Keep Teaching with Canvas Modules and Assignments

In times of high stress, clear communication and easy-to-find information are critical. This webinar, offered by the IU campus teaching and learning centers, will show you how to streamline your Canvas course to help you and your students stay together and easily locate assignments, discussions, files, and more. The webinar will provide a basic understanding of how to set up a Canvas course using Modules to provide an effective checklist for both instructors and students to ensure all content is being covered.

Keep Teaching: Canvas Modules and Assignments

Recorded November 10, 2020

Description of the video:

>> Wonderful. Again, if you have questions during today's session, feel free to post them in the chat and we'll try to address them the best we can, but if we do not get to all of your questions, then you can contact your teaching and learning center which Kerry has put a link to find your local center in the chat there. Also there is a wealth of research sources on the Keep Teaching website which is that second link. Then finally, we'll be offering this webinar again later this week, and then there's also a sister webinar about using the spring Canvas course template which you'll see some pieces of today. If you want to register for those, then you can follow that last link. With that, I'm going to get started in showing you Canvas modules. Now, there are many different ways you can organize your Canvas course. Today we are just showing you one approach using modules. It's arguably the easiest approach for both you and your students. That's what I'm going to show you, first actually is what looks like using modules from student view. From my course homepage here, there is this button, Student View which is where I'm going to click now. If my Canvas course was published, this is what my students would see. They would see a very simple course navigation over here on the left, and an inviting homepage that shows me what campus this course is being taught from. This also tells me that Dr. Van Fluff has put all of my course content in modules so that is where I'm going to go as a student. I click Modules, and I see this module's webinar content module, as well as an additional module down here. For today's purposes, I'm going to click on the first item in the first module. Here I have a page that's telling me all about what we're going to do this week, what the objectives are, what I need to read. Also you'll see when the page finishes loading that there are two videos here. Now, this page is demonstrating the use of Kaltura, I use media storage and streaming service. Here, these videos are displayed directly inside of the page. There's nothing for students to download or locate on another website, they're right here inside of my course. When I'm ready to watch them, I can just click the big Play button, and there are alongside additional information from my instructor telling me, what I should look for or why we're watching this. If we keep going, I see I have to-do list and that I should click Next to proceed to the exercise. There's this wonderful next button now and that's because this content is all inside of one module. Next here is a discussion that I'm supposed to do, and if I start reading through the instructions and I realize, oh, I didn't watch that video like I was supposed to, or I need to refer back to it. There's this really great feature. If I scroll all the way to the bottom, I have a previous button. I can just go right back to that overview page, read, re-read, re-watch, whatever I need to, and then continue on my merry way. Back to that discussion. If you've not seen a threaded discussion in Canvas, this is what that looks like, these are just a placeholder responses, this is not actually meaningful content. I'm going to click Next to go to the next item in the module which happens to be an assignment where I'm supposed to submit something. I see that I have until May to do this and that I need to upload a file. Here are all my instructions including some video that's going to give me some additional information and this assignment even has a rubric here. We're not really going to talk about rubrics today, that is definitely something that if you want to know more about, I would encourage you to contact your teaching center because they really are a wonderful thing. I'm going to click Next, and then it takes me to my exam. Then this is the last thing in my module, if I click Next one more time, it's going to just take me right on to the next module's content which again starts with an overview page and proceeds from there. That's what a module looks like from a student's view. Now, I want to go back and show you the process we are actually creating a module and putting content in it. To do that, I need to go back to the regular instructor view in my course. I'm going to click this leave student view button down here, you'll notice I have this magenta or purple bar in Window around everything I'm doing here showing me that I'm still in student view. Leave student view. This puts me back in my course as an instructor. I'm going to click on modules, take us back to that module listing and here I see Okay, I'm definitely in here as an instructor again, I have the ability to publish unpublished things, so let's go ahead and build some content here. First, I need to create the modules. You can think of a module as a unit, a container, a bucket. It's any meaningful unit of your course. Some people do modules by week or by multiple weeks depending on the structure of their course. Here I'm going to say both. I'm going to give it a week and a title of the topic. Then once I've done that, I'm going to add module. Now, Canvas assumes that I want this module at the bottom of my list, I actually don't but that's okay because I can move it. I have two options for moving it. I can either click these dots on the far left and drag it, but if I have a lot of modules that can be tedious. Another way to do it is to come over here to this three dots. Anytime you see these three dots in Canvas, you might have encountered them before, it means there are extra settings or features available here, so three dots are your friend. I've clicked the three dots and now I'm going to move this module. Canvas says, where do you want to move it? For today, I want to move it at the top, but I do have other options. I click Move, and Canvas pops that to the top of my list of modules. Now, I have my bucket or my container for the week and I need to add a content to it. I'm going to click the plus button inside of the module, and then Canvas shows me all the different things that I can put inside of this module. An assignment, maybe my students are going to submit a response or an essay to something, maybe they're going to take a quiz. If I just need them to review something or read something, I could add a file here. I'm going to show you a better way to do that in a moment though. I could also add a Canvas page which allows