Instructor Guide for Canvas

Instructor Guide for Canvas

Use the following to help ensure that your students have a clear understanding of how to use the Canvas throughout the course:

  • Explore the functionality. Peruse resources like the Canvas Instructor Guide or watch Canvas Instructor Videos, which includes a very comprehensive look at all of the tools within Canvas and offers answers to frequently asked questions about these tools.
  • Include a section in your syllabus about Canvas. Create a new (but short) syllabus section on all of the activities students will do in Canvas. Be explicit on the role Canvas serves in your course because they may never have used it before. Operationalize student activities using action words (e.g., “Respond to in-class reading assignments using the “Discussions” tool” or “Check for class announcements in the “Announcements” section).
  • Offer an introduction to Canvas. Students often benefit from an orientation to the Canvas, and, as an instructor, a walkthrough of the significant features that you will expect students to use will be useful for their success. To create your own, use the Video Creation Instructional Strategies page along with sharing the Canvas Student Guide and a 30-minute Getting Started with Canvas video series.
  • Use Canvas to curate course activities and materials. Providing course materials on Canvas will give students options about how they read and engage with your course. Learn from CELT’s Universal Design for Learning, Accessibility in Your Course guide. To discuss a student’s accommodation, contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services.
  • Encourage student engagement. There are great ways to incorporate active learning into an online space so that students have a variety of ways to participate in and engage with the course. For example, discussion forums can be an excellent tool for facilitating responses to reading, quiz features can assess student learning outside of class, and chat features can assist student dialogue in coordinating student projects. Check out some of CELT’s suggestions for facilitating AssignmentsDiscussionsQuizzes and Exams, and Writing Activities.

Three simple actions for building a course in Canvas.

Include these essential components and the ISU Course Template.

Quickly share course materials, provide easy-to-use tools to communicate and collaborate with students, co-instructors, and Teaching Assistants (TAs). T

Use this checklist to create your Canvas course, specify your course settings, choose a homepage, and make your course available to students.

Use this checklist to provide guidance on grade submission at Iowa State.