In this 60-minute webinar, CELT staff will walk participants through the process of building a simple course in Canvas; as well as, direct participants to the extensive Canvas online resources, webinars, self-paced tutorials and 24/7 Canvas Support available. In addition, participants will become familiar with the CELT resources available to plan, develop, and implement Canvas courses in ways that reduce barriers to learning and facilitate meaningful participation by all students.
As Interim Director of CELT, I have participated in CELT-led workshops, sat in on implementation team meetings, and spoken all over campus about the transition from Blackboard to Canvas. However, I still have not built my spring 2018 course in Canvas.
Sure, I thought about the wonderful features that Canvas would let me do, such as the media rich editor that will let
me and my students post video and audio comments and how the speed grader will let me grade student work side by side course rubrics. But, it is still not built!
Do you relate to my confessions of a procrastinator?
If so, here are a few tips that might help:
1. Log into Canvas
Go to the Iowa State University website. Then, locate the “Sign Ons” link found on the upper right corner (above the search box), and then select “Canvas” from the menu (Figure 1).
On June 7, 2017 course materials were exported from Blackboard and imported to Canvas (Figure 3). Since Canvas is a different system, you’ll want to spend time learning which course materials you keep and where you put them. Many instructors have decided to re-use aspects of their Blackboard courses. Other instructors have decided to start new within Canvas.
As the Blackboard countdown clock informs us, Blackboard access ends soon (January 5). However, those with the instructor role will be able to view their previous courses in a Blackboard Archive (More information to come soon).
In closing, Early Adopter Rose Martin’s advice for those new to Canvas is: “Keep the big picture in mind [which is] providing students access to your course content quickly and easily. Keep an open mind about how you can reorganize course content and steps or tricks used so your course flows as intended. Also, keep Canvas help desk number handy, 515-294-4000, then press 2, then 1.”
And if you are not a procrastinator, thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge with fellow instructors!
Let’s get going!
Sara Marcketti, Interim Director Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
In our previous Tip (ISU is turning off access to Blackboard on January 5, 2018) we shared 5 ways to successfully prepare for making the transition from teaching in Blackboard to Canvas. In this issue, our CELT team thought you may be interested in the results of the Canvas early adopter survey.
As you may know, we have about 300 instructors currently teaching in Canvas. 80% of the instructor early adopters stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with Canvas. Their satisfaction was attributed to:
Content creation, calendar, and communication tools that helped their teaching and student learning.
Efficiency of course building and administration tasks.
Crisp and modern feel and overall intuitive design.
Help features, including 24/7 support line and chat line.
Of the student respondents, 90% stated they were satisfied or very satisfied with Canvas and students praised:
The ease of use and navigation, mobile app, cleaner look.
Modules, course notifications, and calendar feature that helped keep them organized.
We also asked the respondents to let us know their advice for colleagues. Comments included:
“Do not assume that you can do the same things you did in Blackboard. Learn how Canvas works, and then mold your course around those features. I tried to “shoehorn” my Bb course into Canvas and found that some features simply were not allowed in Canvas.”
“Explore and play with it early. If you have problems, start with the User Guides as they are helpful. It is nice to have the 24/7 support too. I have used it and they are a good resource.”
“Make sure to on-board students.”
And finally, our favorite:
“Be patient. Breathe deeply. Get help [with Canvas].”
Find out why early adopters are happy and immerse yourself in Canvas by using all of ISU’s Canvas training and tutorials (quick links listed below):
CELT staff will lead five 90-minute Canvas workshops multiple times this fall that highlight the pedagogy and mechanics behind Canvas functions. Read the workshop descriptions, determine which day/time you would like to attend, and register via the Learn@ISU website:
Accessibility in Canvas, Oct. 17 and 27
Assignments and GradeBook in Canvas, Oct. 19 and 25
Course Design in Canvas, Oct. 20 and 23
Groups and Collaborative Work in Canvas, Oct. 18 and 26
The Pedagogy of Canvas Quizzes, Oct. 16 and 24
Additional information about Canvas, including open labs and self-paced training, is online through the My Canvas Teacher at ISU website.
On September 5 and 6, CELT and ITS will be hosting Erin Wasson, Canvas Trainer will facilitate multiple 90-minute training sessions on the following topics: Assignments & Discussions, Communication & Collaboration, Grading & Assessment, Modules & File Management, and Quizzes & Question Banks. There are four ways for faculty and staff to engage in with these sessions:
Attend the face-to-face program: Register to participate in the face-to-face program through the Learn@ISU website (Space is limited).
Live webcast: Participate in the live webcast, hosted by CELT Online Learning Innovation Hub staff members, by registering through the Learn@ISU website. The live webcast space will be used as an overflow for the face-to-face program.
View the live webcast on your own: If you would prefer to view the Canvas-led workshops on your own, you may access the unique live Zoom links via the ISU MyCanvas Training site. Note: This is a training resource only accessible to Iowa State University.
View a recording: Recordings will be made available via the ISU MyCanvas Training course site following the event.
CELT-led Workshops: The first set of workshops will be held between September 18 – October 1, register to participate via the Learn@ISU website (Space is limited).
Canvas Open Labs: 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). Open Labs will not be held on September 5 and 6 due to Canvas training for Faculty and Staff.
Self-Paced Online Canvas Tutorials, and Online Training Offerings are both available through the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website
Additionally, to provide a baseline of content knowledge with the platform, faculty and staff are encouraged to watch the Welcome to Canvas video recordings found on the Canvas Training website.
Finally, CELT’s 3-Part Series: Best Practices in Online Course Design will walk you through how to prepare your students to learn, deliver content and learning activities effectively, and provide essential learner-centered support. The series will be offered three different times during the fall semester:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Canvas has been chosen as Iowa State’s new learning management system (LMS).
The selection comes after an extensive review process that included multiple rounds of input from campus stakeholders, vendor demonstrations, and the migration of several existing Iowa State courses to let faculty see how finalists’ systems work in real time.
“The transition to Canvas is a great opportunity for faculty to reimagine courses and content,
make sure materials are accessible for all learners, and to ‘bake in’ continuous course improvement through real-time learner analytics” said Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert.
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Information Technology will be working over the summer to prepare for the transition to Canvas. Initial plans are for 100-150 instructors to use a limited version of the new system for their Fall 2017 courses.
All instructors teaching courses in Spring 2018 will use the full version of Canvas, with extensive user support and integration of student data. Workshops and resources will be available during the fall semester to help instructors prepare their spring courses.
CELT Director Ann Marie VanDerZanden noted that Canvas is well positioned to evolve alongside new computer applications and technology platforms, ensuring faculty can take advantage of the latest instructional tools. The transition is also an opportunity for faculty who did not use BlackBoard Learn to take advantage of the capabilities of an LMS to support their teaching.
Visit the LMS review website for more information on the transition to Canvas.