Archive for the ‘Tips for Students’ Category

What’s so Cool about Canvas?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Students and faculty alike will love the new course management system. Of course, there will be some minor speed bumps getting accustomed to a new system but there are so many great features in Canvas!

For full training schedule and tutorials visit:

Canvas has a notification system so you can have important messages sent directly to your cell phone!

Canvas notifications can be sent to your Facebook inbox. (Donb’t worry, the notifications do NOT go on your Facebook Wall and are not seen by others… just in your inbox.)

Canvas has a system for tracking college, departmental, or course learning outcomes.

Canvas has a Speedgrader system by which the instructor can view a student submission, makes comments, and enter a grade all on one page. Then, with just one click, the next student submission appears ready to grade! This is an unbelievable time saver! Just wait until you see this!

Canvas has an integrated wiki system that makes it easy for students and faculty to create web pages.

Canvas has an integrated web conferencing system available to students and faculty for large or small group meetings.

Canvas provides integration with Google Docs, Skype, Linked In, Twitter, Diigo, and Facebook.

Students and faculty can include audio and video (direct from webcam) in a discussion posting (and many other places).

Faculty and students have access to a personal file storage space as well as a separate file storage space for each course and even a separate file storage space for each small group.

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 ( 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.