Posts Tagged ‘wiki’

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.

Exporting the Gradebook to Excel

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

If you would like to download your grades from inside Canvas and use them in Excel, do the following:

  1. Go to the “Grades” area of your course.
  2. Click on “Options” pull down menu at the upper left.
  3. Choose “Download Scores (.csv)”
  4. The resulting file should open fine in Excel

Exporting grades in Canvas

Adding an Image

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Suppose you (the student) want to add an image to a discussion post, or wiki “page” in Canvas. In the wysiwyg editor you will notice an icon for adding an image.

This will open a pop-up dialog asking for a URL:

But your image is on your laptop or desktop computer. There does not seem to be a way to just upload the image from your computer to Canvas. You you are correct – students cannot upload images directly and embed them into discussion posts and wiki pages. So you will need to put your image file somewhere on the Internet.

There are many, many places to do this. One place that I think works really well for this is DropBox (www.dropbox.com). Accounts are free there (for a limited amount of disk space) and you can store files there that are private or public. Let me show you how to store a public file to use with Canvas.

Here is the basic DropBox area:

You will notice a folder labeled Public – that’s where you upload files you want to make public. Any other folders are private. Once you click on the icon for the Public folder, you will see:

Click the Upload icon to upload a file.

Click the Choose files button to locate your file on your laptop or desktop computer.

In this example you can see that I have identified a file to upload that is a jpg image file with filename view-from-old-post-office.jpg. Of course, we need to click the Start upload button.

Now you can see that the file has been uploaded and exists in my public folder at Dropbox. Now we need to discover the link to that file so we can paste it in Canvas.

So what I did was to check the box for the file I needed the link. Then I pulled down the More link to reveal several choices, one of which is “Copy public link”. That is the link you neeed to paste into Canvas.

And here is the link. Notice that even though the file is public, it is not likely that someone will find the image because the URL is complex.

So if you think back to the second image on this page, that is where you would paste this link and then the image would be seen embedded inside your discussion post or on the wiki page.