Where do students go if their course has an online presence?

If your course has an online presence it may be found in Blackboard or Canvas, Iowa State’s Learning Management Systems (LMS).

To log into an LMS: open a web browser, navigate to the Iowa State University website, locate the “Sign Ons” link found on the upper right corner (above the search box), and then select “Canvas” or “Blackboard” from the menu.

If you think your course is supposed to be in one of these systems, and you don’t see it after you logged into one, contact your instructor.

The good news is that this upcoming spring Iowa State will only be using Canvas as the campus-wide LMS.

To learn more about Canvas, visit the MyCanvas Student online course or for help with Blackboard, visit the For Students: Blackboard Guide website.

Reflecting on what I hope for my students…

Amy Popillion, Senior Lecturer, Human Development & Human Sciences at Iowa State University, and Facilitator for CELT’s Team-Based Learning Faculty/Staff Learning Community shared this reflection with us before students arrived on campus yesterday,

“Spent some quiet time at the back of my fall classroom reflecting on what I hope for my students. I reflected on hopes for learning, kindness, building community, persevering through difficult dialogues with each other, for a-ha moments to happen, for inspiration and knowledge that will guide their professional decisions and personal growth. I took time to notice each and every chair. I envisioned the student who will sit there, wishing for them the best experience in my class and most of all a place where they feel welcomed, included, challenged, and supported. (Note: we will turn on the lights for a more “enlightened” experience 💡😊).”

Post on Facebook from Amy Popillion, Senior Lecturer, HDFS, Iowa State University

Reminder from Student Disability Resources about Reasonable Accommodations

CELT is sharing Student Disability Resources information to instructors and graduate teaching assistants:

As we begin a new Academic Year, I want to provide the information below regarding the provision of access to lecture notes and Power Point presentations which, as you know, are reasonable accommodations for some students with documented disabilities.

Students in need of academic accommodations will soon be meeting with you to deliver and review their Fall 2017 ‘Notification Letters’ (aka “NL’s “)—this is a great time to discuss ways you will be able to assist them in accessing lecture notes, Power Point presentations, and other accommodations listed on the NL (ie. exam accommodation processes, etc.). Please be specific in coming to agreement in the delivery of indicated accommodations so questions/problems are avoided later in the term.

In years past, many students have worked with their instructors and peers to access lecture notes—this will continue going forward. We have, however, provided a bit more structure/direction to achieve that outcome– Student Disability Resources (aka “SDR“) website contains some very useful information to assist you in helping make your students have course lecture content as reasonable accommodations. For key information about note taking, visit SDR’s Access to Lecture Notes website.

Briefly, we are asking you to make sure students are provided timely access to lecture notes and/or Power Points, per the Notification Letter. This can be accomplished in several ways (see below):

  • a copy of Instructor lecture notes and Power Points
  • a copy of lecture notes completed by a Graduate Assistant
  • a copy of lecture notes completed by a peer in the course


Additionally, we strongly encourage instructors to consider the many benefits of implementing a ‘universal design’ (UD) for diverse learning approach that benefits many students including those with unique learning needs/styles. Learn more about UD at:

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us here in SDR (call 515-294-7220 or email disabilityresources@iastate.edu) for assistance if needed.

We look forward to another great semester at ISU! And thanks for all you do!

Steve Moats, Director

Student Disability Resources

Promoting ISU’s Principles of Community in Your Syllabus

CELT has developed syllabus resources via the How to Create an Effective Syllabus website. Since 2016, CELT continues to develop the Mindful and Learner-Centered Syllabus Checklist (PDF). This checklist provides an extensive list of student-centered resources, a guide for promoting an inclusive campus, and the recommended statements. The recommended syllabus statements developed to communicate a uniform message to all students about university policies that impact their experience at ISU, on the Recommended Iowa State University Syllabus Statements website.