me to add all content inside of it, or maybe I need a discussion and I want students to interact with each other about something. A text header would visually break up the module. It's really not necessary unless you have very long modules which I would also recommend against, or you could put in an external URL to a website or another resource that the course is using, or to an external tool. Again, with external URL, it's like a file, it's better to put it inside of a page. The first thing I want to show you though is assignment because that's one of the most common things that folks do inside of Canvas. I click Assignment, Canvas shows me all of the assignments that are already in this course. However, I don't have to click on one of those, I can choose to build a new assignment. You would give the assignment a meaningful name and then I'm going to click add item, so now I have a place holder for this assignment. I still need to go in and add important information about what students will be doing, expectations for how it will be evaluating their work and a due date. But that comes later. The other thing that I could add in this module that I just mentioned twice is a page. That's actually what this weekly overview is. It is a page, you notice the different iconology here for each of these items. A page has this paper icon, discussion has dialog bubbles, assignment has a little pencil over a paper and quizzes have a rocket. Why quizzes have a rocket? Still no one knows, but quizzes have a rocket in Canvas. To show you a little more about pages, I'm going to click on weekly overview of since that one's already built for us. When I click edit, I will see the regular text editing box that I see all over Canvas. Now this is a different text editing toolbar. You'll notice if you've used Canvas in the past, some changes were made over the summer. To show you a few things, this page has been set up using headers, so if I click on introduction, I see header 2. If I click on the text under it, I see that's regular paragraph formatting. This page is using this Spring 2021 Canvas course template, which has all of these headers built in for accessibility. If you use that template, then you'll get this nice pretty formatting as well, so I said this was using Kaltura right here, and that is something that has changed. If you want students to watch a video instead of sending them off to YouTube or asking them to download your voice-over PowerPoint, you can actually directly embed inside of a page using Kaltura, so if I click to where I'd like the video to go. There's my cursor, and I click on this plug icon. That means plug in or app in Canvas. If I click on that, it will give me a full list of the different apps that are connected to I use version of Canvas. For our purposes, we went to embed a counselor and media item. Now Kaltura is going to at some point load the list of all of my media that's available for me to embed in this course, so that's content I own or content that someone else has given me the permission to post, and it actually decided to load for me. Sometimes it takes a while for this to load. If you have a lot of content in here, like I do. I'm going to say, it's important for my students to watch this three reasons for using Canvas modules. When I hit Select, it will then return that video inside of the page. There it is. Also you will notice up here, I told my students to read something, read article 1, and that is highlighted and will automatically download the PDF that you need read. Let me show you quickly how I did that. Let's say book Chapter 2, this is something they're supposed to read, so I highlight that text, and then I'm going to click on this document button and say, I would like to link to a course document, or if the document is not yet in your course, you can say I'd like to upload a document and select one from your computer. For today, I'm going to say course document and then it's going to show me all of the documents that are available already in this course. I'm going to click on this feline leukemia article and now that is returned. This is perhaps more useful than sending your students to files, because not only do I not have to worry about the gobbledygook filename that you just saw. It has a very friendly name here to my students. Also, my students don't have to go hunting all over my course site. They have this one page that has all of the necessary information for the week, so it's a one-stop shop. They know where they're going and I know that they have all the necessary information they need. For you, you would go ahead and click the Save button here. I'm not going to, because I actually don't want to save these changes. That is a brief overview of assignments and page building in Canvas. Now, Kelly is going to talk more about building assignments and what you do once you have student submission. >> Thanks Andi and also thank you to Andi because she's going to be my hands. She's going to navigate the course for me as I give her instructions, so this will be a game of Simon Says. Let's look at how to create assignments in a different way. She showed us how to use modules to create an assignment but there is another way you can do that, so if you go over to the far right-hand corner and you look for assignments, which can be anywhere depending on how your course navigation is set up. Click on assignments. [NOISE] Now at the top of the screen, you will see plus assignments. Click on that button. Now we can make our own new assignment, so Andi is adding important information about this assignment for [NOISE] me and as you can see, it looks very similar to the page building structure and I apologize if you hear other noises. Everyone decided to speak as soon as I did the mic, so we can put our directions in here. We can talk about what the expectations for that assignment is and we can also provide any documents that we might like to share, just as Andi did in that assignment section, so if you scroll on down, as you can see, you can enter points. >> You can put in what you want that to be worth, and then that next label Assignment Group. There are ways that you can set up your assignments so that they are structured to be weighted. Perhaps you have discussions, you have scaffolded assignment where there are different parts. That could be the big project for the course, and maybe you have smaller participation. You can have that and then you would select what you want that to be. Let's go ahead and stay with Assignments. The next one is about displaying the grade. As you can see there, we have points listed, but you have a whole gamut of choices that you can choose on how this is displayed to your students. Points seem to be easier, but if you have a question on how to set that up, this is a great opportunity to reach out to your teaching center folks, and they will help you walk through what might work best for your students and your course. Let's stay with Points. I'm going to skip some of the pieces because that is past the scope