the exam, but can also frustrate students who legitimately realize they made a mistake on a previous question and wish to correct it. Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Shuffle Questions (New Quizzes only) – This will present the quiz questions to students in random order. New Quizzes
  • Question Randomization with a Question Group/Item Bank – Drawing questions randomly from a pool (or pools) can make it even more difficult for students to productively share questions during an exam. Keep in mind that if your pool contains more questions than the number of questions you are drawing from the pool to go into the exam, you need to be careful about maintaining consistency of the questions within the pool (both in terms of outcomes measured and difficulty of the questions). Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Calculated (Formula) Questions – Formula questions can include a range of values for one term/variable. Thus, the same question will have unique answers across different quizzes, but the question can still be auto-graded. Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Require Presentation of ID – if you are not using a physical proctoring center, but you would like students to demonstrate that the person taking the test is the person enrolled in your class, one suggestion is to have students record a brief video holding a picture ID next to their face. If you use Proctorio, this step can automatically be included when enabling video proctoring; if you don’t, you could add an Essay question that directs students to access their webcam through the Rich Content Editor and record this. Of course, this requires students to have a webcam (and still wouldn’t prevent the student from doing this, then having someone else complete the rest of the exam). Quizzes | New Quizzes
  • Restrict Computer Activity During Exam – Technology such as Proctorio enables faculty to require that student’s computer and browser are “locked down” during an exam, preventing students from opening other browser windows or applications, taking screen captures, etc. This requires specific technology on the student computer. Note that Proctorio works only with Canvas Quizzes, not New Quizzes.

MiraCosta transitioning to Canvas

Hello!

As you have likely heard, MiraCosta College will be transitioning to the Canvas course management system over the next two years. This decision was finalized on Friday by the College Council, concluding an in-depth and inclusive process this spring. The attached 6-page document summarizes the evaluation process and provides an overview of the transition timeline and support over the next two years

Some important highlights:

  • Blackboard and Moodle will continue to be available through spring 2018; only Canvas will be supported for MiraCosta classes starting in summer 2018.
  • MiraCosta’s Canvas system will be available to all faculty starting this November.
  • For fall semester instruction, we have a limited license for Canvas, allowing for 400 total users (faculty and students), meaning that we likely can have 10-15 instructors using Canvas for one class each in fall 2016.
  • Faculty who wish to try out Canvas prior to November but who are not part of the fall pilot group may access Canvas for free via https://www.canvaslms.com/try-canvas.
  • See the MiraCosta TIC site with many links for Canvas training and support.
    I am planning to soon send out a call for interest in being one of the 10-15 fall pilot faculty using Canvas for one class. The intent is that this group would be involved over several semesters, and thus this opportunity is open only to full-time faculty. The expectations and support of these faculty are to be negotiated by the district and Faculty Assembly, but if you would like to let me know of your interest in this opportunity, please feel free to let me know. Once the structure has been determined for the pilot group, I will send a message to all full-time faculty.

It is worth noting that over 70 other California Community Colleges have also made the decision to transition to Canvas, including several of our SDICCCA neighbors.

Finally, my thanks to the faculty, staff, students and administrators who participated on the CMS evaluation task force. They accomplished excellent work in a very tight timeframe, and MiraCosta should be confident in the quality of the decision-making process.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate