Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated; feature releases in the production environment take place on the third Saturday of every month. SUNY Geneseo’s EdTech team posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to our blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact the Canvas Support Team if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.Continue reading “Canvas Release Notes Highlights: September 21, 2019”
Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated; feature releases in the production environment take place on the third Saturday of every month, beginning August 17. SUNY Geneseo’s EdTech team posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to our blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact the Canvas Support Team if you have any questions about the following changes made to the Canvas environment between May 2019 through August 2019. Click here to go directly to our notes on New Gradebook.Continue reading “Canvas Release Notes Highlights: Summer 2019”
Happy first day of classes, SUNY Geneseo! To help our learners start the fall semester off on the right foot, this blog post walks Geneseo learners through the essential items to address at the start of a semester. This post will be particularly useful for users who are new to Canvas.
Have the Right Tools
- Be sure you are accessing Canvas through an up-to-date and supported web browser
- Canvas was optimized for Chrome and is our recommended browser
- Adjust your pop-up blocker to allow pop-ups from Canvas
- Install the (Canvas) Student app for iOS or Android on your mobile device
- Connect your Canvas and Google Drive accounts
- Add a profile picture to your Canvas account
- Ensure you have Adobe Flash Player installed and enabled for your browser
- If your computer does not have Microsoft Office, download a copy through Geneseo’s campus agreement
Turnitin is one of many digital tools available to enhance the teaching and learning environment at SUNY Geneseo. Commonly thought of as a plagiarism-detection utility, Turnitin compares a learner’s submission against documents in its database. Settings for comparison are determined by the professor and can be adjusted for each assignment. Faculty are not required to use this tool but those that opt-in have guidelines governing its implementation in a course.Continue reading “#TechTipThursday: Locating and Interpreting the Similarity Score for a Turnitin assignment”
As we look for more ways to get our learners engaged with our their own education, we sometimes roam from the beaten track of text and into the realm of media creation. Podcasts, for example, can be an excellent means through which to give learners an opportunity to flex muscles they rarely use in academic pursuits. This can be a challenge that brings them (and us!) to new levels of learning. For some it can also be a source of unnecessary frustration if not guided to easily accessible and reliable tools to successfully complete the project. To help reduce that frustration this post introduces two, free, tools to help our learners craft quality audio.Continue reading “#TechTipThursday: Audacious Audio”
Have you ever wanted to create a short video to present a concept to your class but felt like the effort was just too much? Have you ever wanted to assign video projects to your learners, but worried that the complexity of the process might prove too burdensome? Well, we’ve got an answer for you: The One Button Studio (OBS).Continue reading “#TechTipThursday: One Button Studio”
Geneseo students, faculty and staff have free access to the entire Lynda.com training library (over 7,500 courses, and more are added every week) through Geneseo’s site license. We have some suggestions for courses and videos to visit in March that celebrate Mardi Gras and International Women’s Day.Continue reading “March Lynda.com Highlights”
The Canvas “Dashboard” is the landing page upon which your “Course Cards” appear. Within this post we will discuss how to manage what content appears on your Dashboard as well as how to organize it to your liking. Simple tricks such as providing your course a nickname or changing your course card’s color can go a long way to making your Canvas experience a more effective one.
SUNY Geneseo’s hosted WordPress platform was updated in preparation for the spring 2019 semester. Two key pieces were included with our update to version 5.0.3 and we’ll highlight those below.
Cleanup Course Navigation
By default Canvas provides a wide array of links within the navigation section to the left of each course. Within most courses the majority of these links will often go unused causing clutter and confusion on behalf of the learner and often instructor. For this reason we highly recommend hiding any unused links.
Your Canvas support team recommends always leaving Announcements and Grades available. Whether you decide to set your Home to a Content Page or Modules will determine whether Modules should also be left available for student access.
As for Assignments, Quizzes, and Pages (some of the most commonly used items within Canvas) we will use Modules to give access to learners them in the order and context we want them to engage these materials.
Modules are used to organize course content by weeks, units, or a different organizational structure. Modules essentially create a uni-directional linear flow of what students should do in a course.
Each module can contain files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials. Module items can be added to the course from existing content or new content shells within the modules. Course content can be added to multiple modules or iterated several times throughout an individual module. Modules can be easily organized using the drag and drop feature. Elements within the modules can also be reorganized by dragging and dropping.
Lock and add Prerequisites to Modules
Modules also allow the instructors to “Lock” them so that they open automatically at a particular date and time. Learners will be able to see the module titles and module item names, but they will not be able to access the module items until after the lock date has passed.
Publish Your Course
Make sure you publish your course. If you haven’t then students won’t have access to the material within it. In the crush of responsibilities leading up to the start of the semester little things can be easily forgotten. This isn’t a little thing. Our Life Pro Tip to you is to publish your course now. Contents won’t be available to the students until the start date of the course.
Manage Your Dashboard
Often faculty and learners alike are concerned that a course they are in does not show up on their Dashboard. Courses marked as Favorites will appear on your Dashboard. From the left side navigation bar, select Courses and then click on the “All Courses” link. A list of courses will appear, along with a star next to the title. Grey stars indicate courses that have not been “favorited”. Just click on a grey star to make it a Favorite. When you return to your Dashboard, courses you’ve “favorited” should appear.
A much requested new feature was released in Canvas recently, you can now rearrange course tiles on the Canvas dashboard- and it’s as simple as drag and drop!
Link/Embed Files From Google Drive
Your Canvas course is limited to 1GB in files space. This isn’t a lot. Individually. But, for every course at Geneseo it becomes VERY large. Your Google hosted Geneseo account has MUCH more space and many capabilities. It’s for this reason that we recommend you host much of your teaching material on Google Drive and embed it into Canvas Pages.