of today's webinar. But you can always reach out to those teaching center folks and they can help you with anything that you need to help with that. Now we get to choose what submission are we wanting our students to provide. There is a whole gamut of choices there. You can see there's a no submission. Perhaps you want the students to read, but you don't want that to count as part of their grade, but you want it to show up on their calendar, their to-do lists, so you can do no submission so that it brings their attention. You can also do online on paper, which might be a little iffy in today's world with COVID. But you get to choose if you are actually meeting with them in person. Then there's also external tools and again, that's passed today's scope. But reach out to those teaching center folks and they will help you get that figured out. If we look a little further, we're going with the Online, and there are lots of different options. You have the Text Entry box. Maybe you have a quick question that you're asking them to answer and you just want them to type up a real quick summary. You can do the text entry. There's also the Website URL. Let's say you did an ePortfolio. You had the students create some ePortfolio and you can have them provide the link there by clicking that "Website URL." There's also File Uploads, and you can determine whether or not they turn in a document like a PDF or Word document or PowerPoint slides. Those are the typical ones they might submit. You can restrict that if you're worried that they might give you something that your computer can not read. That is also a possibility. We're going with the File Upload and the Text Entry. The next piece is about how many times you will allow your students to submit an assignment. From a student perspective, keeping that to where you have more than one time you can submit is a really great choice because we've all clicked the wrong document before at some point. Providing them the opportunity to submit again is a good thing because they may have submitted their draft or some other assignment for a different class and you don't want that. If they do it at the last minute, that would be a bad thing for them to have to contact you and then you have to open it up, and maybe you get an email and who knows. It's always good to allow that and then you can make the decision on how you want to handle the time-frame that they submitted in. We're going to skip on down past all the plagiarism and the peer review. Let's look at how you can assign. You can assign this to everyone, or you can assign it to specific students if they have different circumstances, and they need to be able to submit it at a different date. You can do that. Then you can select the due date by clicking on that "Calendar icon" on the right. Let's do that day after thanksgiving because that's when we all want to receive our assignments. Let's click that, and we're done, and 11: 59 pm, we are giving them up to the very last minute of that day. Then you see that next section which is Available from and Available Until. You could have this not appear until a certain date so that they don't get a jump on the assignment. Generally, there's not a reason to withhold that unless there's some other strategy you're using. But you can do that. Then there's the until date. The trick with this is to keep in mind the student who are submitting at the last minute. Perhaps their clock is a little different than your clock and canvas's clock, if you set an until date, they may not be able to submit. Then you're going to get an email or panicked phone call, and they're like, "Oh, I can't submit this," and then you have to go back in and you have to open it back up. In general, unless you have a reason why you want to make this no longer available. It's good practice to go ahead and leave that open. I know as a student myself, I like to be able to go back to the assignments that I've submitted because I might have five versions of that. If I need to review that, I know I submitted it and this is my final version so I can go back and see this in the course. We're finished and we can either "Save" if we want to come back and do some more editing, or we can "Save and Publish," and that will make it available to the student. If your module is published and your course is published, they should be able to see what you've put in. What do you do once you have an assignment created? Let's see what we've got here. If we go back to Assignments, we have all these lovely icons and Andi went through what they meant. If you look, there are some that are green and some that are not. You have the little circle with the check mark or you have the line through it. If it is green with a check mark, that means it's published. If it has this grey circle with a line through it, that means that you have not published it and your students will not be able to see it. Let's go look at one of those assignments that we had a student submit. Thank you, Andi. If you look over there on the far right-hand corner up in the top, you will see SpeedGrader. You can download the submissions and it tells you how many submissions have been graded. We have one of them graded and we're going to go back. Let's click on "SpeedGrader." If they've submitted a Word document, a PDF, a PowerPoint, you get these lovely tools where you can edit just like you would if you were doing this in the paper. If you look at the top right-hand corner, you have all kinds of choices. You can do a pinpoint where you can point to a specific place on the page that you want the student to look at, and you can make a comment about what they should be doing. Then next to that there's a highlight tool, I think that's a highlight tool, or is that a pencil? Is that the pencil? Or is that the highlight? It's the highlight. You can highlight that and you can add a specific comment for that particular section. This is great wording. Please review will make it even better. If you go up to the next icon, next to the highlighting pencil, you have the big T. That allows you to type on the paper itself. If you want to click, you can say great work or add notes. Then you can also strike out information. That next S with a line through it is let's say they have two thus. You can mark one of those out and say, don't need this. Then there is also the Painting tool. I believe that is where you can scribble on the page if you would so desire. You can make whatever color you want. You can be as creative as you would like to be on that. If you look over to the far right, you will see that there is a box where it says Grade out of 9 and HIDDEN. Then there's a little box underneath there. You can put in the score for that. Or if you've built a Rubric, which if you attended the template webinar, you will know that we think that rubrics are great because they help speed up your grading, and they help you to consistently go through grading each student's work to make sure you capture all of those pieces and it will give you a little bit of time