The most recent addition to the Mindful and Learner-Centered Syllabus Checklist (PDF) is a statement for instructors to consider including in syllabi about ISU’s Principles of Community:

“Students are responsible for living the tenets established in ISU’s Principles of Community: Respect, Purpose, Cooperation, Richness of Diversity, Freedom from discrimination, and the Honest and respectful expression of ideas. Visit ISU’s Principles of Community website (http://www.diversity.iastate.edu/principles-of-community).”

This statement will not only promote Iowa State’s strategic plan; it will reinforce diversity and inclusion and teach and demonstrate our Principles of Community.

Originally published in CELT’s Teaching Tip (August 17, 2017)

For additional ways on promoting inclusion, view CELT’s Creating an Inclusive Classroom website.

Upcoming Canvas Open Labs, Training & Workshops

Canvas by Instructure LogoOpen Labs

CELT is offering open lab sessions for faculty, staff and teaching/graduate assistants to drop in and get support related to quality course design, and effective teaching practices in Canvas. Bring your work, and your laptop (this is a must). Open labs are planned for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday in August – November 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Rotunda of Parks Library (near 281 Parks Library). Note: Open Labs will not be held on September 5 and 6 due to Canvas training. Download CELT’s Open Labs flyer (PDF).

Canvas-led Faculty and Staff Training

Erin Wasson, Canvas Trainer will facilitate multiple 90-minute training sessions on the topics below. Download the Canvas-led Faculty & Staff Training flyer (PDF).

Tuesday, September 5 (Face-to-Face in 206 Durham with a Live webcast in 253 Durham)

Wednesday, September 6 (Face-to-Face in 206 Durham with a Live webcast in 116 Durham)

CELT-led Canvas Training

CELT’s Online Learning Innovation Hub staff will be facilitating training throughout September 18 – October 1: Download the CELT-led Canvas Workshops flyer (PDF).

Prerequisites for Attendees

Attendees are encouraged to watch the two Welcome to Canvas video recordings (First Look and Course Basics) as prerequisites for Open Lab Sessions and Canvas training to provide a baseline of content knowledge in the platform.

How to Register

Register for the Canvas Training events via CELT’s catalog on Learn@ISU. If you are unable to attend these programs there will be recordings made available through the MyCanvas: Training and Resources website following the event.

Embracing Change and Opportunities

Change and continuity are hallmarks of university life. Each semester, teaching and research routines enable us to fulfill professional responsibilities and expectations. We also embrace change, as each semester new students fill our classrooms and lab spaces with open minds and new opportunities to consider the ways in which we successfully teach our subjects.

One thing that you can count on is that our CELT Teaching Tip will arrive in your email inbox every two weeks. The Tip will include innovative teaching ideas, programming, and important information related to our transition to Canvas the new Learning Management System (LMS).

For the fall semester, the majority of Iowa State University courses using an LMS will be taught in Blackboard. Blackboard technical support is available through the IT Solution Center (including evening and weekend service hours). CELT will continue to address questions that are pedagogical in nature, such as course design or instructional practices.

It is important to note that now is the time to learn Canvas in preparation for all courses being taught in the new LMS this spring semester 2018. CELT has developed a wealth of resources, and training opportunities related to the Canvas transition via the My Canvas Teacher at ISU website.

We have a great line up of professional development programs in place for the semester. The full list of programs is available via CELT’s Events and Registration website and you can register for the programs through the Learn@ISU website.

Best wishes for a successful semester-

Sara Marcketti, Interim Director



Canvas is Available!

Canvas is available to all of Iowa State today. Blackboard is still available for faculty to use during fall semester 2017, and almost all courses that use a learning management system (LMS) will be taught in Blackboard. However, now is the time to learn Canvas in preparation for all courses being taught in the new LMS this spring semester 2018.

Begin to learn Canvas using the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website. This is a 24/7 publicly available course.

How-to Log into Canvas

To log into Canvas click the “Sign Ons” link found in the upper right-hand corner (above the search box) of Iowa State’s home page. Then, use the drop down menu and go to “More Sign Ons” to select the Canvas button.

