Posts Tagged ‘home_page’

Making your Canvas Course Available to Students

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

In Blackboard, instructors had the ability to make their course available to students by going to the Control Panel >> Settings >> Course Availability and selecting the Make Course Available = Yes radio button.

NOTE: In Blackboard, this selection could be made at any time throughout the semester, so that a instructor could take the course off-line temporarily to make some changes while students were not in the course.

Instructors can make a course available in Canvas by clicking the Publish button. The Publish button appears when the instructor goes to the Course Setup Checklist and clicks the link to Publish Course.

NOTE: This is a one-time setting. Once published the course cannot be un-published. This is a major difference between Canvas and Blackboard.

If your Course Setup Checklist is not visible, you can bring it back by going to the course Home and clicking on the Course Setup Checklist button.

Canvas Course for Submitting Assignments

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

There are some face-to-face classes that use the course management system merely for a place for students to submit their papers (or Powerpoints or some other type of file) electronically. This page discusses using Canvas solely for the purpose of providing students a place to submit assignments.

Step One: In a face-to-face class, the instructor will normally hand out the syllabus on the first day of class. Discussion might happen in the classroom or outside via a blog or some tool other than a course management system. Canvas allow changing the homepage to go directly to a listing of the assignments:

Step Two:Once the home page layout has been changed to point directly to assignments, click on the link to Assignments in the course menu:

Step Three: And click to add an assignment.

Step Four: We want to see all the options for this new assignment, so click on the link to “more options”.

Step Five: There are lots of options. This screen shot is emphasizing changing the title from the generic “Assignment 1”, setting a point value, and setting a due date. Notice that the instructor can decide what format is acceptable for turning in assignments. Here the check boxes are set for file upload and for text entry. The former would be appropriate for lengthy documents that the student would write up in Word. The latter is appropriate for a short submission like a paragraph that could be typed directly into Canvas.

Step Six: This screen shot is showing four assignments. If you have lots of assignments, you may want to group them into some logical organization. To do so, click the link to add an assignment group:

Step Seven:  This screen shot shows the assignments organized by type. The two paragraph assignments are in one group and the two paper assignments are in another group. The assignment group names are in grey bars. Note that you can move the groups and the assignments by grabbing the icon on the left of each line. Just drag and drop.

Course Design Example: Here is an example of a course used solely for assignment submissions. The home page has been changed to point directly to the list of assignments.

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Disclaimer: This example is appropriate in a face-to-face class for which the instructor does everything in class (or otherwise outside the course management system) and uses Canvas solely for the purpose of giving students a convenient place to upload and submit electronic files. A blended or fully online course would likely employ a more advanced design including the use of modules, the syllabus tool, discussions, quizzes, and other tools.

First Day Course Design

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Here is a suggestion that would be appropriate in a course that is fully online or has a major online component in Canvas.

The instructor can set what kind of page the student sees when first entering the course.  The choices are:

  • the communication (or activity) stream
  • a wiki page (Front Page) designed by the instructor
  • the course modules page
  • the assignment list
  • the assignment list including syllabus

To do this, the instructor clicks on the “Change Home Page Layout” link (upper right):

Click to enlarge

There are several choices, but a good choice for the first day(s) of the semester is the “Page I’ll Design Myself”:

Next, click the Update Layout button.

Now you will need to click the Edit this Page button.

You will be presented with a wysiwyg editor. Create any text, add images, or even videos. This page will be the “Front Page” and it will be the page any user sees when entering the “Pages” area. It is also the page users will see whenever the home page layout is set to the “Page I’ll Design Myself” option.

One possibility for the first day is to create an informational page that tells students what to do. This may not be necessary in a face-to-face class where the instructor is present to answer first day questions. But in an online class this would be recommended. Of course, what you say depends on the class. Here is an example from my EDCI 525 class from summer, 2011:

Example only – first day text varies by course

After the first few days of class, it would probably be best to set the home page layout back to the communication/activity stream or at least rework the “Front Page” to eliminate the “how to get started” info.