back maybe to put your feet up and enjoy a cup of coffee. We all need a little bit of that at this time. Next, you see that there is a place where you can add comments. If you have something specific you want to point out to the students, you can write that up there. Below that, there are three icons. Maybe you downloaded this because you'd like to go sit out on your porch. It's pretty nice outside, and you want to hand grade. If you did that, you can scan a copy and you can upload that back up to this particular assignment. Or maybe you have a resource you want to share out with the students and you can do that here. There's also a place for you to do video or audio comments for students if that is something that you would like to do. Once you are finished, you can click that blue "Submit button" in the lower right-hand corner, and now we've submitted the comments. If you look in the top left-hand corner, there's an eyeball with a line through it, and that means that we have not released these grades. Andi is going to take it from here and show you how to make sure that students see those grades. >> Awesome. Thank you Kerry. This is Andi. I'm going to show you yes. How to release this ever important grade information to your students. Because if you've spent time annotating and commenting, you certainly want your students to see your feedback. I'm going to click this first icon here, which will take me to my grade book. >> Here I can see all of the items or all of the assignments that have been published, as well as because I am a teacher, the unpublished assignments. If I keep going, I see the assignment that we were just grading. I see your assignment paper and I see again. I with a line through it. That is because this assignment is set to manual grade posting, which is the default in your Canvas course. I'm going to click on these three dots. Remember I said they are your friends. They're all over Canvas. I have the option to post grades. When I do that, canvas is going to ask me, hey, do you want to post grades for everyone for this assignment or just the students that you've graded. The advantage here is if you do end up with a student who assignment is late, or you just have not had a chance to get through your entire class of papers yet, you can release to just those students who you've graded or you've given feedback to. I'm going to click "Post" in Canvas tells me success and again tells me, for every one graded for this assignment, not all. Now I see that, that I with a line through it has gone away. Another option that you have is to change the assignment grade posting policy. Right now it's set to manual. I can adjust that under those three dots to automatically. However, this is rarely what you actually want to do. Perhaps if you have a quiz that is multiple choice that Canvas scores for you. Maybe you do want students to automatically see that so that they can retake it if they have a poor score. But for most other assignments where you're giving manual feedback, to your students, you want your grade posting policy to be manual, meaning grades are hidden by default and will only be shared with your students when you explicitly tell Canvas to do so. When you release grades, many of your students will get a Canvas notification that grades are posted. It depends on their individual notifications settings. But something else you might do is also send a course announcement. I want to take us back to announcements. Now you'll notice over here on the far left, my course navigation has gone away. But don't fear, because if I click on these three lines here, which I affectionately called the hamburger menu. If I click on the hamburger menu, I get that course navigation back. This is also a way to save space if you want to get rid of that when you're working on building an assignment or something like that. I would like to get back to announcements. I see right now, the announcements have the I with a line through it indicating I'm only seeing this as an instructor. My students don't see this, but that's only because there aren't any announcements for my students to see. I'm going to click plus announcement. I can let my students know, that grades are posted for whatever assignment. I can provide additional overall feedback to students like many of you struggled to appropriately format your bibliography. Please review APA requirements for bibliographies. Also I can tell them how to get to their feedback. Canvas has a lovely guide for students on locating instructor feedback. You might insert that here in your announcement. Once you're done composing your very important announcement, you can then save. Saving in announcements automatically posts it to your students so there is no Save and Publish here just as soon as you save it's available. Announcements are great for one way communication when you need to share something with all of your students. If instead you need to follow up with certain students or you need to communicate with them, you know, concerns. Then the canvas inbox is the tool that you actually want to use because that will allow you to message specific students. I believe that has all the key information I wanted to share with you today. One last reminder that your students will not see any announcements, messages, Canvas, homepages or anything like that until you publish your course. When you first come into your Canvas course, up here on the top right, you will see a published, unpublished. I don't have the ability to Unpublish this course because it has students submissions in it. Even though those are fake, students Canvas still, won't let me Unpublish this course. But you would see that button up here before the semester starts. Always make sure that your site is published once you have your wonderful homepage and syllabus ready to go. If you want to know more about setting up a very inviting, aesthetically pleasing homepage, then you should join us later this week for the Canvas course template. Webinar and Kerry and friends will show you how to modify the template to make it work for your course. