Fight the Fear: Confessions of a Procrastinator

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).

Use the sign-ons link to access Canvas
Figure 1. Use the Sign-ons link found on the Iowa State University website

2. Check for your Spring 2018 courses

To see what courses you have in Canvas, view the How do I view my Canvas courses as an instructor? web guide. If your spring 2018 course shell(s) do not appear on the Canvas dashboard or in your course list (Figure 2), contact your departmental representative using the Registrar’s Course Offering Department Contacts website.

Canvas course list with an arrow pointing to the Courses icon, and another arrow pointing towards the All Courses link
Figure 2. Courses list on Canvas

3. Build your course

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.

Blackboard course materials are found under the Past Enrollments header
Figure 3. Locate Blackboard course materials under the Past Enrollments heading in the Courses list

Additionally, this article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (2017) article “Fight the Fear/ Procrastination Cycle With Small Tasks ” fits perfectly: the notion that by delegating small tasks you could move forward on a high priority project. To help you (and I) get over the fear of starting in Canvas, CELT has created the following How-to Build a Simple Course in Canvas YouTube video.

To accompany this brief video CELT has developed a How-to Build a Simple Canvas Course web guide on the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU site. For face-to-face help, CELT will be hosting Open Labs until December 8 and CELT-led Workshops until December 22.

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)

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Fight the Fear: Confessions of a Procrastinator (November 30, 2017 – Constant Contact) website.

Print Version?

Prefer a Print version? If you would prefer to view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip December 1, 2017 (PDF)