Posts Tagged ‘menus’

Canvas Course for Document Delivery via Files

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Suppose you are teaching a face-to-face class and you would like to use Canvas for the sole purpose of delivering documents to your students. Here’s one way. See Canvas Course for Document Delivery – Modules Approach for a better way.

Step One: Since you are only going to use the Files area, you might want to hide all non-used menu choices (see Canvas Menus for step-by-step directions) to reduce student confusion:

Click to Enlarge

Step Two: Go to your Files area. Click on “Add Folder” to add some organizational folders:

Step Three: Organize your files by creating folders with meaningful names. This example separates Word documents and Powerpoint files but any meaningful organization (such as into weeks or units) would be effective:

Step Four: Now enter one of the folders (by clicking on the folder name) and upload files into the folder by clicking on “Add Files”:

Step Five: Students can access this Files area too. You may want to create a private folder for files you do not want the students to see at present. This example shows a folder named “Private Documents” that has been locked. Student can see the folder but will get an error message if they try to access it.

Student View: Here is the sample course from the student perspective. Notice the only two menu items are Home and Files. Also notice that the instructor has placed an announcement in the course telling the students to look in the Files area.  Even though the Announcement tool has been hidden from student view, the instructor still has access and can post announcements.

And here is the student view of the Files area:

Here is the student view when they try to access a folder that has been locked:

Disclaimer: This course design is not advocated, merely presented for informational purposes. Even in a face-to-face course, it might be a good idea to also allow students to have access to other tools that facilitate communication and collaboration between student and instructor and among students.  If grades are recorded in Canvas, access to the grades area would also be beneficial to students.

Canvas Menus

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Canvas menus have the following properties:

  • Color scheme is set at the institutional level and cannot be changed by the instructor
  • Tools not used are greyed out for instructor and hidden from student view
  • The order can be changed (but why would you bother)
  • Menu choices can be hidden even if implemented
Instructor View Student View
In this example notice that the instructor can see menu items such as Assignments, Pages, Outcomes, Quizzes, and Modules that are NOT implemented in this example course (SP_Discussions). Notice in the student view that any tools not implemented are hidden from the student.

Even tools that are in use by default can be manually hidden from students.To manually hide selected menu items, the instructor should go to the Settings menu and click on the Navigation tab. This next image shows a course (Math for Elem Classrooms) with no menu items hidden. You can tell there are no hidden items because there are no items listed underneath the hiding line (bottom of image just above Save button).

Here is an example course (Canvas) in which many items have been hidden:

Instructor View Student View
Click to Enlarge
In this example the instructor has hidden several items from student view by dragging those items below the line into the hidden area. The student view shows a course with just four menu choices.