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact your local campus teaching and learning center. These are folks just like me that can help you with teaching technology questions, whether it's about Zoom or Kaltura or Canvas. They can also help you with pedagogy concerns, whether it's teaching online or teaching hybrid. We also have folks that specialize in that. If you do have a question about where is that button or how do I find x?. Something about your computer, the folks you want are IT support. This link right here in your Canvas course, it's good for you and for your students, so you do not have to be a technology expert. You have to be an expert in your topic area only. You ITS support. They're the ones that can help you with all your tech questions. I'm going to go ahead and click Open new tab and you see how to contact the support center on your campus. One final Canvas tip for you all. If I can see my Canvas window again and is the help button out here in the Global Navigation. This red ribbon on the far, far left is your global canvas note navigation. If I click on the help here, I can search the Canvas guides. This is something that I do on a weekly basis and send them to people because they are so useful, and give the exact steps, including pictures on how to do things. If you want to know, how do I build an assignment?, what do those availability dates mean?. I've forgotten what Kerry said. Then you can search the Canvas guides and probably find your answer there. With that, that is all I had to show you today and we can take questions that you have. Feel free to put them in chat or you can unmute. >> I have a question. This is Jill. I have a question, but I don't want to type it, I preferred to sign these ASL. I'm pretty familiar with building in Canvas, but I have one question about modules. Debbie, can you see Jill or do you need me to sign? You can see Jill. You see me. Can you see Jill? Jill two. Okay, both. I just want to make sure. My question is, in modules, when you use pages, how can you put the red banner up? How do you add that to make it look good? I know how to make pages. But how do you put the format bar? Debbie says, I think it's called the format bar. It's that red bar, where you click and click weekly overview. Yeah. Those ribbons. Where's that? >> This came into the course because this course is using the Canvas template and that can be installed in your course so that all of your pages have this. Otherwise, you have to get into the HTML. >> I would like to, if you would, Andi, this is Kerry. Could you go to Modules, and I will show you a quick trick. Now, just pulling out the magic. [LAUGHTER] All right. So if you go to the weekly overview page and you find those three little dots over to the right and click that. You will see duplicate. If you duplicate, that will give you a copy, if you go into that page by clicking, Go to Edit. >> Yes. >> Then you can change all of those words and just fit your new content. >> Okay. Now, on my own Canvas course, where do I get that? >> That is part of the template webinar. We can show you very quickly if you want to go to settings Andi, I know she's already anticipating my moves we are becoming mind melded. Okay. [LAUGHTER] >> I'm the setting. Okay. >> Over to the far right, you'll see another menu, and this course has already applied the template, so it is not showing, wait a minute. Let me look really quickly. I'll throw you the link Andi. Maybe, I was not ready for that. Well, I'm not doing that effectively. If Andi, you want to chat, I will not multitask, I will find it and then we will answer your question. [LAUGHTER] >> Wonderful. Yes. Kerry and I have been doing these webinars together for a little bit now. [LAUGHTER] We're in the same mindset. But there is a button that would be over here that says, apply the template and in a moment I think we'll be able to show that live to you. But that is what is doing the formatting for me so that I don't have to look back on my HTML tricks. >> Thank you Andi. This is my build site that I created, and if you go to settings, again, I promise it will be here this time. If it isn't, I'll be a little panicked for the next webinar. If you look to the far right and at the very bottom it says apply course template. Then go ahead and do that. I can fix it. You'll have this pop-up box. Click submit on the blue box. Now, you click Okay by closing, and then it will apply the template to your course. >> Okay. Got it. Perfect. This is Jill. I have another question. Now, under modules, I use modules a lot for my class, and I use pages for weekly setup. How am I going to explain this question? In modules inside I have the content and the week, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and the pages, and I'd like to know module edit has where you can add a requirement. I've saw you had that there and edit, and then add a requirement. I understand how to use that. I want the student to watch Week 1 before they go to Week 2, so like a prerequisite. But the problem I'm having is I want to open all Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, so that they can see but Week 1 I want to have a date from Monday to Friday, I want them to watch Week 1 and that week Monday through Friday. Then when that's done, go to Week 2. On that date, from this date to this date. But there's no date for Week 1 when Week 1 opens. The students can just watch Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 all of it at one time. I want to control, but I can't seem to add a date. What do I do? Then I have to publish each page every week. Then I can control how they move through the modules. Is that right? I hope that that's clear. If that makes sense. I want there to be a way to date available from here to here before they can go to the next page. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3. >> You can lock the module, you can publish it, but keep it locked until a certain date. Now, you want to make sure. [LAUGHTER] >> I think I missed that? >> Yeah. >> Yes. >> Then set the date done. It's just like setting a due date. However, do know that if you use the lock until nothing inside of that module will be available, but not just the page, but anything else? >> Can you repeat that for the interpreter, please? Yes, you're saying if you do this? >> Yes, if you lock it, nothing inside of the module will be visible to the students until that date. >> They can't see anything in there until that date. Right. >> Okay. >> That's what I want. But I want them to see that there's pages, but I don't want them to be able to see inside the page, so that they know what's coming, but not to be able to go in and use it. I want them to see Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 so they can see the topics. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, so they can just look ahead to see what's coming, but not be able to see the content until it's open. >> Yeah. They will see the title of the module. >> Yeah. That's what I mean. >> They see this. >> The grey, yeah, the dark grey. They can see the title, but they can't see the content inside. >> Then there's this message down here. If I highlight it, that's bad contrast. But down here, as a student, I have this message that it's not available. It's going to unlock November 20th. >> Champ. You've done [LAUGHTER] it perfct. >> [LAUGHTER] Wonderful. >> Write down there. [APPLAUSE] Thumbs up. Very nice. >> All right. I know we are past time. If you have more questions, please do reach out to the teaching center for a consult. We love talking to people about their courses and how to make Canvas work for you instead of against you. Because Canvas really is a powerful tool. If you use it to your advantage. [LAUGHTER] >> Yes, and Debbie saying yes, [LAUGHTER] I used it, and thank you so much. >> All right. Thank you for joining us today and thank you for help from my co-presenter, Kerry and my folks doing chat, and have a great afternoon. Bye

