Digital Learning Tips
During Digital Learning in Spring 2020, Instructional Technology shared tips regularly through e-mail. Below you will find these tips organized by topics. If you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Canvas Analytics and Communication
- Want to know which students have viewed which of your pages? Want to message the students who haven’t? Check out “New Analytics”.
- New Analytics Teacher Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460-canvas-instructor-guide-table-of-contents#jive_content_id_New_Analytics
- New Analytics Overview Video: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/4826-new-analytics-overview-instructor
Message Students Who
In Canvas, you can quickly message all students who meet a certain criteria. For example, you could send everyone who was missing a particular assignment a message reminding them to complete it. Or you could send everyone who scored below a set score a remediation opportunity. You can also send a message to students who haven’t viewed a particular resource yet. Canvas sends these as individual messages, but you only have to compose the message once. There are two places to do this: Gradebook and New Analytics. See the guides below for more information.
- New Analytics:
- Based on assignments: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-18039-4152982519
- Based on course activity: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-18031-41521081673
- Based on individual assignments: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16553-4152813641
Incompletes and Messaging Students Who…
My favorite feature I have found is using the "3-dot" menu for each submission to set a default grade to "incomplete" for student who have not submitted. Then, using the same menu to "Message students who..." and automatically sending all students who did not submit a gentle reminder to submit and asking if they have any questions about what to do or how to do it. It makes grading and communicating super easy and convenient.
- Thanks to Jayson Hart for submitting this tip
Canvas Assessments and Grading
As we get further into Digital Learning, organization is key. One thing that will help students stay organized is setting due dates on your assignments. If you set a due date, the assignment appears in students’ to do lists, on their calendars, and is organized by due date on their syllabi. You can set due dates on assignments, quizzes, and discussions. To assign a due date, go to the quiz, assignment, or discussion, click edit, and scroll to the bottom. You should see a box that looks like this:
More info on Due Dates: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10327-415273044
New Quizzes, who dis?
Canvas has a brand new quizzing engine and it is full of new and improved question types: side by side passages, categorizations, hot spots, and more.
Lots of Guides on New Quizzes: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460-canvas-instructor-guide-table-of-contents#jive_content_id_New_Quizzes
New Quizzes Overview Video: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/3922-new-quizzes-overview-instructors
Nobody puts quizzes in a corner
You can use the Quiz functionality to make assignments instead. I like this over the assignment option sometimes because I can mix/match the different types of questions so some are auto-graded and others I grade by reading them. I can set it so students can still see my comments and the correct answers.
I've been using online simulations and hands-on activities they do at home in this way and it has worked really well! I do not label it as a "quiz" - it just has a name like "Genetics Intro Activity" - it's still formative, but the quiz feature does not just need to be used for quizzes!
- Thanks to Jennifer Barnes for submitting this tip
Most people may already know this, but on speed grader I started using the little drop down arrow by the student's name and I could then see with the orange dots who needed grading instead of using the arrows having to go through every student to get to the ones needing grading.
- Thanks to Tania Havron for submitting this tip
Add on tip: did you know you can have SpeedGrader sort by submissions status? (Needs graded, not submitted, and turned in) This groups all the ones you need to grade together so you can just hit the next button.
Canvas Guide for sorting students in SpeedGrader: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13084-415255026
I recently started using the Canvas app for teachers on my iPad, instead of accessing it through the website. It is much better for grading and makes it easier to see which students submitted the work and I can grade assignments quickly. Very user friendly!
- Thanks to Nidhi Loomba for submitting this tip
Canvas Speedgrader in the app Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11926-71156771599
Canvas Speedgrader Annotations in the app Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11858-71156771598
Some teachers are unaware that when a student submits assignments, you can use the tool at the top of the screen to make corrections or comments directly on the part of the assignment that you want to correct or explain. It Look like a little map pin, or droplet. It works great for student feedback.
- Thanks to Angel Foster for submitting this tip
Canvas Speedgrader Annotations Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-26515-how-do-i-add-annotated-comments-in-student-submissions-using-docviewer-in-speedgrader
Differentiation and Specialized instruction in Canvas
You can assign a quiz, assignment, or discussion to individual students or sub-sections of your class. Just remove the “Everyone” tag from the assignment and then begin typing the students’ names or the name of the sub-section you want to assign to. Want to provide scaffolding for some students but they don’t need to submit anything? You can make the assignment a “No Submission” assignment which then functions like a page but can be assigned only to those individuals who need it.
Canvas guide on assigning to individual students: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-9973-4152101242
Canvas guide on assigning to a sub-section: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10434-4152669141
Want even more differentiation? Check out Mastery Paths (note: recommended for more advanced users)
Canvas Video Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/2690-mastery-paths-instructors
Differentiation in Canvas Recording
Missed the training on Differentiation? No worries, you can view the recording here:
It may be helpful to join the course associated with this training to get the handouts and see the examples. You can self-enroll at this link: https://paulding.instructure.com/enroll/EG3ECX
Canvas General Tips
Publish, publish, publish
In order for students to see your content, the item, module, and course must all be published! See screenshot below.