What you will see in Canvas

Once you are logged into Canvas, you will see your dashboard displaying course cards for your current courses; as well as, a “Start Here” course for MyCanvas Teacher at ISU.

If you do not see the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU course (“Start Here”), follow the steps found in Canvas’s How do I view my institution’s Public Course Index as an instructor? website and click the “+Join this course” icon to self-enroll.

If you choose to not log into MyCanvas Teacher at ISU today, you still will have access to the resources at anytime.

We are no longer accepting Early Adopters for Fall 2017.

Canvas Support:

All 24/7 support options may be found by clicking the “Help” button found on the left-hand navigation bar in Canvas. Canvas offers 24/7 support via the following channels:

  • Canvas Support Line (Call 515-294-4000 then press 2, press 1)
  • Live Chat with Canvas Support
  • A web-based Report a Problem Form

Marcketti named interim director of CELT (Inside Iowa State)

Sara Marcketti has been named interim director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, effective July 24.

Sara Marcketti

Marcketti, professor of apparel, events and hospitality management (AESHM), has served as CELT associate director since 2013. Her new appointment will extend through June 2018. Previous CELT director Ann Marie VanDerZanden was appointed associate provost for academic programs earlier this month.

“Sara has an impressive track record as associate director, and I am pleased she has agreed to serve in the interim role,” said Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty. “I have great confidence in her leadership and her ability to maintain CELT’s momentum in areas like inclusive classrooms; flipped, hybrid and online pedagogy; and implementing Iowa State’s new learning management system.”

A native of New York, Marcketti holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and master’s in textiles, merchandising, and interiors from the University of Georgia; and a Ph.D. in textiles and clothing from Iowa State. She joined the AESHM faculty in 2005 and rose through the ranks from lecturer to full professor in just 10 years.

“I am excited for this opportunity to lead CELT’s dedicated staff and work with faculty to support Iowa State’s teaching academic mission,” Marcketti said. “We have built a remarkable number of resources for faculty, staff, graduate students and post-docs over the last 24 years, and I look forward to continuing and growing the excellent work we are known for.”

A search for the next permanent CELT director will be held during the spring semester.

Re-posted from Inside Iowa State (2017, July 27)

Update on Canvas “Go Live” Date at ISU

The ISU Canvas Implementation Team is continuing to make progress on completing the initial implementation of Canvas at ISU. The team met with the Canvas On-Site Implementation consultants on campus July 12-14 and were able to complete a number of steps to make Canvas functional at ISU and integrated with ISU’s local systems. Our goal is to provide a trouble-free first login experience for ISU instructors and staff, and to provide clear steps for creating courses in Canvas using Blackboard migrated course materials.

Based on the work completed and work remaining we have updated our “go live” date for instructor access and anticipate it will be by July 28, 2017.

A fully featured version of Canvas will be ready for developing Spring 2018 courses by mid-semester Fall 2017.

Status updates and additional details will be posted on the ISU Learning Management System (LMS) website. If you have questions please email canvas@iastate.edu.

Canvas by Instructure Corporate Logo

When will Canvas go Live at Iowa State?

Canvas by Instructure Corporate LogoThe short answer is: Soon.

The intent is to officially announce the “go live” date within the next week via Inside Iowa State, the Iowa State LMS website, and the CELT social network channels.

Since the announcement that Canvas was selected in mid-June, CELT and ITS have been working with Instructure Canvas on the numerous components necessary to integrate Canvas with the local ISU systems. We are also working to implement a comprehensive course migration protocol to move existing ISU courses from Blackboard into the new Canvas platform, and develop user training and support processes. We are getting close.

Getting Started Before the Live Date

In anticipation of the ISU go live date, take a minute to see what Canvas can do to help make teaching and learning easier for you, view The Cool Things You Can Do with Canvas YouTube video.

To get started before Canvas goes live at Iowa State, visit the MyCanvas Instructor Orientation website.

For more information, visit the MyCanvas Frequently Asked Questions website.