Webinar Outline

  • Lead Facilitator: Andi

    Co-Facilitator Support: Carrie

    Chat Support: Kim (and other consultants)

    Webinar Title: Streamlining your Canvas Course with Modules.

    Description: Searching for a way to ensure your students can easily locate necessary course information and assignments? Modules can be your answer. Well-organized Canvas Modules effectively communicate course requirements and your expectations. Especially in times of high stress, clear communication and easy-to-find information are critical. This webinar, offered by the IU campus teaching and learning centers in collaboration with eLearning Design and Services, will provide a basic understanding of how to streamline your course navigation and organize your assignments, discussions, files, recordings, and more.

    Zoom Room:

    Length: 45 minutes

    Audience: IU instructors

    Goal: Introduction to Canvas modules and the essential tools needed to teach in Canvas effectively.

    Objectives: by the end of this webinar, participants should be able :

    1. Create modules
    2. Create and grade assignments
    3. Communicate with students

    Theme/takeaway: Take advantage of the way Canvas is designed to make your work easier.


    Length (min.)


    Pre- workshop

    ·       Using CTL KT site for today’s session:


    4 mins

    Webinar introduction - Andi

    ·       Quick orientation to Zoom room (can chat questions, please leave audio and video off as this is a very large webinar)

    o   Chat pod hosts: type hello in chat so that everyone sees the chat window

    ·       Start the recording

    ·       Introductions (lead and assistant facilitators)

    o   What are the teaching centers?