In that same screenshot above, there is a button called Student View, this allows you to fully interact with your course as a student. Very helpful for diagnosing issues and seeing how students should submit assignments.
Commons- Share your work and borrow from others
Now that we have been learning digitally for a week and half, you all have created some amazing things. I’d like to invite you to share them on Commons so we can all learn from each other! Commons is Canvas’s sharing platform where teachers can share their courses, modules, and assignments with other teachers to use in their own courses. Add a tag of PauldingDLD so we can find them easily.
Sharing a course: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16704-4152725301
Sharing a resource: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16703-4152725303
Searching in Commons: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16712-4152725288
Previewing in Commons: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16718-4152725343
Importing from Commons: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16710-4152725291
Have you ever wanted to share a Canvas resource with another teacher or easily copy it to another class? In the past, you’ve had to go through Commons or a somewhat tedious copying course content process, now there is Direct Share! It allows you to easily send a Canvas quiz, assignment, discussion, or page to another Canvas user or to another of your Canvas courses. See this handout for step-by-step instructions. (Thanks to Zach Coker for finding this feature!)
Turning off Student Created Discussions and Course Navigation
By default Canvas allows students to create their own discussion boards. If you would like to limit students to only be able to respond to discussions you post, go into the settings of your course, scroll to the bottom of the “Course Details” tab, click “More Options”, and then uncheck “Let students create discussion topics.”
While we are here in settings, you can also adjust which links students have access to in your course by going to the “Navigation” tab and clicking the three dots to enable or disable each link. Be sure to save this page before you leave it.
Canvas Calendar can be a very useful tool for both you and your students. It allows you to easily move due dates, add events, and more. Even better, as long as you put in on the calendar for a course, it is automatically on the calendar for all of your students. If an assignment, quiz, or discussion already has a due date, it is automatically on your and your students’ calendars.
Canvas Calendar Overview (Instructors) Video: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1093-calendar-overview-instructors
Canvas Calendar Overview (Students) Video: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1123-calendar-students
Enable Course Content for Offline Viewing
Did you know that you can set up your course to enable students to download content and then view it offline?
Try it out!
- How do I view course content offline as an ePub file as a student?
- How do I view course content offline as an HTML file as a student?
- How do I change the format of a course ePub export file? (teacher functionality)
- How do I manage new features for a course? (Teacher functionality)
- How do I allow course content to be exported as an offline HTML file? (teacher functionality)
Clever Link now in Canvas
A new link has been added to all Canvas Courses that links students directly to Clever. This will help reduce the number of clicks needed for students to access resources like MyOn, LearnZillion, Compass, USA Test Prep, and more. You will see the link in your course navigation. You can also find the link by clicking on your profile picture in Canvas.
We have suggested that you organize your Digital Learning content into daily modules, but would you like to be able to see how students have progressed through a module or ensure that they go in a certain order? Or maybe just give students the ability to easily see which modules are complete and which they still have work to do in? Check out Module Requirements:
Module Requirements Canvas Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13134-415261967
Module Overview Video (skip to 2:01 for the info on requirements): https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1114-modules-overview-instructors
Once you have requirements set up, you can use the “View Progress” button on your Modules page to see where each student is in the requirements.
Modules and Random questions on a quiz
My course is set up by modules. When students look at Canvas, some of them look only at assignments and not modules. If a student can't find an assignment, send them to modules.
You can also make a quiz that randomizes questions by making question group with in a quiz. Put 10 questions in and tell the computer to pick 5 or 7.
- Thanks to Ouida Dunton for submitting this tip
Notifications, notifications everywhere…
Did you know you can adjust how often you receive Canvas notifications? Notifications are sent as one of four delivery types: notify me right away, daily summary, weekly summary, or don't send. If you change a setting, the change is made immediately to your account. You can also set how you would like to receive the notifications: e-mail, text, or push notification.
Notification settings apply to all of your courses; you cannot change settings for individual courses.
Your parents and students can adjust these as well. See guides below.
Instructor notification guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13111-4152719738
Student notification guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10624-4212710344
Parent notification guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10910-4144710318
Work Life Balance
I turn off my canvas notifications when I decide I am done working for the day. It has helped separate work and life. I teach art and getting their assignments is exciting so it is tempting to look at them all times of the day and night because they make me so happy.
- Thanks to Beth Morris for submitting this tip
Turn off notifications by course
If you are enrolled as a teacher in a course that you don’t teach and are getting tons of notifications that you do not want, you can now turn off the notifications for that course.
Canvas for Parents and Students
- We discourage parents from logging into their student accounts and encourage them to create their own Canvas accounts. This site has all the information for them on how to do that. https://www.paulding.k12.ga.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=36386
Videos and Handouts for Parents and Students
I’ve been sharing the amazingness that is Canvas Guides since day one of Digital Learning, but I have really focused on the teacher guides. Did you know Canvas has almost just as many guides for parents/students? So if you have students struggling to submit an assignment or parents not understanding how to view grades, send them the appropriate link from the guides below. They have text based guides and video guides.