    §  pedagogical and instructional technologies consulting on every campus: for contact information

    §  Chat assistant, put the link in chat

    §  happy to consult with you

    ·       Cover the basics to get started today – for more in-depth help, contact your local teaching and learning center and the resources on

    ·       Additional webinars on the Canvas course template:

    o   Chat assistant, put link in chat

    ·       Set the expectation for questions – you can type them in as we go and we will try our best to address them in Chat; however we have time reserved at the end specifically for Q&A.

    Carrie: Post the following in chat

    Contact the Teaching & Learning Centers:

    Keep Teaching Resources:  

    Upcoming Webinars:


    2 mins

    General Site Orientation – Andi

    ·       Canvas site must be published (flip to student view)

    ·       Modules as the engine of your Canvas site – repository for all course content

    ·       Canvas is powerful and there are many ways to set things up, we are offering a streamlined approach to help you keep teaching and your students learning during this suspension of face to face classes

    ·       See example KT webinar module (page, assignment, discussion)

    o   Enter into module and see nav arrows

    ·       Notice the simple site navigation from the student perspective.



    9 mins

    Creating modules and organizing content – Andi (back to instructor view)

    ·       Create a new module (put in order that you want)

    ·       Create content directly in module

    o   Assignments for when only you need to see student work and provide feedback

    §  +Assignment

    §  This is a placeholder, more details on settings in a moment

    o   Discussions for when students need to interact with each other/provide public feedback (for private or anonymous peer feedback use peer review)

    §  Show creation process

    o   Add files for external or supplemental readings

    §  Show creation process

    §  Be sure to rename meaningfully

    o   Use pages to provide additional context for the week and readings or share videos

    §  Show creation process and rich text editing features

    §  Use headings appropriately!

    §  Embed file

    §  Embed Kaltura media

    §  Do NOT put “naked” links in

    ·       Publish content! If module is not published, students can’t see/submit



    5 mins

    More on Assignments - Carrie

    ·       While our assignments were created through Modules, you can organize and view all through Assignments

    ·       Go to Assignments – edit newly created assignment to add instructions and due date

    o   In your assignment description, you can also add files/readings directly, instead of sending students to a separate tool or embed media such as images and Kaltura media (just like we showed in Pages)

    o   Once you set the due date, that is populated into the Syllabus automatically (And the Calendar too)

    §  Show to-do list and Syllabus page

    ·         The Assignments tool includes all graded activities including discussions and quizzes

    ·       Once you have your course set up, you need to orient your students to your specific organization – bear in mind that it might be very different than the students' other instructors' setup. This can be done in a few ways:

    o   Course walk-through video

    o   “Getting started” text section on homepage

    ·       Graded items – assignments, quizzes, graded surveys, graded discussions automatically populate the Gradebook columns.

    o   Graded items also show up in the course summary at the bottom of the Syllabus.

    o   Graded items with due dates with also show up in the Calendar


    Carrie’s script (care of Madelein)

    ·       Thank you, Andi! Also, thank you for navigating Canvas while I talk about assignments.

    ·       Andi demonstrated how you can build and access assignments within the modules tool, but you can also go to assignments in the left-hand navigation to access them as well.

    ·       The assignments tools in Canvas encompasses all graded activities, which includes quizzes and discussions.

    ·       So, you can see these icons look a little different. They’re green because they’re all published.

    ·       But you can see that the little page with a pencil mark – that’s an assignment so that might be where students upload a file. Then discussions and quizzes have a slightly different icon.

    ·       The good think about the assignments tool is when add assignments, add due dates, and then publish those assignments – the students have multiple ways of seeing, finding, and accessing those assignments along with their due dates.

    ·       It will show up for them at the bottom of the syllabus tools. This happens by default.

    ·       You’ll see that these published assignments then show up by date at the bottom of the syllabus tool page. If there is no due date, then those will just be listed alphabetically at the bottom of the list. Quick tips: This allows you a quick peek into which assignments still need a due date.

    ·       Please note that students can also see the assignments within the calendar tool and their to-do list.

    ·       The great thing is that you can access and edit assignments from any of these place.

    Create an assignment

    ·       So, what happens when you click on an assignment?

    ·       You can see whatever details have been added. As you can see, there are not any details showing, but that’s easy to fix.

    ·       Let’s click on the edit button in the top right hand corner with the pencil.