The Paulding Instructional Technology Team also has a help site for students and parents with a quick video showing the most commonly used features of Canvas.
New Resources from Instructional Technology Team
We have released a student version on Canvas Conferences here:https://www.paulding.k12.ga.us/Page/36387
Accessibility Tool Tip #1
Need read-to (text-to-speech) and spelling supports (Word prediction) for students in Canvas?
- Remember on Pages in Canvas students have access to use the Immersive Reader Tool.
- Students can also use the Read and Write Toolbar (Purple Puzzle Piece) to read other materials outside of Pages. Students can use the RW toolbar to read in assignments, quizzes, PDFs, etc.
- How-to information and videos can be found on this public site: https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com
Accessibility Tool Tip #2
When posting materials to Canvas and other online resources, please remember to always make sure your materials are accessible. Videos should have close captions available.
Need help on how? How-to information and videos can be found on the Universal Design for Learning page at https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com
Accessibility Tip #3
Read-to in Edge Browser
Read-to support is available through the Edge browser. You can use this feature for text-to-speech when in Canvas outside of Pages. To learn how, check out this video on https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/reading-tools.html
Accessibility Tool Tip #4
Making Math and Science Accessible is easy with EquatIO
Just opened to all students in Paulding County the EquatIO tool is now located in the textboxes of Canvas in Assignments and Quizzes. EquatIO math space can also be accessed through equat.io (just log in with your Microsoft account).
Teachers, remember Read and Write and EquatIO are always free for you. Go to https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/free-for-teachers/ for your free accounts. No more issues with text readers reading math incorrectly. 😊
For more information visit the Math Tools page at https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/
Accessibility Tool Tip #5
EquatIO is accessible in Classic Quizzes 🙂 The New Quizzes Feature does not at this time allow for accessibility supports through LTI apps. However, Classic Quizzes does provide an accessible environment and you can access EquatIO supports:
More information on EquatIO located at https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/math-tools.html
Accessibility Tool Tip #6
Helping you make your online learning environment accessible to ALL students.
These one-page accessibility resources, or “cheatsheets,” have been developed to assist anyone who is creating accessible content. These free resources are catered to less-technical individuals. From The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE).
Don't forget information regarding tools to help students access learning are available at https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/
Accessibility Tool Tip #7
Did you know that PowerPoint will allow you to use captions and subtitles live when presenting? PowerPoint for Office 365 can transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking, or as subtitles translated to another language. This can help accommodate individuals in the audience who may be deaf or hard of hearing, or more familiar with another language, respectively. There is a slight delay when sharing your screen through Zoom. See how this works by visiting: https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/universal-design-for-learning.html
Accessibility Tool Tip #8
Did you know that Microsoft Translator App will allow you to setup a conversation between multiple people speaking different languages and each person will hear it translated in their native language? To learn more visit: https://pcsdassistivetech.weebly.com/universal-design-for-learning.html
- Remember on Pages in Canvas students have access to use the Immersive Reader Tool.
Caveat Emptor but for free stuff
While we are closed due to the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many support vendors are extending their hand offering to help us continue our students' education without interruption. Be cautious when you are considering new resources, especially ones that would require a district or school account, a taxpayer identification number, or the sharing of student data. Read carefully any agreements before giving personal information as well.
Our Instructional Technology and Curriculum team has a base of resources that have been reviewed, used in training, and implemented; and, we recommend that you continue to use those resources. They are located on the Student Dashboards and the Instructional Technology site. In addition, the Instructional Technology site has a list for Digital Learning in the content area with guidance and resources specifically provided for this school closure event and is updated regularly.
Some of our wonderful media specialists got together and developed the attached Copyright Guidance for you to refer to when posting things for digital learning. Contact your media specialist if you have further questions.
YouTube Videos without Distractions
Videos can be a great resource for digital learning and YouTube is the first place most people go to find them. However, ads, suggested videos, and comments all distract from the video and potentially lead to inappropriate content. While Canvas removes most of these by just placing a link inside Canvas, SafeShare and ViewPure go the extra step by removing all of it and giving you a new non-YouTube link to the video. Just paste your YouTube link into one of the sites below and it will convert it to a new link to paste in your Canvas course.
The media specialists have compiled a list of e-book resources that are available to you for free during this time. Please see the attached file.
KSU Digital Resources S’more
Our friends at KSU iTeach, Brittani and Nisa, have put together this helpful s’more full of digital resources and helpful information for using them. Check it out!
Media Specialists are amazing!
This isn’t so much of a tip as it is relaying some great resources shared by two of our incredible Media Specialists.
NPHS Resource Page (Thanks to Faye Wood!)
HHS IPEVO Document Camera App Video (Thanks to James McLendon!)
Students Accessing STEMscopes:
- Go to the PCSD Website
- Go to the Student Dashboard
- Click on Elementary or Middle & High School Dashboard
- Click the STEMscopes Icon
- It should take them right in, but if it asks for a login, they will use the following:
- If they are at the PCSD authentication portal, (screenshot below)
- Same password they use for Canvas or a school computer