    ·       This brings up all of the options that we can add to our assignment, such as points, due date, expectations, etc.

    ·       First, you’ll see that we have our cursor on the rich content editor. There’s the menu bar where we can select font, pre-formatted headings and bullets, and other editing tools.

    ·       Next, you’ll see the familiar text box where you can enter information about what you want students to do for this assignment, expectations, resources, and criteria for what will make the student’s assignment submission successful.

    ·       You can also upload videos, images, or links to other helpful resources in files.

    ·       You can see here that you can select the amount of points associate with the assignment.

    ·       Very importantly, I have to tell Canvas what I want students to do. Right now, it’s just listed as no submission. So, you have the option to select online, on paper, and external tool. If you select “online, then you can select what you want to turn in. This can be a text entry, website url, media recording, or a file upload. Usually, this is a word document, pdf or powerpoint presentation for these types of assignments.

    ·       At the bottom of the screen, you can set the due date. I mentioned the due date – this is how we organize assignments.

    ·       If we click on the calendar icon, then we can select the date and time.

    ·       This does not prevent students from submitting a late assignment, but it will mark the assignment as late. You can see that there is an available until date. We’ve been recommend providing a bit of a grace period during this time so you can either leave the until date open or make the assignment available for a few days after the actual due date.

    ·       Finally, we click “save” to make sure that we don’t lose any of our work. When you’re finished with the assignment, then you click on publish.



    5 min

    Grading and providing feedback – Carrie (once you have student submissions, it’s time to provide feedback!)

    ·       Can enter scores from “Grades”

    ·       Use Speedgrader for providing more detailed feedback

    o   Overall comments – must save

    o   Scores save automatically

    o   In-text annotation for more fine-grained feedback

    o   There are rubrics, but that’s for another time


    Carrie’s Script (Care of Madeleine)


    ·       I know that some students have submitted some homework in our Canvas site and we need to give some feedback. Let’s check out what they’ve done by clicking on the assignment.

    ·       If you look to the right, then you’ll see that speedgrader option. Speedgrader provides multiple ways to give student feedback.

    ·       For assignments using word, pdf, or powerpoint slides, there are some great markup tools that you can use for providing feedback. This allows you to highlight text, and make comments – very similar to the way you would do on paper-and-pencil assignments.

    ·       If you have a rubric, then you can enter scores and comments in that tool. It will provide a score or you can manually enter the grade. For more information about how to set these up and use them, please check with the Teaching and Learning Center.

    ·       Additionally, you can give some general comments. Take a look at the right-side of the screen. You can type in overall feedback about the assignment. You can also upload a document, video, and/or audio feedback.

    ·       When you’re ready, then you can submit feedback. This will push the grade to the gradebook, which Andi will talk about in just a moment.

    ·       Depending upon how you have the gradebook set up, the grades may be immediately available for students to see or muted until you’re ready to unhide them.

    ·       Now, I’m going to hand it back over to Andi:)



    3 mins

    Hiding and releasing feedback - Andi

    ·       Students will NOT be able to see the grades/feedback until it is posted, if you want to change this you need to change the “grade posting policy”

    o   Process for assignment-level

    o   Process for course-level



    2 mins

    Communication with students - Andi

    ·       Publish your Canvas site

    ·       Inbox – direct messages within Canvas (for things that require student response)

    ·       Announcements – reminders and one-way communicate to students.

    o   Can embed course links and have all text editing features

    o   Maybe you want to remind students of your office hours in Zoom or an upcoming review session

    o   Be judicious with announcements, use bullets whenever possible

    ·       Set 2 expectations (also add to home page/syllabus/announcement)

    o   Where you're going to look for messages from your students

    o   Where your students should look for messages from you



    2 mins

    Getting help/learning more – Andi

    ·       Publishing course site – students won’t see it until it’s published


    ·       Use the Spring 2021 Canvas Course template: AND attend upcoming template webinars:

    ·       UITS Support Center after hours & function (i.e. where do I click?)


    o   Carrie to post

    ·       Self-directed help Canvas guides, KB doc,

    ·       Show Canvas Help and Canvas Guides

    o   Start with “Search the Canvas Guides”

    ·       Contact your campus teaching & learning center:

    Carrie: Post the following in chat

    Contact the Teaching & Learning Centers:

    Keep Teaching Resources:  

    Upcoming Webinars:

    Use the Spring 2021 Canvas Course template:


    Wrap up - Andi

    ·       Questions?

    ·       Thank everyone for coming